Effect of political branding on electoral success
Gangloff, Audrey Anne
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It is assumed that a valuable political brand directly translates into the ability of a party to gain or sustain electoral votes. However, very little empirical research has been done that investigates whether that is true. The purpose of this study is to further explore the composition of politicians’ brands and the relationship between political brands and electoral votes. The following study uses quantitative content analysis to test the relationship between the components of Speed, Butler and Collins’ (2015) political human brand model and electoral success for 2016 U.S. Senate candidates. This research is the first to systematically explore the relationship between brand strength and, specifically, the strength of specific brand components (authenticity and authority) and electoral success within the unique context of a political environment. There is no statistically significant support for the hypotheses in this study. However, several observations were made that suggest there may indeed be a relationship between brand strength and electoral success. This research adds to the existing body of knowledge regarding factors that may, or may not, influence electoral success. It should serve as a starting point for further clarifying the definitional components of political brands as well as the process of quantifying them in order to concretely determine how much of an effect branding has in political environments.