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News consumption and the 2012 presidential election

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News consumption and the 2012 presidential election

  1. 1. News Consumption and the 2012 Presidential Election Brad Forsythe Communication 9520 Seminar in Media Effects
  2. 2. AIM & SIGNIFICANCE • The aim of this research project is to determine if media news consumption impacted voting behavior in the 2012 presidential election. Did those who consumed more news vote at higher rates? If it did, did news consumption have a role in deciding which presidential candidate a voter supported? • Previous research has found news exposure has an effect on political behavior. But, what role did the media play in 2012? This study is significant because it examines how media consumption and potential bias affected voting behavior and possibly the outcome of the 2012 presidential election.
  3. 3. PEW RESEARCH STUDY • http://www.journalism.org/2012/11/02/winni ng-media-campaign-2012/
  4. 4. LITERATURE REVIEW • Aquino et al. (2009) & Latimer & Cotter (1985) found news consumption is a significant predictor of voting. • Eveland & Scheufele (2000) found news consumption shrinks the “knowledge gap” between those with high & low levels of education. • Shaw (1999) found that media bias does have an impact on voter preferences.
  5. 5. HYPOTHESES & DESIGN • H1: The more exposure one had to news sources during the 2012 campaign, the more likely he or she voted in the election, controlling for partisanship and demographics. • H2: Given Shaw’s (1999) research, as well as the Pew findings of a slight pro-Obama media bias in 2012, increasing media exposure should slightly increase the likelihood of an Obama vote. • I test these hypotheses using data from the 2012 American National Election Studies survey. • Using binary logistic regression, I test the media’s impact on voting behavior in 2012.
  6. 6. H1: FINDINGS Independent Variables B S.E. Party Identification Ideology Race Age Religiosity Education Income Gender # of Children in Home .006 -.077 .303 -.120 .101 -.575 -.187 -.191 -.007 .045 .027 .202 .026 .068 .096 .05 .171 .086 .886 .005** .133 .000*** .138 .000*** .000*** .265 .933 1.006 .926 1.354 .887 1.106 .563 .829 .826 .993 Internet News Use Television News Use Newspaper Use Radio News Use -.098 -.100 .018 -.130 .039 .034 .037 .034 .011* .003** .622 .000*** .906 .904 1.018 .878 Interaction Term: Age * Internet Use .017 .007 .012* 1.017 Pseudo R2 = .26 N=1197 -2 Log Likelihood= 923.273 Significance *p< .05 **p< .01 ***p< .001 Exp(B)
  7. 7. H2: FINDINGS Independent Variables B S.E. Party Identification Ideology Race Age Religiosity Education Income 1.070 .152 1.693 .099 -.249 -.073 .019 .077 .047 .307 .039 .105 .126 .068 .000*** .001*** .000*** .011* .018* .563 .774 2.916 1.164 5.436 1.104 .780 .930 1.020 Gender # of Children in Home -.347 .504 .251 .136 .166 .000*** .707 1.656 Internet News Use Television News Use Newspaper Use Radio News Use -.173 .046 -.136 -.069 .052 .049 .05 .044 .001*** .351 .006** .118 .841 1.047 .873 .933 Interaction Term: Age * Internet Use .006 .009 .479 1.006 Pseudo R2= .75 N=894 -2 Log Likelihood=494.686 Significance *p< .05 **p< .01 ***p< .001 Exp(B)
  8. 8. CONCLUSION & IMPLICATIONS • I found statistical evidence that supports both H1 and H2 to varying degrees. • The more people utilized internet, television, and radio news in 2012, the more likely they were to vote, controlling for partisanship and demographics. • The more people used the internet and print sources for news in 2012, the more likely they were to support Barack Obama for president, with the same control variables used to test H1. • These findings add to the previous literature on how news exposure and coverage impacts political behavior and potentially election outcomes.

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