The Effects of Presidential Debates and the Media on Character Perception

Open Access
Kashubski, Sarah Marie
Area of Honors:
Political Science
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Michael Barth Berkman, Thesis Supervisor
  • Eric Plutzer, Faculty Reader
  • Michael Barth Berkman, Honors Advisor
  • presidential debates
  • 2004 campaign
  • media
  • character perception
This thesis examines the effects of the presidential debates and media on character perception in the 2004 presidential campaign. Through an analysis of National Annenberg Election Survey Debates Panel data, debates were found to matter more than network news, cable news, and newspapers. Network news was shown to affect character perception, while cable news and newspapers held no influence. Talk radio affects character perception more than the debates.