“Local Television News & Accountability,” Daniel Moskowitz, University of Chicago
AMERICAN POLITICS & PUBLIC POLICY WORKSHOP
Abstract: While previous research has found that voters tend to punish incumbents who exhibit extremism, the mechanism through which voters learn incumbent ideology is mostly speculative and understudied. I leverage the geography of media markets to assess whether greater exposure to relevant local news coverage enables voters to reward and punish Senate incumbents based on the extremity of their roll-call voting. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that voters infer incumbent ideology from news coverage and utilize this information in their vote choice: in-state television provides moderate incumbent senators with an electoral boost, while extreme senators experience an electoral penalty.
Daniel Moskowitz is an Assistant Professor in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. His research examines how the media and electoral institutions shape the behavior of voters and elite actors, and it assesses the consequences of these institutions on accountability and political representation. In particular, he studies electoral politics, redistricting, media and politics, partisan polarization, the U.S. Congress, and political parties.
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