Date Approved

6-30-2004

Embargo Period

4-20-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Fulginiti, Anthony

Subject(s)

Campaign debates--United States; Communication in politics--United States; Debates and debating; Television in politics--United States

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The goal of this study is to examine the effects of certain predetermined debate styles on television viewing audiences. The study used three separate gubernatorial debates with identical questionnaires attached to determine the behavioral traits viewers found most appealing in state level political candidates during organized, televised events. The author acknowledges that many studies of this nature are conducted on the national level. The author chose to analyze the same type of material on a lower level of government to determine what potential voters find appealing in state level potential elected officials. The study places the two selected candidates in competition with each other to allow study participants to select a final "winner" based on the areas asked to analyze. The study focused on external characteristics and personality traits only. This study has no political basis. The study is intended to serve as tool to future state level political candidates. It will describe and explain the platform presentation, attitude, and skills of political candidates potential voters support, with no interference from political platforms and policies.

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