July 27, 2000

A Question of Character

Sources and Evidence

Usually, different news sources came with different kinds of evidence. Outside experts were more likely to offer some proof for the claims (92% versus 81% overall) and to base their proof on the candidate's public record (43% versus 31% overall).

Journalists on the other hand, referred to the public record just 28% of the time and offered no evidence 22% of time.

The candidates were the next most likely source to offer evidence (83%) and in doing so, referred to the public record (36%).

 

Evidence Used by the Various Sources
 

Journalist
   (n=661)  
Candidate
   (n=329) 
Surrogate
   (n=160) 
Expert
    (n=73) 
Voter
    (n=45) 
Other Media
(n=38)
Other
    (n=24)  
Voter interaction 3% 1% 6% 2 16% 0% 17%
Public record 28 36 28 43 20 16 29
Recent remarks 7 9 3 1 2 13 4
Camp. platform 8 13 9 8 5 0 0
Tactics /rhetoric 14 10 8 23 13 3 17
Opponent attack 6 10 16 4 2 3 0
Friends' remarks 2 0 3 0 0 3 4
Past personal life 3 1 2 0 2 13 13
Poll 2 0 1 3 2 6 8
Other media 2 * 1 0 0 0 0
Other 3 3 6 8 2 6 4
 
No evidence 22 17 17 8 36 37 4
 
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100