Political Efficacy and the Use of Local and National News Media among Undecided Voters in a Swing State: A Study of General Population Voters and First-time College Student Voters
News media play a crucial role in democracy by serving as the watchdog of government and a distributor of political information and campaign messages to the general public. In the U.S., commercial media dominate the market, and they receive monetary support during the electoral campaign season via political advertising. In the 2012 presidential campaign, U.S. television media received 75% of the $1.1 billion dedicated to campaign advertising (Wilner, 2012). So much money is spent because the votes of undecided citizens in swing states are crucial to winning presidential elections. Most recently, the Democratic Party successfully targeted and won key swing states during the 2012 campaign, and helped Barack Obama secure a second term as president (The United States Study Center, 2012). This study examined the role of national and local news media in political decision-making and participation among undecided voters.