In this paper, we examine whether or not representatives are successful at communicating their policy priorities to their constituents. We focus our attention on the campaign period because campaigns serve as the primary mechanism for communication between elected representatives and the represented. We examine 57 campaigns for the U.S. Senate between 1988 and 1992 and determine to what extent voters became aware of the specific messages articulated during the course of the campaigns. We find convincing evidence that when candidates and the news media focus on a particular issue (i.e., the economy, health care, environment, education), citizens are more likely to recognize the issue as a campaign theme.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science