In this article, I argue that the national political environment can meaningfully affect variation in aggregate demand for partisan media. I focus on the relationship between the political context—namely, political advantage and disadvantage derived from elections—and media demand in the form of partisan newspaper circulations. Using a data set that characterizes the partisan slant of local newspapers and their circulation levels between 1932 and 2004, I find that when parties are electorally advantaged in presidential contests, demand for their affiliated newspapers decreases relative to demand for papers affiliated with disadvantaged parties. I uncover evidence of similar patterns in a case study of Florida newspapers, and I also compare the power of presidential versus congressional outcomes in shaping feelings of advantage and disadvantage. Taken together, these results provide evidence of a negative link between political advantage derived from presidential elections and the relative demand for partisan news.
Copyright © 2018 The University of Chicago Press. This article first appeared in The Journal of Politics 80:3 (2018), 845-859.
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Archer, Allison M. N. "Political Advantage, Disadvantage, and the Demand for Partisan News." The Journal of Politics 80, no. 3 (July 2018): 845-859.