Media and Communications Faculty Publications

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

Louisa Ha, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
Fang Wang, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
Ling Fang, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
Chen Yang, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
xiao hu, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
Fang Yang, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
Liu Yang, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
Ying Xu, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus

Abstract

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.