Media Predictors during the 2012 Presidential Election: Political Understanding, Discussion and Candidate Likeability

Thomas P. Boyle


This study examined the influence of traditional and online media variables on political understanding, discussion and likeability of the major 2012 U.S. presidential candidates. Political information seeking on web sites and blogs contributed to confidence in understanding political issues but not for reducing the complexity of government. All three online sources studied predicted increased interpersonal communication about politics, as did viewing television news and listening to radio news. Almost all of the media variables influenced evaluations of the major party candidates with some reducing positive evaluations and others increasing them. Exposure to radio news was a consistent predictor but varied based on measurement and candidate. Future studies should consider greater complexity of measures to consider type of discussion and social media.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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