Effects of Negative Campaigning on Turnout in U.S. Senate Elections, 1988—1998

Lau, Richard R.; Pomper, Gerald M.
August 2001
Journal of Politics;Aug2001, Vol. 63 Issue 3, p804
Academic Journal
This paper addresses a very important question for media researchers, political campaigners, and democratic theorists alike: Does negative campaigning demobilize the electorate? Using both aggregate-and individual-level turnout data and evidence on the nature or "tone" of virtually every U.S. Senate campaign between 1988 and 1998, we find that campaign negativism has a curvilinear effect on turnout, with most observed levels of negativism actually stimulating turnout. Only at extremely high levels does negativism in political campaigns generally suppress turnout. We find no consistent evidence that person-based criticisms of the opponent have any different effect than policy-based criticisms. However, we do find support for the hypothesis that partisans tend to be stimulated by campaign negativism while independents are more likely to be discouraged by such campaigns.


Related Articles

  • Rugged individuals and social butterflies: the consequences of social and individual political participation for political tolerance. Weber, Lori // Social Science Journal;2003, Vol. 40 Issue 2, p335 

    Empirical studies of political participation beyond voting include a variety of different activities�from campaigning and convincing friends to writing letters and writing checks. Some activities may have very different consequences for citizens. This paper presents the argument that social...

  • Speak up! You can be heard! Schrof, Joanne M.; Fischer, David // U.S. News & World Report;2/19/96, Vol. 120 Issue 7, p42 

    Declares that there are many ways for voters to influence the decisions and the candidates of the United States government. Public as angry and cynical, with a feeling of alienation from its leaders; Ways of speaking out including researching candidates, volunteering time rather than money to a...

  • No votes.  // Body Politic;Mar81, Issue 71, p8 

    Editorial. Presents opinion on the election in Ontario on March 19, 1981. Significance of the Human Rights Code; Ways to demonstrate dissatisfaction as voters.

  • Desirability and effects of campaign spending limits. Palda, Filip // Crime, Law & Social Change;Jun94, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p295 

    This article measures the influence of campaign spending on incumbent and challenger votes in Canadian federal elections. The popular view is that restrictions on spending prevent rich candidates, and candidates with rich backers, from overwhelming weaker opponents. Limits protect electoral...

  • Issue salience and gender differences in congressional elections, 1994–1998 Richardson Jr., Lilliard E.; Freeman, Patricia K. // Social Science Journal;2003, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p401 

    We examine how male and female voters differ in their use of issue salience in congressional voting. We use American National Election Survey (ANES) data for 1994, 1996, and 1998 to construct a multivariate model of gender differences in partisan voting in U.S. House races. We use four...

  • Hobson's Choice at the Polls.  // America;8/30/1924, Vol. 31 Issue 20, p475 

    The author reflects on the proposal to make voting compulsory. He argues that what is needed is not more votes but more intelligent vote and more men worth voting for. He states that if the proposal serves to focus attention on the necessity of improving quality of candidates it may help break...

  • Who's Who in Wisconsin. Robinson, Bevier // Nation;9/8/1926, Vol. 123 Issue 3192, p220 

    The article throws light on the primary elections in Wisconsin. They will be held on September 7, 1926 and the office-seekers are making their final appeals to the voters, who have appeared somewhat unresponsive throughout the campaign. Probably not more than 50 per cent of those qualified to...

  • REGIONAL RISK PROFILE.  // Asia Monitor: China & North East Asia Monitor;Jan2005, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p1 

    The article presents regional risk profile for Hong Kong for the year 2005. The leader of Hong Kong's biggest democratic party will stand down in December 2005, following the poor showing of the Democratic Party in the city's legislative elections in September. Yeung Sum made his decision after...

  • The Historical Experience with Proportional Voting Systems in Canada. Cooper, Barry // Fraser Forum;Feb2005, p5 

    Focuses on the proposal to replace the single-member plurality (SMP) electoral system with proportional representation (PR) system in Canada. Concept of PR; Advantages over SMP; Details on the major criticisms of SMP.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics