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Week 8 - The Effectiveness of Campaigns

Section Objectives

  • Explain and utilize a causal inference framework to construct, discuss, and critically analyze research arguments.
  • Define Campaign Effects, using research literature and conceptual examples from modern elections.
  • Discuss the conflicting theories of the effectiveness of campaigns, as described in Ch. 6 of Iyengar & McGrady (2011).
  • Analyze the core findings of Geer (2010), addressing the rise of negativity in campaigns.
  • Analyze the core findings of Abramowitz (2008), and define the Time for Change Model.

Key Terms and Concepts

  • Booming Campaign Industry View
  • Campaign Effects
  • Information Effect
  • Minimalist View of Campaign Influence
  • Negative Campaigning
  • Reinforcement Effect
  • "Stand by Your Ad" Provision
  • Time for Change Model

Section Slides

**See attached .pdf file.

Summaries of Selected Weekly Readings

Author Puzzle Hypothesis Dependent Variable Independent Variable(s)
Iyengar & McGrady (2011)

 What is negative advertising and how do candidates determine whether to engage with it?

 

Candidates tend to dwell on the flaws-–either personal or substantive-–of their opponents as an attack is more credible than a message promoting a candidate’s virtures.

Use of Negative Campaign Advertisement Opponent Attack, Free Media Opportunity
Geer (2010)

 How might journalists worsen the rise of negativity in presidential races?

Increase in attention to negative ads leads to an increase in the incentive to air.  Campaigns alter strategies to take advantage of "free media".

Use of Negative Campaign Advertisement Free Media Opportunity, Media Attention
Iyengar & McGrady (2011)

Do political campaigns have the ability to effect election outcomes?

Minimalist View of Campaign Influence

No. The general political and economic context in which elections occur matter and are predictive of election results.

Change in Voter Intentions

Economy, Approval Ratings, Running Tally

Iyengar and Ansolabehere (1994)

Do political campaigns have the ability to effect election outcomes?

Booming Campaign Industry View

Yes. Well-executed campaigns can produce significant increases in candidate support.

Change in Voter Intentions

Reinforcement, Information, Activation of PID

 
Abramowitz (2008)

 Are we able to predict the outcomes of presidential races?

 Time for Change Model

Election is retrospective referendum on performance.  Popular vote can be predicted accurately before the conventions.

Proportion of Popular Vote

Economy, Approval Ratings, Party Control