Winners, Losers, and the Press: The Relationship Between Political Parallelism and the Legitimacy Gap


Recent work has explored how individual and institutional factors affect the gap in perceptions of political legitimacy between electoral winners and electoral losers, but has ignored the role that the political information environment, in general, and ideologically biased media, in particular, plays in exacerbating or diminishing this gap. By combining individual-level public opinion data in 28 countries, an expert survey on media systems, and a variety of country-level indicators, I find that higher levels of political parallelism in a country are associated with a larger winner-loser gap in institutional trust and satisfaction with democracy. The relationship is con- tingent on whether or not people are actually exposed to said media. This research, which links the study of political communication with the study of comparative political behavior, indicates that the increasing availability of partisan news around the world is a cause for concern. Keywords

Political Communication, (33), 4, pp. 523–543,