Candidate Strategy and Assessment During Election Campaigns Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Banda, Kevin K.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • I examine the formation and consequences of candidates' issue agendas -- the issues on which they focus during election campaigns. I argue that candidates' issue-based messages are important for three reasons. First, the issues candidates discuss should affect the issues that their opponents talk about. Second, the issues candidates discuss and the positions they outline in their messages should influence citizens' views of the candidates' ideological and issue positions. Last, the ideological portrayal of candidates' opponents as communicated through a negative message should have two effects: it should (1) alter citizens' views of the target of the attack in the way suggested by the message and (2) lead citizens to view the sponsor of the attack as holding characteristics that are the opposite of their portrayal of their opponent. I use data from 146 U.S. Senate and gubernatorial campaigns to assess my first argument and data drawn from two survey experiments to address the second and third arguments. The results of my analyses offer strong support for my theories.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Carsey, Thomas M.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013

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