The survey by the American think-tank National Bureau of Economic Research found that television debates do not significantly affect the election results. Data from as many as 61 elections in 9 OECD countries since 1952 were examined to check the shaping of political choices and preferences and assess how television debates contribute to this process. It was found that the share of voters who express their intention to vote before the election corresponding to their final election increases by 15 percentage points in the two months preceding the election.
Changes in individual elections are mainly due to changes in beliefs about competing candidates. The further analysis was used to estimate the impact of TV debates and it was found that they did not significantly affect individual voting and preference shaping or overall voting results. This suggests that the information constantly received by voters has a greater impact on voter behavior.