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Democratic Representation and the Emergence of Partisan News Media: Investigating Dynamic Partisanship in Congress

50 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2013 Last revised: 18 Sep 2013

Kevin Arceneaux

Temple University - Department of Political Science

Martin Johnson

University of California, Riverside - Department of Political Science

René Lindstädt

University of Essex - Department of Government

Ryan J. Vander Wielen

Temple University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: September 12, 2013

Abstract

Technological innovations over the past decade have expanded the number of news and entertainment options available to consumers, leading to the emergence of partisan news media. We contend that the emergence of partisan media should have decisive effects on the strategic calculations of elected representatives who are chronic consumers of news media. Moreover, we theorize that partisan news media's influence on legislative behavior will be most apparent when elections are near. Exploiting the incremental roll-out of the conservative Fox News Channel in the late 1990s, we find that the emergence of Fox News caused U.S. House members to alter their levels of party support dynamically, responding both to the proximity of elections and changes in the media environment in their district. Fox News caused both Republicans and Democrats in Congress to increase support for the Republican Party on divisive votes in the waning months of the election cycle.

Keywords: legislative politics, legislative behavior, U.S. Congress, U.S. House, Fox, Fox News, news media, media influence, media effect, media, parties, partisanship, roll-call voting, dynamic partisanship

JEL Classification: D70, D72, D78

Suggested Citation

Arceneaux, Kevin and Johnson, Martin and Lindstädt, René and Vander Wielen, Ryan J., Democratic Representation and the Emergence of Partisan News Media: Investigating Dynamic Partisanship in Congress (September 12, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2324786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2324786

Kevin Arceneaux

Temple University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Martin Johnson

University of California, Riverside - Department of Political Science ( email )

Riverside, CA 92521
United States

Rene Lindstaedt (Contact Author)

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Ryan J. Vander Wielen

Temple University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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