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Campaign Advertising, Issue Environments, and Latino Political Behavior in 2004 House Elections
Unformatted Document Text:  4 potential demobilizing effect of “negative” advertisement (Ansolobehere, Iyengar, Simon, and Valentino 1994; Ansolabehere and Iyengar 1995). Other scholars have countered the notion that campaigns have “gone negative,” pointing out that campaigns today may be no more negative than in the past (Freedman, Franz, and Goldstein 2004; West 1993), and that negative ads can inform and motivate voters. “Negative” campaign advertisements contain vital informational content for citizens because they clarify important differences between candidates (Brians and Wattenberg 1996; Dalager 1996; Just Crigler, and Wallach 1990; Kahn and Kenney 2000). The initial tests contained in this paper make no claim about the tone of advertisements – only their content in that high densities of immigration advertising indicate an environment in which immigration is a particularly salient feature of political debate. This paper draws more from a subset of the campaign advertising literature that questions whether campaign contexts can spur political participation among certain “issue publics.” Prominent within this research area is Hutchings’ (2003) work arguing that campaign context affects participation. Hutchings argues that “issue publics,” or “sleeping giants,” are awakened by political campaigns that emphasize their interests. Groups that are concerned with particular issues pay attention to a campaign when such issues are prominent in campaigns; for instance, women and fundamentalist Christians were more attentive to campaigns when abortion was emphasized, and union members and their families were more likely to notice when labor issues were at the forefront of a campaign. Hutchings extends his argument to posit that members of these issue publics should also be more likely to vote when they reside in environments of political information rich with content about a particularly salient issue. Hutchings does not find strong support for his argument, but was limited by the use of a three-state 1998 National Election Study pilot survey.

Authors: Keane, Michael.
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potential demobilizing effect of “negative” advertisement (Ansolobehere, Iyengar, Simon, and
Valentino 1994; Ansolabehere and Iyengar 1995). Other scholars have countered the notion that
campaigns have “gone negative,” pointing out that campaigns today may be no more negative
than in the past (Freedman, Franz, and Goldstein 2004; West 1993), and that negative ads can
inform and motivate voters. “Negative” campaign advertisements contain vital informational
content for citizens because they clarify important differences between candidates (Brians and
Wattenberg 1996; Dalager 1996; Just Crigler, and Wallach 1990; Kahn and Kenney 2000).
The initial tests contained in this paper make no claim about the tone of advertisements –
only their content in that high densities of immigration advertising indicate an environment in
which immigration is a particularly salient feature of political debate. This paper draws more
from a subset of the campaign advertising literature that questions whether campaign contexts
can spur political participation among certain “issue publics.” Prominent within this research
area is Hutchings’ (2003) work arguing that campaign context affects participation. Hutchings
argues that “issue publics,” or “sleeping giants,” are awakened by political campaigns that
emphasize their interests. Groups that are concerned with particular issues pay attention to a
campaign when such issues are prominent in campaigns; for instance, women and fundamentalist
Christians were more attentive to campaigns when abortion was emphasized, and union members
and their families were more likely to notice when labor issues were at the forefront of a
campaign. Hutchings extends his argument to posit that members of these issue publics should
also be more likely to vote when they reside in environments of political information rich with
content about a particularly salient issue. Hutchings does not find strong support for his
argument, but was limited by the use of a three-state 1998 National Election Study pilot survey.


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