All Press is Good Press: The News Media and the Incumbent Advantage in Judicial Elections
22 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2016
Date Written: March 30, 2016
There is a good deal of evidence that planned media exposure influences outcomes in judicial elections via campaign spending and paid campaign advertisements. However, less well understood is the influence of unplanned media exposure of the sort that happens spontaneously in the news media. Here, we investigate the proposition that unplanned media exposure can influence both the emergence of challengers and the outcome of contested judicial elections. Using data from 282 state supreme court elections in 22 states from 2000-2012, we use two-stage selection models to examine the effect of different types of unplanned newspaper exposure on judicial races. we find, among other things, that unplanned media exposure of the incumbent generally benefits the incumbent. Challengers, on the other hand, have difficulty getting the same level of unplanned media coverage. When they do, the benefits to their campaign are not significant.
Keywords: judicial elections, media and politics, political communication, electoral politics
JEL Classification: D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation