SAGE Journal Articles and Readings

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SAGE Journal Articles


Article 1: Abbe, O. G., Goodliffe, J., Herrnson, P. S., and Patterson, K. D. (December 2003). Agenda Setting in Congressional Elections: The Impact of Issues and Campaigns on Voting Behavior. Political Research Quarterly56(4). 419-430.

This article extends recent research on issue voting and campaign agenda setting to voting decisions in congressional elections. Using a unique data set from 1998, the authors study  the impact of campaign-specific variables on citizens voting decisions, while controlling for relevant attitudinal and demographic factors. The findings show that when a candidate and voter agree on what is the most important issue in the election, the voter is more likely to vote for that candidate if that candidate’s party “owns” the issue.

Questions to Consider:
  1. What conditions are necessary for issue voting?
  2. What theories link voting behaviors and issues?
  3. What is the importance of an agenda in a campaign?

Learning objective: Identify four factors that influence voters decisions; Analyze the reasons why Americans vote or don’t vote


Article 2: Schill, D., and Krik, R. (October 2013). Courting the Swing Voter: ''Real Time'' Insights Into the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Presidential Debates. American Behavioral Scientist 58(4), 536-555.

This article reports the findings of an analysis of undecided swing state voters during the presidential debates of the 2008 and 2012 elections. The authors found that presidential debates are in fact capable of influencing undecided voters impressions of the candidates.

Questions to Consider:
  1. What are the characteristics of an undecided voter?
  2. What is the traditional campaign model and how do swing voters fit into that model?
  3. What are the limitations to the authors’ study?

Learning objective: Analyze the reasons why Americans vote or don’t vote; Identify four factors that influence voters decisions; Describe the organizational and strategic tactics involved in presidential campaigns


Article 3: Windett, J. H. (July 2014). Gendered Campaign Strategies in U.S. Elections. American Politics Research42(4). 628-655.

This article discusses the impact of gender on gubernatorial and senate candidate’s issues prioritization. The author argues that women running for statewide office prefer to play against gender stereotypes in their issue priorities. Women will only run a gendered campaign in response to male candidates who do it first. 

Questions to Consider:
  1. What are the two options that women generally have when framing their issues?
  2. What is the author’s fundamental conclusion? Do gender and context matter?

Learning objective: Explain the function of elections, both as intended by the founders and in practice.


Article 4: Bor, S. E. (August 2014). Using Social Network Sites to Improve Communication Between Political Campaigns and Citizens in the 2012 Election. American Behavioral Scientist 58(9). 1195-1213.

This article discusses the use of social networks sites during the 2012 campaigns and the lack of research available in the field that examines the complex relationship between campaigns and social networks. The author’s analysis found that social networking sites were used to improve the effectiveness of the campaigns message and to generate online engagement.

Questions to Consider:
  1. What is digital democracy?
  2. What are the five major contextual properties of social networks as discussed by Boyd (2008)?
  3. What is the future of social networking sites and campaigns? Do you foresee an increase in the use of social media?

Learning objective: Analyze the reasons why Americans vote or don't vote


CQ Researcher

Learning objective: Summarize the importance of elections for citizens