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Taking Aim at Attack Advertising – Understanding the Impact of Negative Campaigning in U.S. Senate Races - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Taking Aim at Attack Advertising: Understanding the Impact of Negative Campaigning in U.S. Senate Races

Kim Fridkin and Patrick Kenney


This book develops and tests the “tolerance and tactics theory of negativity.” The theory argues that citizens differ in their tolerance of negative campaigning. Also, candidates vary in the tactics used to attack their opponents, with negative messages varying in their relevance to voters and in the civility of their tone. The interplay between citizens’ tolerance of negativity and candidates’ negative messages helps clarify when negative campaigning will influence citizens’ evaluations of candidates and their likelihood of voting. A diverse set of data sources was collected from U.S. Senate ... More

Keywords: negative campaigning, tolerance of negativity, relevance, civility, tolerance and tactics, turnout, candidate evaluation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190947569
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190947569.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kim Fridkin, author
Professor of Political Science, Arizona State University

Patrick Kenney, author
Dean and Foundation Professor of Political Sciene, Arizona State University

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