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Facing the Challenge of DemocracyExplorations in the Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Participation$
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Paul M. Sniderman and Benjamin Highton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151106.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Running to the Right

Running to the Right

Effects of Campaign Strategy on Mass Opinion and Behavior

(p.97) IV Running to the Right
Facing the Challenge of Democracy

Diana Mutz

Susanna Dilliplane

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the occasion of Republican John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential running mate because this event signaled to many voters an abrupt change in McCain's ideological position. In other words, Palin served as an exogenous shock, with the potential to “send a message” to the public about McCain's ideological stance. Using panel data from the 2008 National Annenberg Election Study (NAES), this chapter analyzes the extent to which Palin's selection altered perceptions of McCain's ideology; the extent to which the perceived ideological shift to the right benefited several election-related outcomes such as favorability toward McCain, vote preference, and turnout; and the extent to which the net impact of the shift helped or harmed his candidacy.

Keywords:   campaign strategy, mass opinion, John McCain, Sarah Palin, 2008 National Annenberg Election Study, NAES, vote preference, ideological shift, U.S. elections, political right

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