Congressional campaigns do not occur in isolation, but concurrently with many other races. What are the effects of overlapping campaigns for how people learn about congressional candidates? On one hand, intensely fought races on the same ballot may encourage people to extend interest to contemporaneous races. Alternatively, competing campaigns may distract voters and limit learning about down-ticket contests. Using American National Election Studies data from 1996 to 2002, I test the consequences of state level presidential, senatorial, and gubernatorial campaign intensity on citizen learning about congressional candidates. I find that while the local intensity of the presidential race has little effect on knowledge of House candidates, the intensity of the Senate race is positively associated with candidate recognition. These effects vary depending on the nature of the election, where House candidates benefit from intense Senate races on the ballot particularly in midterm election years.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 13, 2008
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