SAGE Journal Articles
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Journal Article 11: 1: Udani, A., Kimball, D. C., & Fogarty, B. (2018). How Local Media Coverage of Voter Fraud Influences Partisan Perceptions in the United States. State Politics & Policy Quarterly, 18(2), 193–210.
Abstract: Extant findings show that voter fraud is extremely rare and difficult to prove in the United States. Voter’s knowledge about voter fraud allegations likely comes through the media, who tend to sensationalize the issue. In this study, we argue that the more voters are exposed to media coverage of voter fraud allegations, the more likely that they will perceive that voter fraud is a frequent problem. We merge the 2012 Survey of Performance of American Elections with state-level media coverage of voter fraud leading up to the 2012 election. Our results show that media coverage of voter fraud is associated with public beliefs about voter fraud. In states where fraud was more frequently featured in local media outlets, public concerns about voter fraud were heightened. In particular, we find that press attention to voter fraud has a larger influence on Republicans than Democrats and Independents. We further find that media coverage of voter fraud does not further polarize partisan perceptions of voter fraud. Rather, political interest moderates state media coverage on voter fraud beliefs only among Republicans. Last, our results provide no support that demographic changes, approval of election administration, or information concerning actual reported voting irregularities have any discernable effects on partisan perceptions.
Abstract: This essay reports the results of an analysis of undecided swing state voters during the six presidential debates of the 2008 and 2012 elections. Combining Real Time Response with a pretest-posttest design, the researchers identify the overall impact of the debates on undecided voters, both successful and unsuccessful message strategies, and changes in the overall perception of the candidates.
Abstract: This research examines the impact of gender on gubernatorial and senate candidates’ issue prioritization. I argue that women running for statewide office prefer to play against gender stereotypes in their issue priorities at the outset of their campaigns, so they do not appear as a strictly “female” candidate. Instead, women will only run a “gendered campaign” in response to male candidates doing so first. I put forth a dynamic theory of gendered interaction that asserts that male candidates facing female opponents will attempt to force women to campaign on stereotypical “feminine issues.” The campaign interaction between male and female candidates for office puts women in a precarious situation in which they must decide whether to respond to their male opponent or continue their “masculine” campaign strategy. I demonstrate that the gender of candidates directly influences the types of issues and strategies that each candidate pursues on the campaign trail.
Abstract: Recently released data from the 2016 American National Election Study allow us to offer a multifaceted profile of white voters who voted for Donald J. Trump in the 2016 presidential election. We find that Trump’s supporters voted for him mainly because they share his prejudices, not because they’re financially stressed. It’s true, as exit polls showed, that voters without four-year college degrees were likelier than average to support Trump. But millions of these voters—who are often stereotyped as “the white working class”—opposed Trump because they oppose his prejudices. These prejudices, meanwhile, have a definite structure, which we argue should be called authoritarian: negatively, they target minorities and women; and positively, they favor domineering and intolerant leaders who are uninhibited about their biases. Multivariate logistic regression shows that, once we take these biases into account, demographic factors (age, education, etc.) lose their explanatory power. The electorate, in short, is deeply divided. Nearly 75% of Trump supporters count themselves among his enthusiastic supporters, and even “mild” Trump voters are much closer in their attitudes to Trump’s enthusiasts than they are to non-Trump voters. Polarization is profound, and may be growing.