Gradual and Sudden Shifts in Political Perceptions: Impressions of Negativity in the 2000 U.S. Presidential Campaign
19 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2010
Date Written: January 25, 2005
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
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