Issue Ownership, Issue Positions, and Candidate Assessment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


I argue that citizens alter their views of candidates’ ideological and issue positions in response to two kinds of information cues: issue ownership and issue position cues. Issue ownership cues associate a candidate with the party that owns the issue discussed by a candidate. Issue position cues associate a candidate with the party that is linked to the position that the candidate discusses. These cues can either lead citizens to view the candidate as more or less extreme—both in terms of ideological and issue position assessments—than that candidate’s party. When both types of cues are present, citizens should ignore the issue ownership cues in favor of the easier-to-process issue position cues. Evidence from a survey experiment embedded in the 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study provides strong support for this theory and suggests that issue ownership can convey positional information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-666
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Campaigns
  • information cues
  • issue ownership
  • parties
  • political messaging


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