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    Archived pages: 1327 . Archive date: 2013-10.

  • Title: P2012 Race for the White House - The 2012 Presidential Campaign by Democracy in Action
    Descriptive info: .. Successor to the GW sites:.. P2008.. |.. P2004.. P2000.. What's Hot.. When?.. The Historical Moment--Factors That Shaped Campaign 2012.. Where?.. Candidates Focused on a Few Battleground States.. Who?.. Campaign Staffs Made it Happen.. How?.. Communicating the Message.. Why?.. Many Big Challenges Facing Our Country.. What?.. Election Day Finds There is Still Room for Improvement.. Inauguration Concluded.. and the.. Second Term Underway.. Context.. Pre-Campaign.. Pre-Primary.. Iowa.. New Hampshire.. South Carolina.. Florida.. Nevada.. More Primaries.. Conventions.. The Fall Campaign.. Debates.. Election Day.. Transition.. Inauguration.. The flat economy posed a major challenge to President Barack Obama as he sought a second term.. Republicans hoped to make Obama a "one-term president;" to challenge him, Republican primary voters.. settled on.. former Massachusetts Gov.. Mitt Romney.. The general election appeared close, but incumbency advantage and Obama's unprecedented, sophisticated campaign, combined with unforced errors by Romney, and changing demographics carried the day for the Democrat.. Obama gained a margin of 332 to 206 electoral votes, defeating Romney by 51.. 0% to 47.. 2% of the 129.. 1 million votes cast in the presidential race.. The Center for Responsive Politics estimated spending on the long presidential campaign totaled $2.. 6 billion, including about $1 billion by each of the campaign/party committees and $528 million by outside organizations that report to the FEC.. [FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub estimated overall spending on races in the 2012 election at $7 billion].. As Republicans  ...   Appleman/Democracy in Action.. All rights reserved.. ADVERTISEMENT.. QUICK LINKS.. Candidates.. Democratic Incumbent.. President Barack Obama (IL) and Vice President Joe Biden (DE):.. Obama for America.. The White House.. Republican Party.. Former Gov.. Mitt Romney (MA) and Rep.. Paul Ryan (WI):.. Romney for President.. Independent Sites:.. Restore Our Future.. Mitt Romney Central.. Evangelicals for Mitt.. Why Romney 2012.. Restore Our Future PAC.. More:.. C-SPAN.. Libertarian Party.. Gary Johnson (NM) and Judge Jim Gray (ret.. ) (CA):.. Gary Johnson 2012.. Libertarian Action Super PAC.. Green Party.. Jill Stein (MA) and Cheri Honkala (PA):.. Jill Stein for President.. Constitution Party.. Former U.. S.. Rep.. Virgil Goode (VA) and Jim Clymer (PA):.. Virgil Goode for President.. Justice Party.. Former Mayor Rocky Anderson (UT) and Luis Rodriguez (CA):.. Rocky Anderson, Our President 2012.. Party for Socialism and Liberation.. Peta Lindsay and Yari Osorio.. Party for Socialism and Liberation.. Nonpartisan Presidential Nomination.. Failed to Nominate Candidate:.. Americans Elect.. 2012 Media and More.. Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.. Politico-2012 Live.. National Journal's Hotline On Call.. ABC News-Politics.. The Note.. CNN-Politicker.. FOX News-Politics.. CBS News-Politics.. NBC-First Read.. C-SPAN-Campaign 2012.. The Fix.. Politics Daily-2012 Elections.. 4president.. org.. GOP12.. Politics1-Presidency 2012.. Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoonists Index.. AAEC-Today's Political Cartoons.. More.. Harvard Institute of Politics - 2012 Campaign Decision Makers Conference.. Face the Facts USA.. Election Law Blog (Rick Hasen).. FEC 2012 Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal.. Google Politics " " Elections.. Comedy Central's Indecision.. Frontloading HQ..

