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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents an overview of research on horse-race journalism and its various wide-ranging effects. The impact of polls on political processes remains poorly understood and relatively understudied in political communication in part due to limited agreement on the nature of the relevant terms and theories. The first part of the chapter examines definitions of horse-race journalism and related concepts such as game-framing and public opinion journalism. It goes on to discuss research concerning the ostensible electoral impacts of such reporting on turnout and vote choice and then examines related work on the effects of horse-race journalism on other forms of political participation and attitudes about politics. The chapter concludes with a series of recommendations for future research in this area.

Keywords: news media, poll results, news narrative, horse-race journalism, game-framing, public opinion, political participation, bandwagon effects

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