Evaluating measures of campaign tone

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Much recent research has examined campaign tone - how positive or negative a campaign is - and its influence on a variety of political behaviors, including voter turnout. Yet there is little research testing the validity of these measures. Does the tone of candidate advertising, for example, reflect the tone of media coverage of a campaign? In this article, we evaluate several methods of assessing tone, focusing specifically on U.S. Senate races from 1998-2002. We find that several of the measures are closely related, and one's substantive findings are seldom altered by substituting one measure for another. Thus, theory and matters of practicality should guide one's choice of tone measures. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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