News Verdicts, the Debates, and Presidential Campaigns

Synopsis

The most definitive report ever on verdict effects, this book gives striking new evidence that media assessments of presidential debates sway voters. The authors conducted 2,350 surveys and extensive analysis of news reports to scrutinize the post-debate news of 1988. They also examined the effects of the "attack ads" used by Bush and Dukakis. They found that the news media consistently downplay debate content and instead emphasize their own views on candidate performance--media verdicts influence voters as much as the debates themselves.