The Channeled Italian Voters
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This paper examines the 2001 ITANES survey data and documents a number of empirical regularities in the media usage of the Italian electorate during the 2001 electoral campaign. Voters that expose themselves predominantly to Mediaset news programs are much more prone to vote for the centre-right coalition and voters that are exposed to RAI news are substantially more likely to vote for the centre-left coalition. Multiple regression analysis shows that this polarization can be partially explained by voters’ ideological leaning and opinions on policy issues and has instead much to do with evaluation of the political leaders and trust in the television channels. However, an unexplained higher propensity of Mediaset viewers to vote for Forza Italia persists. The results are used for a reflection on the quality of public deliberation in the Italian democracy.
Key words: Media attitude, elections, television.
KeywordsConfirmatory Bias Electoral Campaign Television News Vote Choice Political Preference
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