The Accountability Implications of Presidential Campaign Tone: Hearing Campaign Appeals
28 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 20 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
The effect of campaign tone, in particular negative campaigns, have been studied extensively of late. One aspect that has been largely neglected is the effect of campaign tone on citizen understanding of a candidate's message. Citizen understanding of candidate priorities is highly consequential for both elections and post-election accountability, and is especially key to the office of the presidency. I examine the impact of campaign advertising tone on citizen understanding in the context of the 2000 presidential election. Merging data on political ads from the Wisconsin Advertising Project with individual survey data, I test whether citizens are more likely to accurately hear a positive campaign theme. The analysis provides empirical support for this benefit of positivity.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation