This article takes a talk-centered perspective on a mediated presidential campaign. It argues that election campaigns can be conceived of as collective deliberations and that informal political talk during a campaign may be examined as an analytical category in its own right. Analyzing the National Election Study 2000 panel data (n = 1,555), this article shows that political talk during the campaign was prevalent. Both the likelihood and frequency of engaging in political talk during the campaign were related to individuals' propensity to participate in public life and resulted from individuals' ideological intensity and interest in the campaign. The campaign also stimulated such political talk through individuals' exposure to campaign messages and other-initiated campaign contacts. General news media uses contributed to more political talk and campaign participation indirectly by increasing the frequency of exposure to campaign messages on media. Theoretical implications for the research on political campaigns in particular and media effects in general are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language