Media coverage and the flow of voters in multiparty systems: The 1994 national elections in Holland and Germany

Jan Kleinnijenhuis, David P. Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Positive news is advantageous for a party, but the effects of negative news are less obvious, especially in a multiparty system. One possibility is an indecision model in which negative information would push voters to the undecided category. An alternative is a proportional model in which voters would move to other parties in proportion to their share of the vote. A third scenario would correspond to a proximity model in which the shift would be to parties holding viewpoints similar to those of the criticized party. The three models were tested using the ideodynamic model or the 1994 elections in the Netherlands and Germany. The explanatory variables were content analysis data obtained daily for major print and electronic news media. The dependent variable was weekly survey data of party preferences of voters. The analysis showed the proportional model to be the least plausible with the proximity model being promising. Campaign strategists starting from the proximity model will both promote negative news about other parties and adopt their issue positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-255
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

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