We review recent empirical evidence that shows political campaigns are more potent than widely believed, focusing on the conceptual and methodological advances that have produced these findings. Conceptually, a broader definition of effects—that includes learning and agenda-control, as well as vote choice—characterizes contemporary research. This research also features two kinds of interactive models that are more complex than the traditional hypodermic (message-based) approach. The resonance model considers the relationship between message content and receivers’ predispositions, while the strategic model highlights the interactions between competing messages. Finally, we attribute the emergence of stronger evidence in favor of campaign effects to the use of new methodologies including experimentation and content analysis, as well as the more sophisticated use of sample surveys.

Keyword(s): campaignselectionspoliticsreview

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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