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Negative campaigning is a central component of politics in the United States. Yet, until now, demonstrating the impact of combative advertising on voters has been elusive. How can we reconcile the findings of a plethora of studies with the methods of politicians? This book cuts through to the central issue: how negative advertising influences voters' attitudes and actions. Focusing on U.S. senatorial campaigns, Kim Fridkin and Patrick Kenney draw from surveys,experiments, facial expression analysis, content analyses, and focus groups. They develop the "tolerance and tactics theory of negativity" that marries citizens' tolerance for negativity with campaign messages varying in their civility and relevance and demonstrate how citizens' beliefs and behaviors areaffected. Using this original framework, they find harsh and relevant messages influence voters' decisions, especially for people with less tolerance for negativity. And, irrelevant and uncivil advertisements demobilize voters, with low tolerance individuals affected most sharply.

Taking aim at attack advertising - Kim L. Fridkin

9780190947576
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Title
Taking aim at attack advertising - understanding the impact of negative campaigning in U.S. Senate races
Author
Kim L. Fridkin
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20190530

Negative campaigning is a central component of politics in the United States. Yet, until now, demonstrating the impact of combative advertising on voters has been elusive. How can we reconcile the findings of a plethora of studies with the methods of politicians? This book cuts through to the central issue: how negative advertising influences voters' attitudes and actions. Focusing on U.S. senatorial campaigns, Kim Fridkin and Patrick Kenney draw from surveys,experiments, facial expression analysis, content analyses, and focus groups. They develop the "tolerance and tactics theory of negativity" that marries citizens' tolerance for negativity with campaign messages varying in their civility and relevance and demonstrate how citizens' beliefs and behaviors areaffected. Using this original framework, they find harsh and relevant messages influence voters' decisions, especially for people with less tolerance for negativity. And, irrelevant and uncivil advertisements demobilize voters, with low tolerance individuals affected most sharply.

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Kim L. Fridkin is a Foundation Professor of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University, where she has taught since 1989. She is an expert in the areas of women and politics, campaigns and elections, and U.S. voting behavior. She is the author of The Political Consequences of Being a Woman and has co-authored The Changing Face of Representation: The Gender of U.S. Senators and Constituent Communications, No
Holds Barred: Negative Campaigning in the U.S. Senate, and The Spectacle of U.S. Senate Campaigns with Patrick J. Kenney.

Patrick J. Kenney is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a Foundation Professor of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University, where he has taught since 1986. He is an expert on campaigns, elections, and U.S. voting behavior.

Taking Aim at Attack Advertising is a richly researched and persuasive account of the impact of negative advertising on voter attitudes and mobilization. Fridkin and Kenney (both, Arizona State) theorize that the effect of negative advertising varies according to voters' tolerance of negativity, and the relevance and civility of the negative message. Tolerance for negativity varies by party, gender, and age. This book is well written, persuasively argued,
and a useful addition to scholarship on elections. It is aimed at readers with a strong background in political science scholarship and substantial quantitative fluency. It would be appropriate for advanced undergraduate and graduate classes.

-P. Hanson, Grinnell College, CHOICE

As politics continues its nasty turn, it becomes increasingly important to understand how attack advertising works. Fridkin and Kenney, key players in the unfolding debate about 'negativity' over the last 25 years, have made another important theoretical and empirical statement with this latest book.These pages significantly advance our understanding of attack politics.They not only marshal an array of evidence, they develop a compelling theory, and offer much common
sense along the way.It is a timely and impressive contribution. I urge all to read it, especially as we prepare ourselves for the electoral scrum in 2020.

John G. Geer, Professor, Vanderbilt University, and author of In Defense of Negativity

I can hardly imagine a more important topic as we head into the next series of elections in America. The way candidates communicate with voters and what they say can make a difference-for some voters more than others.Fridkin and Kenney's theory of tolerance and tactics brings nuance to the study of electioneering.

Lynn Vavreck, Professor, Stanford University, and author of The Message Matters

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Political campaigns - United States.|Advertising, Political - United States.|Voting research - United States.
Country of Publication
New York (State)
Number of Pages
viii, 256

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