A worldwide presidential election: The impact of the media on candidate and campaign evaluations

Hajo G. Boomgaarden*, Rens Vliegenthart, Claes H. De Vreese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The 2008 U.S. Presidential election was a worldwide event that gained significant public and media attention well beyond the borders of the United States. In this study, we assess the impact of media coverage of Presidential candidates Obama and McCain on public opinion dynamics in the Netherlands. Drawing on three sources of data - a media content analysis, ten repeated cross-sectional surveys and a two-wave panel survey - we assess media effects on candidate campaign evaluations and expectations of who will the election on the macro- and micro-level. We find that media favorability increases positive evaluations of McCain, while being exposed to the campaign in general contributed to more favorable assessments of Obama. We explain these results by pointing to the overwhelmingly stable and positive coverage of Obama in international media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-61
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

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