Judging presidential character: The demise of Gary Hart
- Laura Stoker
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
This article investigates the public reaction to the scandal which effectively ended Gary Hart's quest for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination. Employing NES panel data covering the period in which the scandal surfaced, and integrating arguments drawn from research on attitude change, media priming, and candidate evaluation, this analysis of the Hart case illuminates more general questions about how citizens respond to media communications during the course of an election campaign and of the factors that facilitate or inhibit attitude change. The investigation lends support to contemporary theories of attitude change that emphasize citizens' levels of political involvement and prior predispositions; uncovers evidence of media priming as views about controversial standards of morality were newly engaged in defining citizens' post-scandal evaluations of Hart; and yields evidence that negative responses to Hart in the wake of the scandal were tempered among citizens who typically weigh policy criteria alongisde candidate characteristics when formulating their overall candidate evaluations.
- Abelson, Robert P. (1959). Modes of resolution of belief dilemmas.Journal of Conflict Resolution 3: 343–352.
- Conover, Johnston, Pamela, and Feldman, Stanley (1985). Morality items on the 1985 pilot study. Report to the NES board of overseers. University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research.
- Converse, Philip E. (1962). Information flow and the stability of partisan attitudes.Public Opinion Quarterly 26: 578–599.
- Fiske, Susan T., Lau, Richard R., and Smith, Richard A. (1990). On the varieties and utilities of political expertise.Social Cognition 8: 31–48.
- Heider, F. (1958).The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations. New York: Wiley.
- Iyengar, Shanto (1990). Shortcuts to political knowledge: The role of selective attention and accessibility. In John A. Ferejohn and James H. Kuklinski, (eds.),Information and Democratic Processes. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois.
- Iyengar, Shanto, and Kinder, Donald R. (1987).News that Matters. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Kinder, Donald R., Peters, M. D., Abelson, R. P., and Fiske, S. T. (1980). Presidential prototypes.Political Behavior 2: 315–337.
- Kinder, Donald R. (1986). Presidential Character Revisited. In Richard Lau and David Sears (eds.),Political Cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Krosnick, Jon A., and Kinder, Donald R. (1990). Altering the foundations of support for the president through priming.American Political Science Review 84: 497–512.
- Lau, Richard. (1986). Political schemata, candidate evaluations, and voting behavior. In Richard Lau and David Sears, (eds.),Political Cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Lau, Richard (1989). Construct accessibility and electoral choice.Political Behavior 11: 5–32.
- Lodge, Milton, and Hamill, Ruth (1986). A partisan schema for political information processing.American Political Science Review 80: 505–519.
- Lodge, Milton, Stroh, Patrick, and Wahlke, John (1990). Black-box models of candidate evaluation.Political Behavior 12: 505–519.
- Luskin, Robert C. (1987). Measuring political sophistication.American Journal of Political Science 31: 856–899.
- MacAddams, John. (1986). Alternatives for dealing with errors in variables: An example using panel data.American Journal of Political Science 30: 256–278.
- MacKuen, Michael (1984). Exposure to information, belief integration, and individual responsiveness to agenda change.American Political Science Review 78: 372–391.
- McClosky, Herbert, Zaller, John, and Chong, Dennis (1985). Social learning and the acquisition of political norms. In McClosky and Zaller (eds.),The American Ethos. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- McGraw, Kathleen M. (1991). Managing blame: An experimental test of the effects of political accounts.American Political Science Review 85: 1133–1157.
- McGuire, William J. (1968). Personality and susceptibility to social influence. In E. E. Borgatta and W. W. Lambert, (eds.),Handbook of Personality Theory and Research. New York: Rand McNally.
- Markus, Gregory B. (1979).Analyzing Panel Data. Beverly Hills: Sage.
- Markus, Gregory, B. (1982). Political attitudes in an election year: A report of the 1980 NES panel study.American Political Science Review 76: 538–560.
- Miller, Arthur H., Wattenberg, M. P., and Malanchuk, O. (1986). Schematic assessments of presidential candidates.American Political Science Review 80: 521–540.
- Price, Vincent and Zaller, John (1992). Who gets the news? Predicting news reception and assessing its impact. Revised version of a paper presented at the 1990 meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, California.
- Popkin, Samuel L. (1991).The Reasoning Voter. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Rahn, Wendy M., Aldrich, John H., Borgida, Eugene, and Sullivan, John L. (1990). A social-cognitive model of candidate appraisal. In John A. Ferejohn and James H. Kuklinski (eds.),Information and Democratic Processes. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
- Sears, David O. and Whitney, Richard E. (1973). Political persuasion. In Pool,et al. (eds.),Handbook of Communications. Chicago: Rand McNally.
- Sniderman, Paul M. (1975).Personality and Democratic Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Stoker, Laura (1987). Morality and politics: Conduct and control. A report on new items in the 1987 national election pilot study. Report to the NES board of overseers. University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research.
- Taylor, Shelley E., and Crocker, Jennifer (1981). Schematic bases of social information processing. In E. T. Higgins, P. Hermann, and M. P. Zanna (eds.),The Ontario Symposium on Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 1. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
- Thorndike, E. L. (1924). The influence of chance imperfections of measures upon the relationship of initial score to gain or loss.Journal of Experimental Psychology 7: 225–232.
- Zaller, John (1986). Analysis of information items in the 1985 pilot study. Report to the NES Board of Overseers. University of Michigan, Institute of Social Research.
- Zaller, John (1987). Diffusion of political attitudes.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 53: 821–833.
- Zaller, John (1989). Bringing converse back in: modeling information flow in political campaigns. In James A. Stimson (ed.),Political Analysis. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
- Zaller, John (1990). Political awareness, elite opinion leadership, and the mass survey response.Social Cognition 8: 125–153.
- Zaller, John (1991). Information, values, and opinion.American Political Science Review 85: 1215–1238.
- Judging presidential character: The demise of Gary Hart
Volume 15, Issue 2 , pp 193-223
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Laura Stoker (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Political Science, Survey Research Center, University of California, 94720, Berkeley, California