Does Political Advertising Persuade?
- Michael M. FranzAffiliated withDepartment of Government and Legal Studies, Bowdoin College Email author
- , Travis N. RidoutAffiliated withPolitical Science, Washington State University
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Well over $1 billion was spent on televised political advertising in the U.S. in 2004. Given the ubiquity of the 30 second spot, one might presume that ads must affect viewers’ vote choices. Somewhat surprisingly, though, scholars have yet to make much progress in confirming this claim. In this paper, we leverage a comprehensive dataset that tracks political ads in the nation’s top media markets and a survey of presidential and U.S. Senate voters in 2004. We ask whether exposure to presidential and Senate advertising influences voters’ evaluations of candidates and the choices that they make at the ballot box. In the end, we find considerable evidence that advertising persuades—and that its impact varies depending on the characteristics of the viewer.
KeywordsPolitical advertising Elections Campaign effects Persuasion
- Does Political Advertising Persuade?
Volume 29, Issue 4 , pp 465-491
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Political advertising
- Campaign effects
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Government and Legal Studies, Bowdoin College, 203 Hubbard Hall, Brunswick, ME, 04011, USA
- 2. Political Science, Washington State University, 816 Johnson Tower, Troy Lane, P.O. Box 644880, Pullman, WA, 99164-4880, USA