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Gradual and Sudden Shifts in Political Perceptions: Impressions of Negativity in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Campaign

19 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2010  

Lee Sigelman

George Washington University - Department of Political Science

Erik Voeten

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS)

Date Written: January 25, 2005

Abstract

How do citizens’ perceptions of a political campaign change over the course of the campaign? To find out, we probed the dynamics of the perceived difference in the negativity of the Bush and Gore campaigns in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. The analysis revealed a major turning point in these perceptions shortly after the first campaign debate; beyond that major one-time shift, the tone of what the candidates said during the campaign had no significant effect on the public’s impressions of the tone of the campaign. These results are interesting in and of themselves, and the analysis that produced them holds out considerable promise for future research on the dynamics of election campaigns.

Keywords: Presidential elections, campaigns, negative advertising

Suggested Citation

Sigelman, Lee and Voeten, Erik, Gradual and Sudden Shifts in Political Perceptions: Impressions of Negativity in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Campaign (January 25, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1554964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1554964

Lee Sigelman

George Washington University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Washington, DC 20052
United States

Erik Voeten (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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