Sending a clear message: how citizens respond to the content of candidates' messages Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Banda, Kevin K.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • During campaigns, citizens form attitudes about candidates for office by collecting information from a number of sources, the most important of which may be from the candidates themselves. This information, though limited, should influence citizens' evaluations of the candidates' ideologies and positions on issues. How do citizens respond to the informational content contained in the statements candidates make during campaigns? How does this content influence (1) citizens' evaluations of candidates and (2) their certainty about these evaluations? I use data collected through two survey experiments to show that the issues politicians choose to talk about and the positions they take drive evaluations of both their ideology and positions on issues, including issues that they do not discuss. The relationship between the information in candidates' statements and the level of certainty expressed by participants is less clear, but suggests that a greater volume of precise information about issues leads people to feel more certain about the evaluations they make.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Political Science."
  • Carsey, Thomas M.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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