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ERIC Number: ED141847
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-May
Reference Count: N/A
U.S. Primary Politics and Public Opinion: The Role of the Press in Determining Voter Reactions.
Becker, Lee B.; McCombs, Maxwell E.
Agenda setting provides an analysis strategy for linking press coverage and voter perceptions of front runners, and underscores the importance of studying the primaries early in an election year. Two studies were undertaken in 1976. The first study, in Onandaga County (New York), involved telephone interviews of 335 registered Democrats in late February, concerning information they had about issues and candidates. Second interviews were held with 177 of the same Democrats in late March. The second study involved interviews of 143 registered voters in February, March, and May--in Evanston (Illinois), Indianapolis (Indiana), and Lebanon (New Hampshire)--concerning voter reactions to primary elections, especially to those in these three states. Data from these studies and from national polls taken during the same period show that the primary season is more important in determining who is leading the field and in providing candidate information than it is in setting forth issues or in fixing candidate preferences. Indirect evidence shows that the media are at least partially responsible for shifts of opinion about front-runner status and for increased knowledge of candidates. (JM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A