Getting Tough on China: Are Campaign Ads A Signal of Future Policy or Just Cheap Talk?

Legislative Studies Quarterly (conditional acceptance)

24 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020 Last revised: 14 Jul 2020

See all articles by Amber Wichowsky

Amber Wichowsky

Marquette University

Jessica Chen Weiss

Cornell University - Department of Government

Date Written: April 20, 2020

Abstract

Is tough-on-China campaign rhetoric cheap talk or a signal of policy attention? Analyzing China-related campaign advertisements during the 2010 midterm elections and subsequent cosponsorship of China-related bills, we find that campaign ads are a noisy predictor of legislative attention. Challengers who attacked on China were more likely to cosponsor China-related legislation, while incumbents who were attacked for being soft on China took tougher positions on China after reelection. By demonstrating the correspondence between anti-China campaign appeals and subsequent legislative attention, our findings add to a growing body of evidence linking campaign rhetoric to members’ legislative agendas. This research note provides the first evidence demonstrating the connection between campaign appeals and legislative attention on a foreign policy issue like China.

Suggested Citation

Wichowsky, Amber and Weiss, Jessica Chen, Getting Tough on China: Are Campaign Ads A Signal of Future Policy or Just Cheap Talk? (April 20, 2020). Legislative Studies Quarterly (conditional acceptance), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3581225 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3581225

Amber Wichowsky

Marquette University ( email )

Jessica Chen Weiss (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Department of Government ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
29
Abstract Views
289
PlumX Metrics