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Altering the Foundations of Support for the President Through Priming
Jon A. Krosnick and Donald R. Kinder
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 84, No. 2 (Jun., 1990), pp. 497-512
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1963531
Page Count: 16
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Political science, Public opinion, Presidential performance, Foreign affairs, Isolationism, Economic conditions, Citizenship, News media, Time series, Political elections
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The disclosure that high officials within the Reagan administration had covertly diverted to the Nicaraguan Contras funds obtained from the secret sale of weapons to Iran provides us with a splendid opportunity to examine how the foundations of popular support shift when dramatic events occur. According to our theory of priming, the more attention media pay to a particular domain--the more the public is primed with it--the more citizens will incorporate what they know about that domain into their overall judgment of the president. Data from the 1986 National Election Study confirm that intervention in Central America loomed larger in the public's assessment of President Reagan's performance after the Iran-Contra disclosure than before. Priming was most pronounced for aspects of public opinion most directly implicated by the news coverage, more apparent in political notices' judgments than political experts', and stronger in the evaluations of Reagan's overall performance than in assessments of his character.
The American Political Science Review © 1990 American Political Science Association