Political Behavior

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 193–210

Priming Presidential Approval: The Conditionality of Issue Effects

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11109-006-9011-8

Cite this article as:
Kelleher, C.A. & Wolak, J. Polit Behav (2006) 28: 193. doi:10.1007/s11109-006-9011-8


Variations in the effectiveness of media priming are traditionally attributed to individual differences in political sophistication and news exposure. We contribute to this literature by considering the degree to which the content of an issue prime drives its use in presidential approval. Using a macro level approach, we combine public opinion data on presidential approval from 1981 to 2000 with content analyses of presidential news coverage to see how media attention affects the way issues are weighted in presidential approval. We find that the effectiveness of issue primes depends on issue content, such that familiar and understandable issues are more likely to be primed than more complex and difficult issues.


PrimingPresidential approvalIssue differences

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA