Newspaper Content and its Impact on Attitudes toward a Counter-Stereotypical Candidate: An Analysis of the 2006 Ohio Gubernatorial Election
Advisor:Eveland, William, Jr.
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. School of Communication Honors Theses; 2008
Voter attitudes toward political candidates have been shown to be influenced by several dynamics within campaigns; however, the plausibility of race influencing attitudes has rarely been studied, particularly when considering opinions toward a counter-stereotypical candidate. This project studies the 2006 Ohio Gubernatorial General Election and attempts to determine a connection between newspaper content emphasizing the race of the Black-Republican candidate, Ken Blackwell, and the positive or negative attitudes of Ohioans toward this counter-stereotypical candidate. Through a content analysis of both rural and urban Ohio newspapers, it was determined that the race of the minority candidate was emphasized more often than the race of his Caucasian counterpart; however, the comparison of this data to public opinion data concluded that the presence of more race mentions did not have a significant effect on attitudes toward the counter-stereotypical candidate. These results suggest that further research be conducted in this area, specifically for lesser-known counter-stereotypical candidates and candidates of other minority groups.
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