Several Latin American countries have experienced the emergence of neopopulist politicians who eschew ties to traditional parties and orient their campaigns toward the atomized poor. This article examines the role of television in the electoral success of these politicians. Using survey data, I assess the impact of television exposure on vote choice in the 1989 election of Fernando Collor de Mello in Brazil, the 2000 election of Alberto Fujimori in Peru, and the 2001 election of Alejandro Toledo in Peru. These cases achieve variation on two predictors of media effects: the presence of a neopopulist outsider and biased television coverage of the campaign. Statistical analysis confirms our theoretical expectations of media effects in the first two elections (where coverage was biased) but not in the third. These findings suggest that bias is the more reliable predictor of television's impact on Latin American presidential elections, rather than the presence of a neopopulist candidate.


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pp. 27-49
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