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Comparing Negative and Positive Campaign Messages

Abstract : Considerable research indicates that personal contact from political campaigns can mobilize people to vote, but little attention has been given to whether the tone of the message matters. Studies of message tone have mostly been confined to mass media campaigns and ignored the growing role grassroots techniques play in contemporary political campaigns. Two randomized field experiments were conducted to determine the importance of message tone in grassroots contact. We find evidence that personally delivered messages can be effective at influencing voting preferences, but neither experiment uncovered a systematic difference between the effects of negative and positive messages on voter turnout or political attitudes.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 8, 2022 - 12:06:45 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 9, 2022 - 3:31:25 AM

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Kevin Arceneaux, David Nickerson. Comparing Negative and Positive Campaign Messages. American Politics Research, SAGE Publications, 2010, 38 (1), pp.54-83. ⟨10.1177/1532673X09331613⟩. ⟨hal-03635193⟩

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