Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by an NIMH-supported training grant (#PHS T32 MH 15789-02). The author would like to thank Steve Franzoi, Jay Hull, and Velma Kameoka for their useful comments on earlier versions of this paper.
Voting Intentions and the 1980 Carter-Reagan Debate1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 12, Issue 6, pages 481–492, December 1982
How to Cite
Davis, M. H. (1982), Voting Intentions and the 1980 Carter-Reagan Debate. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 12: 481–492. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1982.tb00880.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
A study was conducted to assess the impact of the 1980 Carter-Reagan debate on subsequent voting intentions. As predicted, perceptions of Reagan's debate performance significantly affected respondents' post-debate intention to vote for him; perceptions of Carter's debate performance were not significantly related to post-debate intentions regarding Carter. Additionally, it was found that while party identification had a predictable effect on debate perceptions (Republican respondents favoring Reagan; Democratic respondents favoring Carter), this effect did not prevent respondents from also making more “objective” assessments of the candidates' performance. Within the general context of viewing “their” candidate more favorably, respondents (1) perceived Carter as more honest in the debate, (2) perceived Reagan as stronger, and (3) perceived Reagan as performing better overall in the debate.