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In Choices in a Chaotic Campaign, Kim Fridkin and Patrick Kenney explore the dynamic nature of citizens' beliefs and behaviors in response to the historic 2020 presidential campaign. In today's political environment where citizens can effortlessly gather information, it is important to move beyond standard political characteristics and consider the impact of pre-existing psychological predispositions. Fridkin and Kenney argue these predispositions influence assessments of campaign events and issues, and ultimately alter citizens' voting decisions. The book relies on data from an original three-wave panel study of over 4,000 people interviewed in September, October, and immediately after Election Day in November 2020. The timing of the surveys provides the analytical leverage to explore how views of the campaign alter citizens' impressions of the candidates. The book demonstrates that expanding the relevant citizen characteristics to include psychological predispositions increases our ability to understand how campaigns influence voters' decisions at the ballot box.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to global shortages of N95 respirators. Reprocessing of used N95 respirators may provide a higher filtration crisis alternative, but whether effective sterilization can be achieved for a virus without impairing respirator function remains unknown. We evaluated the viricidal efficacy of Bioquell vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) on contaminated N95 respirators and tested the particulate particle penetration and inhalation and exhalation resistance of respirators after multiple cycles of VHP.
For this study, 3M 1870 N95 respirators were contaminated with 3 aerosolized bacteriophages: T1, T7, and Pseudomonas phage phi-6 followed by 1 cycle of VHP decontamination using a BQ-50 system. Additionally, new and unused respirators were sent to an independent laboratory for particulate filter penetration testing and inhalation and exhalation resistance after 3 and 5 cycles of VHP.
A single VHP cycle resulted in complete eradication of bacteriophage from respirators (limit of detection 10 PFU). Respirators showed acceptable limits for inhalation/exhalation resistance after 3 and 5 cycles of VHP. Respirators demonstrated a filtration efficiency >99 % after 3 cycles, but filtration efficiency fell below 95% after 5 cycles of HPV.
Bioquell VHP demonstrated high viricidal activity for N95 respirators inoculated with aerosolized bacteriophages. Bioquell technology can be scaled for simultaneous decontamination of a large number of used but otherwise intact respirators. Reprocessing should be limited to 3 cycles due to concerns both about impact of clinical wear and tear on fit, and to decrement in filtration after 3 cycles.
In this article, we rely on data from the 2006 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) to examine the impact of gender for U.S. senators running for reelection. We propose a theoretical explanation for why an incumbent's gender may influence how citizens evaluate senators, and we present empirical evidence showing that people develop distinct impressions of men and women senators during campaigns. In the 2006 election cycle, women senators were viewed more positively than their male counterparts. Some of the advantages women senators enjoyed were consistent with established gender stereotypes. In particular, women senators were viewed as more honest and more caring than male senators. Moreover, women senators were viewed as more competent at dealing with health-care issues. However, we did not find evidence for gender stereotypes that traditionally produce more positive views of male senators. For example, we did not find that male senators were viewed as stronger leaders or more experienced than women senators. People did not view male senators as better able to deal with economic issues.
Robert Jackson and Jason Sides (2005) conclude in their article, Revisiting the Influence of Campaign Tone on Turnout in Senate Elections, “We are hard-pressed to conclude that respondents' political profiles condition the influence of campaign tone on their turnout behavior.… Kahn and Kenney's conclusions about differential citizen responsiveness to campaign negativity should not become part of accepted wisdom in this area of scholarship.” We disagree and our reasoning rests on three points: the measurement and operationalization of a key variable: mudslinging; the selection of an appropriate estimation strategy; and the employment of theoretical expectations to make sense of the central findings.
One of the essential elements of an impartial press in the United States is the “wall of separation” between the editorial pages and the pages devoted to the news. While the political beliefs of newspaper owners and editors are clearly articulated on opinion pages, their views are not supposed to infiltrate the reporting of the news. The analyses presented in this paper raise questions about this claim. We examine newspaper coverage of more than 60 Senatorial campaigns across three election years and find that information on news pages is slanted in favor of the candidate endorsed on the newspaper's editorial page. We find that the coverage of incumbent Senators is most affected by the newspaper's endorsement decision. We explore the consequences of “slanted” news coverage by showing that voters evaluate endorsed candidates more favorably than candidates who fail to secure an editorial endorsement. The impact of the endorsement decision on voters' evaluations is most powerful in races receiving a great deal of press attention and among citizens who read their local newspaper on a daily basis.
Does negative campaigning influence the likelihood of voting in elections? Our study of U.S. Senate campaigns indicates the answer is “yes.” We find that people distinguish between useful negative information presented in an appropriate manner and irrelevant and harsh mudslinging. As the proportion of legitimate criticisms increases in campaigns, citizens become more likely to cast ballots. When campaigns degenerate into unsubstantiated and shrill attacks, voters tend to stay home. Finally, we find that individuals vary in their sensitivity to the tenor of campaigns. In particular, the tone is more consequential for independents, for those with less interest in politics, and for those with less knowledge about politics.
Recent research has altered our understanding of how voters select a candidate in U.S. presidential elections. Scholars have demonstrated empirically that issues, candidate personalities, candidate evaluations, and party identification interact in a dynamic simultaneous fashion to determine vote choice. Other researchers have shown that prenomination candidate preferences play an integral role in structuring the general election vote. We join together these two important trends to introduce and test a revised model of vote choice, using 1980 NES panel data. The results reconfirm that candidate selection is part of a dynamic simultaneous process and reveal for the first time that prenomination preferences are woven tightly into this causal web.