Gadarian Featured in Newsweek Article on Voters, Media Coverage of Major Issues
October 19, 2022
Shana Kushner Gadarian
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll taken less than a month before midterm elections, voters ranked climate change as their least important issue, but that could be because it was taken before Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida. Voters were asked about other issues, including abortion, immigration, crime, education, inflation and the economy.
Shana Gadarian, Merle Goldberg Fabian Professor of Excellence in Citizenship and Critical Thinking, says that polls often reflect an issue people glean as important if it receives mass media coverage.
"It tends to be the case that salient issues or the issues that have been most recently in the news are the ones that get reflected in those 'most important problem' questions depending on the timing of the poll," says Gadarian.
"Climate is one of those issues for a lot of people that has high saliency to them," Gadarian says. "But for most voters, it is only salient when they are seeing the effects of climate change connected explicitly to a hurricane or heat wave, and the reports are saying 'this is definitely a result of climate change.'"
Read more in the Newsweek article, "Voters Likely Swayed by Media Coverage on Major Issues: Politics Expert."
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