Journal Article

MEDIA COVERAGE AND THE FLOW OF VOTERS IN MULTIPARTY SYSTEMS: THE 1994 NATIONAL ELECTIONS IN HOLLAND AND GERMANY<sup>*</sup>

Fan Kleinnijenhuis and David P. Fan

in International Journal of Public Opinion Research

Published on behalf of World Association for Public Opinion Research

Volume 11, issue 3, pages 233-256
Published in print January 1999 | ISSN: 0954-2892
Published online January 1999 | e-ISSN: 1471-6909 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ijpor/11.3.233
MEDIA COVERAGE AND THE FLOW OF VOTERS IN MULTIPARTY SYSTEMS: THE 1994 NATIONAL ELECTIONS IN HOLLAND AND GERMANY*

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  • Communication Studies
  • Marketing
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  • Political Behaviour
  • Social Research and Statistics

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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 indecisionmodel 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.

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Subjects: Communication Studies ; Marketing ; Media and Communication ; Political Behaviour ; Social Research and Statistics

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