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Calling it Wrong: Partisan Media Effects on Electoral Expectations and Institutional Trust

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Abstract:

The growth of partisan media allows individuals to expose themselves to like-minded programs, which may lead these individuals to hold distorted perceptions of politics. Partisan programs increasingly offer only opinionated commentary and news that favors one side, rather than providing objective information and analysis. In the 2012 election, for example, channels at either end of the ideological spectrum differed substantially in terms of the polls they covered and resulting electoral predictions. The slanted coverage might lead to unfulfilled expectations and undermine faith in democratic institutions. In this paper, we test the effects of exposure to a large number of partisan news and entertainment programs on voter expectations of electoral outcomes and trust in the electoral process. Our analysis draws upon two different nationally representative pre- and post-election panel surveys: the 2012 ANES Time Series Study (N = 5,916) and the 2012 ISCAP Election Study (N =2,471). We find that those with more right-leaning media diets expected Romney to win with a greater vote margin, while those with more left-leaning media diets expected Obama to win with a greater vote margin, than did those with balanced media diets. We then demonstrate that individuals whose expectations for the election were unmet experienced a decrease in trust in the legitimacy of the electoral process. Mediation analyses provide additional evidence that partisan media influences trust through its effects on expectations. Our findings show that partisan media holds the power to reduce institutional support, in part by distorting citizens’ expectations for future events.
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference
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http://www.icahdq.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p984238_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Daniller, Andrew., Silver, Laura. and Moehler, Devra. "Calling it Wrong: Partisan Media Effects on Electoral Expectations and Institutional Trust" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico, <Not Available>. 2015-12-02 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p984238_index.html>

APA Citation:

Daniller, A. M., Silver, L. and Moehler, D. C. "Calling it Wrong: Partisan Media Effects on Electoral Expectations and Institutional Trust" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association 65th Annual Conference, Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico <Not Available>. 2015-12-02 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p984238_index.html

Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: The growth of partisan media allows individuals to expose themselves to like-minded programs, which may lead these individuals to hold distorted perceptions of politics. Partisan programs increasingly offer only opinionated commentary and news that favors one side, rather than providing objective information and analysis. In the 2012 election, for example, channels at either end of the ideological spectrum differed substantially in terms of the polls they covered and resulting electoral predictions. The slanted coverage might lead to unfulfilled expectations and undermine faith in democratic institutions. In this paper, we test the effects of exposure to a large number of partisan news and entertainment programs on voter expectations of electoral outcomes and trust in the electoral process. Our analysis draws upon two different nationally representative pre- and post-election panel surveys: the 2012 ANES Time Series Study (N = 5,916) and the 2012 ISCAP Election Study (N =2,471). We find that those with more right-leaning media diets expected Romney to win with a greater vote margin, while those with more left-leaning media diets expected Obama to win with a greater vote margin, than did those with balanced media diets. We then demonstrate that individuals whose expectations for the election were unmet experienced a decrease in trust in the legitimacy of the electoral process. Mediation analyses provide additional evidence that partisan media influences trust through its effects on expectations. Our findings show that partisan media holds the power to reduce institutional support, in part by distorting citizens’ expectations for future events.


Similar Titles:
A Coalition of the Unrestrained: Mass Media, Electoral Institutions and the Constraining Effect of Public Opinion Regarding Iraq

Calling it Wrong: Partisan Media Effects on Electoral Expectations and Institutional Trust


 
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