Political Knowledge and the Campaign Media of 1992

Steven H. Chaffee, Xinshu ZHAO, Glenn Leshner

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

190 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of various mass media on political learning during the 1992 presidential campaign are examined via analyses of two voter surveys conducted in different states. Three indicators of political knowledge are compared: differences on issues between parties (Republican vs. Democratic), differences on issues among candidates (Bush vs. Clinton vs. Perot), and personal knowledge about the candidates (Bush, Clinton, and Perot). Campaign media, including both news coverage and special events (conventions, debates), added significantly to the prediction of both kinds of knowledge about the candidates, even after controlling for major demographic variables and for habitual uses of news media. Of the new forms of media campaigning that became prominent in 1992, at least the interview / talk show format apparently added to voter learning about candidates. Television sources of various types tended to contribute more to learning about the candidates, whereas the newspaper was the medium more associated with knowledge of policy differences between the two major parties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-324
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1994

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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