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  • Title: P2012 Race for the White House Calendar-January 2013
    Descriptive info: P2012 Calendar.. Highlights on the Road to the White House.. 2011.. 2012.. Jan13.. Feb.. Mar.. Apr.. May.. Jun.. Jul.. Aug.. Sep.. Oct.. Nov.. Dec.. Jan2014.. HOME.. January 2013.. Tues.. Jan.. 1.. Wed.. 2.. Thurs.. 3.. Fri.. 4.. Joint Session of Congress to open and count the electoral votes.. [.. PDF.. ].. Sat.. 5.. Sun..  ...   17.. 18.. 19.. 20.. President Obama formally sworn in at the White House.. 21.. The 57th Inaugural.. : Public swearing in ceremony on the west steps of the Capitol.. 22.. DNC Winter Meeting in Washington, DC.. 23.. RNC Winter Meeting in Charlotte, NC.. 24.. 25.. 26.. 27.. 28.. 29.. 30.. 31.. Copyright 2013 Eric M..

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  • Title: Clickable Map of the United States--Democracy in Action P2012
    Descriptive info: Home.. Alabama.. Alaska.. Arizona.. Arkansas.. California.. Colorado.. Connecticut.. Delaware.. District of Columbia.. Georgia.. Hawaii.. Idaho.. |.. Illinois.. Indiana.. Kansas.. Kentucky.. Louisiana.. Maine.. Maryland.. Massachusetts.. Michigan.. Minnesota.. Mississippi.. Missouri.. Montana.. Nebraska.. New Jersey.. New Mexico.. New York.. North Carolina.. North Dakota.. Ohio.. Oklahoma.. Oregon.. Pennsylvania.. Rhode Island.. South Dakota.. Tennessee.. Texas.. Utah.. Vermont.. Virginia.. Washington.. West Virginia.. Wisconsin.. Wyoming.. Puerto Rico et al.. See also:.. 2012 Election Results by State  ...   2008.. Texas (+4).. 34.. 38.. Florida (+2).. Arizona (+1).. Georgia (+1).. Nevada (+1).. South Carolina (+1).. Utah (+1).. Washington (+1).. States That Lost Electoral Votes due to Reapportionment.. Ohio (-2).. New York (-2).. IIlinois (-1).. Iowa (-1).. Louisiana (-1).. Massachusetts (-1).. Michigan (-1).. Missouri (-1).. New Jersey (-1).. Pennsylvania (-1).. See also:.. 2010 Midterm election results.. Previous Editions:.. 2004.. 2000.. (Explanatory Notes).. ;.. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Eric M..

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  • Title: Photodog on the Trail 2012
    Descriptive info: Photos and Text by Eric M.. Appleman.. Copyright 2012 Eric M.. Contact Democracy in Action.. with details of events of interest.. Important Navigational Note.. : Clicking on the top bar in any of the photo.. pages will return you to this page or the main page of a photo series,.. and the bar at the top of this page will return you to the home page.. The Campaign in Virginia.. Season's Greetings.. ed.. note: photos to resume for the Inauguration.. Sept.. 21, 2012.. - House set to recess, but.. House Democrats.. are "fired up and ready to stay.. ".. 8, 2012.. -.. Democratic National Committee.. "Romney Economics: The Middle Class Under the Bus.. July 13-14, 2012.. Outside the Beltway.. Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention and National Meeting in Baltimore, MD.. June 28, 2012.. Outside the Supreme Court.. on the day it released its opinion on the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).. June 25, 2012.. after it released its opinion on.. Arizona v.. United States.. June 18-20, 2012.. Campaign for America's Future's Take Back the American Dream Conference.. June 16, 2012.. -.. The Campaign in Pennsylvania.. Mitt Romney (R-MA).. ,.. on his "Every Town Counts" bus tour, rallies in Cornwall, PA.. June 6, 2012.. The Campaign in California..  ...   NAA/ASNE luncheon.. April 3, 2012.. DC presidential preference/council primary election.. March 27, 2012.. Outside the Supreme Court.. on the second day of oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act.. March 26, 2012.. on the first day of oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act, including an.. appearance by.. former Sen.. Rick Santorum (R-PA).. March 24, 2012.. Tea Party Patriots'.. "Road to Repeal" rally.. March 22, 2012.. Buddy Roemer (I).. and Jack Abramoff speak on corruption.. NARAL Pro-Choice America.. demonstrates outside Romney for President fundraiser.. 15, 2012.. Occupy's Empty Tents.. , Freedom Plaza.. 9-11, 2012.. 39th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference.. 10, 2012.. , MacPherson Square.. 3-4, 2012.. Silver State Happenings.. 11, 2012.. Mitt Romney (R-MA) and running mate Rep.. Paul Ryan (R-WI).. rally in Manassas, VA.. opens office in Manassas, VA.. 4, 2012.. Romney campaign.. "Super Saturday" in Arlington, VA.. July 28, 2012.. "Day of Action" in Alexandria, VA.. June 27, 2012.. rallies at EIT, LLC in Sterling, VA.. May 12, 2012.. opens office in Alexandria, VA.. May 5, 2012.. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama.. rally at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.. April 28, 2012.. "Day of Action" in Arlington, VA.. April 15, 2012.. opens office in Arlington, VA.. Photos 2011.. Photos 2009-10..

