Article in Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (Vol. 19, Issue 4, pages 359–376). Awarded best paper of 2009.
This paper explores the relationship between campaign news and vote intentions, drawing on manual content analyses from the 2004 and 2006 Canadian federal elections. The content analysis is designed to capture, among other items, the ‘tone’ of coverage for parties and leaders. Combining time series of ‘tone’ and commercial polling results, econometric methods are then used to build a model of vote intentions. Media content appears to explain a good deal of the over‐time variance in vote intentions. Results are discussed as they pertain to two versions of the media‐opinion relationship: (1) media content captures and arranges in a readily quantifiable form the evolving mood of the campaign, or (2) media do not simply reflect, but affect vote intentions.