Media Influence in Determining Voter Behavior
Analysis of the effects that the media have on elections in Germany and the UK.
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This paper examines the direct effects that the media have on voter preference. The author focuses on the media coverage and political campaigning strategies in Great Britain and Germany, evaluating media coverage of the previous two national elections in both states, and examining press media coverage of campaigning and the overall effect it plays in the election process.
“Once voter interest is obtained, appealing political media images are a good and often successful means of influencing the popular vote. As one-third of voters know nothing about particular politicians yet still hold strong emotions toward them, the voter attitude toward candidates and political parties is a good predictor of voter decisions. Various studies establish the ability of the political advertisements to lodge in viewer minds elements by which politicians can be judged, furthermore; political advertising can provide voters with specific image characteristics of candidates that relate to voter choice. Cwalina, Falkowski, & Kaid concluded political advertising can possibly affect voters in three ways: 1) Advertisements can strengthen already existing voter preferences; 2) Advertisements can weaken existing preferences of uncertain voters and may cause change of such preferences; 3) Advertisements can re-create the image of the candidate.”