Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2016

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science and International Affairs

First Advisor

Murphy, Chad

Major or Concentration

Political Science


The media has been the prevalent source of political information to voters for decades. Meanwhile, negativity in the press has grown as reporters investigate political candidates and often criticize them to try to come up with attention-grabbing news stories. During this time of increasing negativity in the news, do political candidates running for office benefit from media coverage? It is important to determine whether the media has an effect on candidate popularity and if it influences voter opinion during election years. This paper describes the media's relationship with political candidates running for office and the power of the media in the electoral process. In order to test the media's effect on candidate popularity, this paper analyzes the 2012 and 2016 elections and the media's future implications on political candidates and elections in the upcoming years.