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Attack Advertising, the "White" Decision, and Voter Participation in State Supreme Court Elections

Melinda Gann Hall and Chris W. Bonneau
Political Research Quarterly
Vol. 66, No. 1 (MARCH 2013), pp. 115-126
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of the University of Utah
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23563593
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Attack Advertising, the "White" Decision, and Voter Participation in State Supreme Court Elections
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Abstract

This project evaluates whether televised attack advertising and less restrictive campaign speech codes brought about by Republican Party of Minnesota v. White (2002) have had adverse effects on citizen participation in state supreme court elections. The authors' specific focus is on partisan and nonpartisan races from 2002 through 2006. Overall, they find that attack ads and liberalized speech codes actually mobilize rather than demobilize the electorate. These findings highlight the striking similarities between supreme court elections and elections to other important offices. These results also raise questions about the validity of normative accounts of the relationship between citizens and the bench.

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