THE IMPACT OF CAMPAIGN SPOT ADVERTISING ON VOTING DEFECTIONS

Authors

  • RICHARD A. JOSLYN

    1. Richard A. Joslyn (Ph.D., Cornell University, 1977) is an assistant professor of political science at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19122.
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Abstract

This research investigates the possibility that political campaign communication is partially responsible for recent increases in the number of voters defecting from their partisan identification when making their electoral choices. Survey and contextual data from 1970, 1972, and 1974 are used to explain why some voters defect from their party identification when voting for senatorial and congressional candidates while others do not. Multiple regression and discriminant analysis indicate that exposure to political broadcast advertising is an important explanatory variable, even when holding constant a variety of other independent variables. Consequently, the availability of this form of campaign communication may have implications for the traditional functions of American political parties and for the dynamics of the public policy process.

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