Master's Theses


Communication Studies

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Negative campaign strategies as a method of communicating with potential voters have been addressed in previous studies. The background information for this study was gathered using categories of information relating to communication theories, media influence, and candidate input as they pertained to the types of campaign strategies. Skaperdas and Grofman (1995) examined several scenarios in which the use of negative campaign strategies was considered to be effective. The study sought to narrow the study of negative campaign strategies by analyzing a series of television advertisements run by major party candidates from the 1992 through the 2004 presidential election. The ads were obtained through the "Living Room Candidate" (LRC) website and involved using two coders and very specific criteria. The responsibility of the coders was to analyze the advertisement using Functional Theory, Politeness Theory, and Dynamic Social Impact Theory and determine whether the ad would be considered negative. The conclusions reached about each collective ad by the two coders were then pooled together to make comparison, and draw conclusions based upon recent trends in how negative advertisements have been employed by presidential candidates. The results of the study based upon the advertisements available on the LRC website suggest a decline in the overall me of negative advertisements in recent campaigns. The outcome of the study also seems to confirm that the use of negative advertisements during recent presidential campaigns is strongly related to each of these communication theories.


Carolyn Sue Strohkirch

Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© The Author(s)


For questions contact

Off Campus FHSU Users Click Here