The Media April 25, 2013
Opportunities to discuss course content • Today 11-2 • Monday 10-2
Learning Objectives • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of how presidential and congressional elections are financed. • Identify and describe the formal and informal institutions involved in the electoral process
Readings • Chapter 7: Political Communication and the Mass Media (Flanigan)
Horse Race Coverage • What is it? • What does it contain • Why?
The keys to horse race coverage • Polling • Perception • No issues
Component I: Categorizer • Sorts the candidates into winners and losers • Creates an Image for the candidate • Romney • Obama
Component II: Expectation Setter • Puts odds on the candidates • You want to be at the top… duh • But it isn't as good as you might think
Component III: Mentioner • You want the media to notice you • Not all press is good press • Mentions mean money and votes
Component IV:Winnowing • The Press Winnows (narrows) down the candidates • Attention is on Iowa and NH • Frontloading is the results
Presidential Debates • A Recent Phenomenon • General Strategies • Do not screw up
Why Candidates Like these • A chance for exposure • A chance for Legitimacy • A chance to move in the polls
Presidential Debates • Who Wins (the leader in the polls) • The Person who doesn’t make a mistake • Does it matter?
Presidential Debates • Win by not losing • What don't you want to do? • The 1960 Debate • Seem heartless • You are no Jack Kennedy • Eastern Europe is Free • Adm. James Stockdale • Blind , Deaf, Dumb
The Media Strategy • Getting the Message Out • Paid Advertisements • Free Press • You campaign for votes and you campaign for media by getting free coverage • Avoid cannibalizing
Getting Free Press • Having your message get covered by the media • You can reach a wide audience and It is not costing you money • This is fully mediated
Maximizing Free Coverage • Create a package • Convey a winning message • Shape an Image
Maximizing Free Coverage • Don’t Say too Much • Repeat the Few Basic Points • Bad Press is Bad Press
Paid Media • Unmediated • Control the Message • More outlets than ever
A Record Breaking Year • 1 million ads were aired • Both Sides were overwhelmingly negative • Obama Spent more and Ran More Ads • The Best Ads
Herman Cain Bizarre Ads • The Rabbit • Smoking
Targeting Ads and their Effect • Uncommitted voters vs Partisans • When are they Most Effective? • Ads are a sign of political viability
Candidate Credibility • We have to trust the messenger • Issue Ownership • Try to focus on your best issue
Getting More Votes • Delivering a positive message about your candidate (mobilizing) • Deliver a negative message about the opposition (mobilizing/demobilizing)
Biographical Ads • Inform us about the Candidate • Very important early in the campaign • Obama doesn’t need to run these….
Issue Ads • Focus on a specific issue or a policy area • Associate yourself with favorable policies • Do not mention issue weakness
Examples of Issue Ads • The Bear in the Woods in 1984 • Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris... • Hillary Clinton- Attack/Issue Ad
Attack Ads • The Norm Rather than the Exception • The Mother of all Attack Ads
The Effect of Attack ads on voters • Some voters become disenchanted and disaffected • Your Base Loves them!
How Effective are these • If they didn’t work, candidates wouldn’t run them • The Lessons of 1988 • The Revolving Door • Willie Horton
Why They Work and Who uses them more • We don’t trust politicians • They are more memorable and informative • Challengers and vulnerable incumbents use them
How To Deal with them • Defend the Charges • Counterattack on the same issue or up the ante- The Puppy Ad • Attack the Credibility of your opponent
How not to deal with them • Do Nothing • If you get Punched in the nose, you must punch back