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Political Science

Jonathan Mummolo

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How Local News Shapes Evaluations of Politician Performance
2014 CSS Fellowship

In collaboration with Erik Peterson.

Democratic accountability requires voters to evaluate elected officials based on their performance in office, however, media reports may cause voters to obtain an unrepresentative view of what political figures have accomplished. If incumbents set the terms of coverage, the media may serve their interests rather than those of voters.

This project will use computational methods to examine the media's role in performance voting in gubernatorial elections across several issue domains: the economy, crime and education. Using a dataset which combines gubernatorial press releases and text from local newspaper articles spanning roughly a decade, this project will examine how the interplay between governors and journalists produces news and, in turn, how this coverage alters public opinion.