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Polls and Elections: The Conditional Effects of Competing Messages during Presidential Nominating Conventions

Authors

  • JOSEPH CERA,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee
      Joseph Cera is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. His research focuses on campaign effects, political behavior, and survey methodology, and has appeared in American Politics Research.
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  • AARON C. WEINSCHENK

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee
      Aaron C. Weinschenk is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. His research focuses on political behavior and has appeared in Political Behavior, Political Research Quarterly, and American Politics Research.
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Joseph Cera is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. His research focuses on campaign effects, political behavior, and survey methodology, and has appeared in American Politics Research.

Aaron C. Weinschenk is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. His research focuses on political behavior and has appeared in Political Behavior, Political Research Quarterly, and American Politics Research.

Abstract

Past research demonstrates that presidential nominating conventions can exercise multiple effects on individual-level opinion; consumption of convention speeches yields opinion more favorable to the convening candidate, while exposure to partisan messaging in the surrounding information environment can trigger a general partisan bias. In this article, we demonstrate that the persuasive power of speeches made by candidates during the second convention in a given election cycle can be attenuated by exposure to information from the initial convention. Such conditional effects persist even when individual partisan affiliation and preconvention opinion are controlled. Notably, positive impressions made by candidates appear to be more impactful than negative messaging aimed at candidates by their opposition.

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