Cost of ruling as a game of tones: The accumulation of bad news and incumbents’ vote loss
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionThesen, G., Mortensen, P.B., Green-Pedersen, C. (2019) Cost of ruling as a game of tones: The accumulation of bad news and incumbents’ vote loss. European Journal of Political Research. 59(3), pp. 555-577. 10.1111/1475-6765.12367
An extensive body of research documents how governing parties generally suffer electoral defeats. Varying explanations have been offered, most of which touch upon the liabilities of policy responsibility. Although media coverage is generally acknowledged as one of these liabilities, few empirical studies have examined how news content affect government support. Based on the fact that voters get their information about politics, policies and societal issues from the media, this article studies how the constant stream of negative news influences incumbent support over a 20‐year period in Denmark. Modeling a previously untested argument on the cost of ruling, it shows that the accumulation of bad news throughout tenure exerts a substantial effect on government support.