Thesis Title

Television Media Coverage and Voter Turnout: Evidence From 2018 Iowa Congressional Districts

Major Department



College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BS (Bachelor of Science)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2019

Honors Major Advisor

Jennifer Fuhrman

Thesis Mentor

John Solow


I estimate the impact of relevant television media coverage of a congressional race on voter turnout. I exploit

exogenous variation in levels of coverage around the borders of Designated Marketing Areas. In particular, I compare

voter turnout in precincts that fall in the same congressional districts but different media markets, and thus are exposed

to different television media leading up to election day. I find a substantial positive impact of relevant political

coverage equal to 2.9 percentage points of additional voter turnout. I suggest possible causes for this effect, including

news coverage and advertising effects, and consider the limitations of my results. I also propose how my methodology

may be adapted to answer questions about media bias and election outcomes.


economics, political science, elections, voter turnout, media, advertising

Total Pages



Copyright © 2019 Cassidy Shubatt

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