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Elections and the Media. AP U.S. Government and Politics Unit 4. Seats Gained/Lost in Midterms. Congressional Approval Ratings. Nancy Pelosi. “Servicing the Constituents”. Franking Privilege. 21st Century’s “Great Mentioner?”. Black Voter Turnout: 2004 vs 2008. North Carolina.

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elections and the media

Elections and the Media

AP U.S. Government and Politics

Unit 4

primaries can dis prove a candidate s electability
Primaries can (dis)prove a candidate’s “electability”
  • Howard Dean

Howard Dean's Scream (1:27)

  • Rick Perry

Rick Perry Gaffe (1:21)

romney gingrich lead 2012 field
“Romney, Gingrich Lead 2012 Field…”
  • In what ways are Iowa and New Hampshire important to a presidential candidate’s chances of winning the nomination?
  • What is Romney’s strategy concerning both Iowa and New Hampshire? Why?
  • What role do polls play in the presidential primary process?
  • What role do the media play in the presidential primary process?
barack obama s campaign pledge
Barack Obama’s campaign pledge…

“If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election. I have been a long-time advocate for public financing of campaigns combined with free television and radio time as a way to reduce the influence of moneyed special interests.... My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce, return excess money from donors, and stay within the public financing system for the general election....If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

and reversal
…and reversal

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said [later] that "public financing" is "an option that we wanted on the table," but added "there is no pledge" to take the money and the spending limitations that come with it. When asked to clarify, Burton said "that Obama would address the issue of public financing when he becomes the Democratic nominee and that it is premature to decide the matter now."

But according to reports from a fundraiser last night at Washington's National Museum of Women in the Arts, Obama seems to have decided already. In front of 200 people who'd forked over $2,300 for the privilege of attending, the Democratic frontrunner suggested, in what amounted to a justification of opting out of public financing, that his low-dollar network of online donors effectively represents a "parallel public financing system." "We have created a parallel public financing system where the American people decide if they want to support a campaign they can get on the Internet and finance it," he said. "They will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally been reserved for the wealthy and the powerful." In other words, who needs public financing when we have online fundraising.

hard money vs soft money
Hard Money vs. Soft Money





Independent groups

527 committees

Hard $



Private Individuals

Soft $

campaign finance changes
Campaign Finance Changes

McCain-Feingold Act (2002)

Citizens United v. FEC (2010)

(no change)

(no change)

corporations and unions can spend unlimited amounts on “independent expenditures”; can refer to candidate by name all the way up to election

(no change)

  • banned “soft money” contributions to political parties from corporations and unions
  • raised the limit on individual contributions from $1000 per candidate per election per year to $2000 (now $2300)
  • restricted “independent expenditures” by corporations, unions; could no longer run an ad referring to candidate by name 60 days before election (rise of 527s)
  • required candidates to “stand by their ad”
campaign ads
Campaign Ads
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpmFd25tRqo (Obama stand-by-your-ad)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtREqAmLsoA (Obama 30-minute infomercial)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O85jpuFKT4 (McCain stand-by-your-ad)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phqOuEhg9yE (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth TV ad)
  • http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1451001677352425660# (MoveOn.org TV ad)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgABYb7AQ7k&NR=1 (MoveOn.org online ad)
citizens united v fec 2010
Citizens United v. FEC (2010)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOYcM1z5fTs (Hilary: The Movie trailer)
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k92SerxLWtc (Alito responds to Obama’s criticism)