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Keywords:

  • U. S. presidential nominations;
  • New Hampshire primary;
  • Republican Party;
  • local newspapers;
  • Manchester Union Leader;
  • Bob Dole;
  • Pat Buchanan

Content-coded network newscasts are used to examine the relationship between news and editorial coverage of candidates by New Hampshire's largest newspaper and the daily New Hampsbire poll standings of the leading 1996 Republican candidates in the weeks before the primary. The Manchester Union Leader's news and editorial coverage powerfully influenced the poll standings of Patrick Buchanan, the paper's preferred candidate. News coverage of the horse-race aspects of the Buchanan campaign and substantial evaluation of the candidate in editorials proved to be the most influential types of coverage for Buchanan, who won the 1996 New Hampshire primary. The paper's news coverage and editorials relating to the other leading candidates-Bob Dole, Lamar Alexander, and Steve Forbes-bad far less significant effects on their standings in the tracking polls.