It is conventional wisdom in politics to believe that press coverage is beneficial. However, forms of press coverage are not created equal. Specifically, we argue that national media prominence is not inherently beneficial and can be detrimental to members of Congress. Using a measure of national prominence based on the number of national television appearances of House incumbents, this study finds national prominence was generally not a significant positive factor in incumbent popularity from 1982 to 1988. Moreover, after the anti-Washington, anti-incumbent mood burgeoned in the interim, national prominence became an important factor for incumbents, such that those who were more prominent in the elections of 1990–1996 were penalized.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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