ERIC Number: ED173836
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Undecided Voters, Vote Switchers, Media Use, and Information Holding in a Congressional and a Presidential Campaign.
Atwood, L. Erwin; Kuang, Sunshine C.
Data for this study of the relationship between voter status (vote switcher, undecided voter, decided voter) and political knowledge were collected from 141 respondents in five southern Illinois counties during a 1974 congressional election and from 295 respondents in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, during the 1976 presidential campaign. The study employed the reasons voters gave for voting for or against specific candidates and reported voter perceptions of campaign issues as measures of political knowledge. The findings supported earlier studies regarding the differences in knowledge levels between decided and undecided voters for both candidate and issue knowledge. No significant difference in candidate knowledge levels was found between switchers and nonswitchers in either the congressional or the presidential campaigns. Those who did not switch candidate preference in the 1976 campaign reported higher levels of issue knowledge than those switching candidate preferences. The relationship between knowledge level and attention to the campaign via the mass media varied with voting status and campaign. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (62nd, Houston, Texas, August 5-8, 1979)