Does the Messenger Matter? Candidate-Media Agenda Convergence and Its Effects on Voter Issue Salience

  title={Does the Messenger Matter? Candidate-Media Agenda Convergence and Its Effects on Voter Issue Salience},
  author={Danny Hayes},
  journal={Political Research Quarterly},
  pages={134 - 146}
  • Danny Hayes
  • Published 1 March 2008
  • Political Science
  • Political Research Quarterly
Though research has shown that candidates and the media can influence the importance voters ascribe to political issues, little work has sought to test the interactive agenda-setting effects of each—in particular, to determine whether the ability of candidates to set the public's agenda depends on the media's willingness to reflect their issue emphases. Using an experiment conducted during the early stages of the 2006 Texas gubernatorial election, the author shows that candidate attempts to… 

Tables from this paper

Message or Messenger? Explaining Variation in the Success of Agenda-Setting
Agenda control matters in politics; yet scholars are only beginning to understand how campaigns and news media interact in shaping the agenda during campaigns. Drawing on extensive content data on
The Spinning Message: How News Media Coverage and Voter Persuasion Shape Campaign Agendas
A prominent avenue of the political campaign’s influence on voters is through the nature of its issue content. Political science research has shown that the issues discussed by the candidates and the
The Dynamics of Agenda Convergence and the Paradox of Competitiveness in Presidential Campaigns
The mass media’s representation of campaign discourse influences whether voters have the opportunity to scrutinize the candidates’ issue priorities and policy proposals. But it is not clear whether
Electoral Competition through Issue Selection 1
Politics must tackle multiple issues at once. In a first-best world, political competition constrains parties to prioritize issues according to the voters’ true concerns. In the real world, the
A Review of Public Issue Salience: Concepts, Determinants and Effects on Voting
  • J. Dennison
  • Political Science
    Political Studies Review
  • 2019
In this article, I offer a review of the uses and findings regarding public issue salience in the political science literature, with a focus on electoral behaviour. I argue that in spite of the
Media Representation of Barack Obama: A Pre- and Post-Election Comparison
Various research concerning presidential elections attempts to explain how voters evaluate candidates. Recent work suggests that, in general, the mass media has great influence on election outcomes.
Electoral Competition Through Issue Selection
Politics must address multiple problems simultaneously. In an ideal world, political competition would force parties to adopt priorities that reflect the voters' true concerns. In reality, parties
Informing the Public: How Party Communication Builds Opportunity Structures
We argue that the attention parties devote to a topic contributes to expanding the opportunity structure to acquire information that party supporters have. We evaluate this proposition in a
Issue-Based Strategies in Election Campaigns: The Case of Health Care in the 2000 Canadian Federal Election
This article contributes to the emerging literature on election campaign strategies by studying the strategy adopted by the Liberal government in the 2000 Canadian federal election. Two questions are
Bears, Baby Carrots, and the Colbert Bump: An Analysis on Stephen Colbert's Use of Humor to Set the Public's Political Agenda
In recent years, political satire has risen in popularity and recognition as an effective means of transmitting political news to a younger generation of voters. This recent development brings forth


A Test of Media-Centered Agenda Setting: Newspaper Content and Public Interests in a Presidential Election
The conventional wisdom in political communications research is that the media play a dominant role in defining the agenda of elections. In Bernard Cohen's words, the media do not tell us what to
Dialogue in American Political Campaigns? An Examination of Issue Convergence in Candidate Television Advertising
The theory of issue ownership holds that competing candidates should avoid discussing many of the same issues during a campaign. In contrast, theories of democracy suggest that competitive elections
The Impact of News Media Favorability and Candidate Events in Presidential Campaigns
Although campaigns are the most obvious means by which American voters receive information about candidates and issues, there is strong resistance to the notion that they influence presidential
Priming the Vote: Campaign Effects in a U.S. Senate Election
A growing body of evidence suggests that campaigns affect voters by priming the criteria on which voters base their decisions. Yet virtually all of this work uses simulated campaign rhetoric and/or
Issue Convergence in Presidential Campaigns
AbstractThis effort seeks to expand our understanding of the supply-side of the campaign process by investigating how candidate competition for agenda control affects occurrences of issue convergence
Interpretations of electoral campaigns have pointed to two mutually exclusive strategies: candidates are expected to focus either on policy issues or on personal image. We argue, however, that social
Crosstalk: Citizens, Candidates, and the Media in a Presidential Campaign
This analysis of the 1992 US presidential campaign looks at how citizens use information in the media to make their voting decisions and how politicians and the media interact to shape that
Front-Page News and Real-World Cues: A New Look at Agenda-Setting by the Media
Research on the agenda-setting role of the news media has often been guided by a rather narrow conception of how media content affects members of the public. In particular, reliance on a
Issue Ownership in Presidential Elections, with a 1980 Case Study
Theory: This paper develops and applies an issue ownership theory of voting that emphasizes the role of campaigns in setting the criteria for voters to choose between candidates. It expects
The Responsive Voter: Campaign Information and the Dynamics of Candidate Evaluation
We find strong support for an on-line model of the candidate evaluation process that in contrast to memory-based models shows that citizens are responsive to campaign information, adjusting their