ERIC Number: ED195469
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Origin and Development of Voters' Images of Candidates During Presidential Primaries.
Zukin, Cliff; Keeter, Scott
Results are reported of a study to determine how citizens come to know and like or dislike presidential candidates. The Republican elections of 1980 are analysed according to: how and when citizens are introduced to political candidates, what accounts for the dynamics of awareness and recognition of candidates, how and when citizens develop affective orientations toward political candidates, and what accounts for changes in how citizens evaluate candidates. The sample consisted of 8,000 New Jersey residents interviewed between October, 1979 and July, 1980. Participants were asked to recall names of candidates running for the presidential nomination, state candidate preference, and explain the most important reason for their support of the candidate. Results indicate that knowledge and opinion of presidential candidates is distributed in three layers of the public: attentive, peripheral, and inadvertent. Attentives, approximately one-third of the population, are already aware of the candidates when the media first devote attention to the campaign. Their knowledge about the candidate is not based on prominent coverage. The peripheral, about one-fifth of the population, become aware only after exposure to the intense coverage accompanying success in a campaign test. The inadvertents, one-third of the public, also depend on such coverage, but only to the extent that they recognize candidates names rather than become aware of them. Many citizens base their evaluations upon perceptions of the candidate's competitive strength rather than on personal qualities or ideological positions. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Democratic Party; Republican Party
Note: Paper prepared for delivery at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Washington, DC, August 28-31, 1980).