HPU Professor Of Political Science Publishes Article In Political Journal


HIGH POINT, N.C., April 16, 2010 ? Dr. Martin J. Kifer, assistant professor of political science and director of the Survey Research Center at High Point University, recently published an article in the first 2010 quarterly issue of “Political Communication.”

The article, titled “Timeless Strategy Meets New Medium: Going Negative on Congressional Campaign Web Sites, 2002?2006,” was named the “2009 Paul Lazarsfeld Best Paper Award” ? an honor given to the best paper on political communication presented at the previous year?s American Political Science Association Annual Meeting.

Kifer collaborated with two of his colleagues, James N. Druckman of Northwestern University and Michael Parkin of Oberlin College, in composing the article, which analyzes how candidates in U.S. House and Senate elections use negative information about opponents on their campaign Web sites as part of their overall rhetorical strategies. It explains that while candidates “go negative” with similar frequency on the Internet and in television advertising, there are some notable differences, including differences in how the two political parties use negativity online and on television.

“Negativity in political campaigns is not limited to the ads you see on TV.  Campaigning on the Internet is now a central part of candidate strategy and incorporates many facets of politics,” Kifer says. “Our work examines how campaigns are using their Web sites to emphasize messages they want audiences on the internet to receive and analyzes the similarities as well as the differences in candidate behavior on and offline.”

The article is one of several Kifer and his colleagues have written using a unique data set they created from more than 700 different Web sites between 2002 and 2006. 

2009 Paul Lazarsfeld Best Paper Award.  For the best paper on political communication presented at the previous year’s APSA Annual Meeting.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 44 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at or on Twitter at @HighPointU.

Chris Dudley

Vice President for Administration


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