Influence of communication during the distant phase of the 1996 republican presidential primary campaign

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Abstract

This study examines the influence of five communication modalities on voters' perceptions of candidates during what Popkin terms ‘the distant phase’ of the presidential primary campaign. During the final week of the New Hampshire primary campaign, researchers surveyed 315 prospective votes in four states whose primaries followed New Hampshire's by 1, 2, 4, and 5 weeks. The results revealed that political talk radio exerted the greatest influence on voters' perceptions of Bob Dole and considerable impact on perceptions of Steve Forbes. In addition, prospective voters' conversations with other people, television news, and candidate spots (only for Forbes) exerted modest influence on voters' perceptions of Republican candidates.

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