Political Behavior

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 465–491

Does Political Advertising Persuade?

Authors

    • Department of Government and Legal StudiesBowdoin College
  • Travis N. Ridout
    • Political ScienceWashington State University
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11109-007-9032-y

Cite this article as:
Franz, M.M. & Ridout, T.N. Polit Behav (2007) 29: 465. doi:10.1007/s11109-007-9032-y

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Political advertisingElectionsCampaign effectsPersuasion

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007