The view of image as a transaction between what candidates say and do and the way in which voters compare that behavior to their beliefs of what candidates should be or do stimulates three critical questions important to political communication. First, although the power of the media to affect the outcome of political campaigns and candidates is believed by citizens and has been documented by researchers, do the views of individual members of the media regarding the ideal qualities required of presidential candidates differ significantly from those of the voters? Second, do the criteria of the "ideal presidential candidate" vary across elections? And finally, do the evaluative dimensions of idealness differ by party affiliation, age, or gender? The answers to these and related questions were determined from a survey of 562 journalists covering, and 1,246 citizens attending, political rallies in New Hampshire during the presidential primaries of 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)