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The moderating role of identification and campaign exposure in party cueing effects

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In a democracy, citizens are expected to have political opinions. Previous research has shown that citizens, in part, form their opinions by following cues from political parties. Building on this literature, this article argues that these cueing effects are the result of individuals identifying with political parties, leading to parties as credible sources and alignment of attitudes to maintain in-group coherence (motivated reasoning). However, party cues can only be successful when individuals are actually exposed to these cues, which previous research has not explicitly studied. Using survey data (N = 20,893) collected from 21 EU member states, this study shows that cueing effects indeed depend on the strength of party identification and the degree of exposure. These results demonstrate the contingent nature of party cueing effects which are also changing as party loyalties decrease.
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Keywords: Public opinion; identities; party cues; political behaviour; quantitative survey

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: March 4, 2018

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