Citizens are exposed to a great deal of information during election campaigns, much of which takes the form of cues about candidates' positions on issues. This research examines how citizens respond to information cues embedded in negative messages made by candidates about their opponents. Specifically, I examine how such cues influence citizens' views of both the target and the sponsor of the attack. Data from a survey experiment show that citizens use these cues in two ways: (1) they assess the target of the message as holding more extreme ideological positions than the ones the attacker actually espouses; while (2) their assessments of the attack's sponsor shift in the opposite direction.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Public Opinion Quarterly|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2014|