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Zerback, Thomas; Reinemann, Carsten and Nienierza, Angela (2015): Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? Factors Influencing Public Perceptions of Current Party Popularity and Electoral Expectations. In: International Journal of Press/Politics, Vol. 20, No. 4: pp. 458-477 [PDF, 173kB]


This study analyzes how perceptions of the popularity of political parties (i.e., the current opinion climate) and expectations about parties’ future electoral performance (i.e., the future opinion climate) are formed. Theoretically, the paper integrates research on the sources of public opinion perception and empirically draws on a representative survey carried out before the 2013 German federal election. We show that the perceived media slant and opinions perceived in one’s personal surroundings are closely related to perceptions of party popularity, whereas individual recall of poll results and personal opinions about the parties are not. However, poll results are shown to be the single most important predictor of expectations about the parties’ future electoral success.

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