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  • Title: Democracy in Action Follows The Action on Facebook
    Descriptive info: Campaign Communications.. Facebook.. CLICK.. HERE.. TO LIKE.. P2012.. "The Social Media Election".. Although Facebook was active in the 2008 and 2010 campaigns, one can argue that the social media site fully emerged as an important tool for politicians and political campaigns during the course of the 2012 campaign.. A Facebook page is now almost a required element of a political campaign, offering a way to build support and communicate with potential supporters.. By Election Day, Nov.. 6, 2012, Barack Obama had 32,313,965 Facebook friends compared to 12,135,972 for Mitt Romney.. Facebook experienced phenomenal growth from 2010 to 2012.. On October 4, 2012, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reported, "This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month.. " A bit more than two years earlier, on July 21, 2010, that number had been 500 million people.. (Around this time, in June 2010, Facebook launched its.. U.. Politics on Facebook.. page, which "highlights the use of Facebook by politicians, elected officials, and political campaigns.. ") The social networking site had come a long way since its beginnings in 2004.. The Pew Research Center for the People the Press has done a number of studies that give a sense of Facebook users' political activity.. An October 19, 2012 report found that,.. "Some 60% of American adults use either social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter and a new survey by the Pew Research Center s Internet American Life Project finds that 66% of those social media users or 39% of all American adults have done at least one of eight civic or political activities with social media.. A June 16, 2011 report, based on activity in the Nov.. 2010 election, found that "Facebook users are much more politically engaged than most people.. ".. Facebook and other social media were a source of information on the campaign for a "limited" but growing number of Americans.. A February 2012 report by the Pew Research Center for the People the Press found that, "Very few Americans regularly learn about the campaign from Facebook (6%) or Twitter (2%).. By October 2012 those figures had doubled; the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that in the period from October 18-21, 12% of U.. adults regularly turned to Facebook for campaign news.. Pre-Campaign Activity.. 16, 2011 - 750,000 friends.. March 2, 2011 - 800,000 friends.. May 16, 2011 - 900,000 friends.. Source: www.. facebook.. com/mittromney.. In the pre-campaign period, in 2010-11, the Republican field took shape.. Of those mentioned as possible 2012 GOP candidates, none used Facebook more extensively than former Gov.. Sarah Palin.. Her SarahPAC website was little more than a placeholder, while her Facebook page was updated near daily and gets a lot of traffic.. In July 29, 2010 SarahPAC Treasurer Tim Crawford reported that Palin's Facebook page had reached two million friends.. Crawford noted that, "Sarah has used her Facebook account as an outlet to express her hopes and concerns about the direction of the country.. " In the background some work is done to protect her image.. Salon.. did an interesting study of the comments to 10 Palin posts over 12 days and found that "a rough average of 10 percent of total posts were deleted.. According to.. this is "far more rigorous" than for other political figures.. The independent Conservatives for Palin website pointed out that other '12 prospects fall far short  ...   Facebook doesn t just exist on Facebook.. com.. Use Facebook social plugins, third-party applications and Facebook advertisements to make it easy for voters to learn about your page, share your content, and connect with other voters.. Put your Facebook URL on your direct mail and on your television ads and ask people to join the discussion on Facebook.. Live-stream your events on Facebook and take questions from those in the audience and watching online.. Engagement is key.. The best thing a campaign can do is engage with people on Facebook.. Ask them to offer their opinions, pose questions, and be a part of the campaign.. Measure success.. Use Facebook Insights for your page, domain, and ads to learn what content your fans engage with the most, how many people are seeing your content and how large your reach is on Facebook.. Metrics (of all of its activities) was one of the cornerstones of the Obama campaign.. The Obama campaign also developed a Facebook app that proved successful.. Target sharing.. allowed the campaign to see a supporter's friend list, and determine, for example, who the supporter was interacting with most.. Then, with fast access to the voter file, the campaign could match those names against the voter file to figure out who each person was.. Finally, it could ask the supporter to make specific requests of particular friends, for example, to watch a video or contribute or vote early.. Notes.. Jennifer Moire.. "Facebook By The Numbers: The 2012 Presidential Race.. All Facebook (The Unofficial Facebook Blog).. , Nov.. 26, 2012.. Pew Research Center for the People the Press.. "Social Media and Political Engagement.. " Oct.. 19, 2012.. "Social networking sites and our lives.. " July 16, 2011.. "Cable Leads the Pack as Campaign News Source.. " Feb.. 7, 2012.. Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism.. "Internet Gains Most as Campaign News Source But Cable TV Still Leads.. 25, 2012.. John Dickerson.. Not.. Sarah Palin's Friends.. Slate.. , Aug.. 3, 2010.. Metrics of all activities was one of the cornerstones of the Obama campaign.. In terms of independent analyses,.. Socialbakers.. , a social media analytics firm, has done some interesting work looking at Facebook activity.. The firm has devised a range of metrics including.. viral reach.. ("the total number of 'likes' and comments multiplied by the average number of friends per Facebook user),.. total interactions.. ("all 'likes' and comments from a candidate's posts plus all 'likes and comments from people's posts on the candidate's page"), and.. average post engagement rate.. ( [[likes+comments+shares on a given day / wall posts made by page administrator on a given day] /total fans on a given day] x 100.. For example Socialbakers' Super Tuesday study tallied the posts and interactions in the month preceding March 6, 2012: Romney 109 total posts, 682,328 total Facebook interactions, Santorum 268 total posts, 513,130 total Facebook interactions, Paul 50 total posts, 508,879 total Facebook interactions, and Gingrich 52 total posts, 303,991 total Facebook interactions.. The study also breaks down the types of posts and looks at the number of interactions they generate.. candidates -.. B.. Obama (D).. M.. Romney (R).. G.. Johnson (L).. J.. Stein (G).. V.. Goode (C).. more -.. Democratic National Convention.. Republican National Convention.. former Republican candidates -.. Bachmann.. Cain.. Huntsman.. Gingrich.. Karger.. McCotter.. Paul.. Pawlenty.. Perry.. Santorum.. ||.. (.. Palin.. ).. more former candidates -.. Roemer.. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012 Eric M..

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  • Title: KEY PLAYERS: Candidates and Campaigns - Overview: Leadership, Democracy in Action
    Descriptive info: Overview.. Organization.. Republicans.. Democrats.. Third Party/Indep.. Choosing a Leader.. Each candidate brings to the race a particular set of values, experiences, strengths and weaknesses, and leadership style.. In addition to assessing a candidate's issue positions, a voter must consider whether the candidate would be able to implement his or her ideas if he or she were elected president.. Reviewing the field of potential candidates or candidates, one sees many different leadership styles.. Some are charismatic, big-picture visionaries able to deliver a rousing speech, some are skilled managers able to assemble a top notch team of people, and some revel in the details of policy.. There are those who tend to surround themselves with aides, advisors and consultants who hold fairly similar views, while others seek out diversity of opinions.. A great deal of research has been done into leadership and there are many different models and theories on what makes for an effective leader and what prompts an individual to gravitate toward one candidate or another.. One useful perspective is offered by Robert Deutsch, a public communication anaylst and cognitive anthropologist.. Deutsch argues that a candidate must convey three attributes at the same time.. Familiarity.. means we perceive the candidate is like us.. Appeasement.. means we feel the candidate cares for us as individuals.. Power.. means we see the candidate as being more than any one ordinary person; he or she is somehow in control of events.. Conceptions of leadership may change over time or in different cultures.. Television has elevated the importance of external appearances.. Historically, a candidate's physical appearance had some effect; for example it is recognized that taller candidates may have an advantage.. In the television era, it is important that the candidate have no "edges" that will jar viewers or come across as "too hot.. " Ability to speak in sound bites can trump laying out a reasoned argument.. The parties have at times selected nominees from the business world or the military, but that has not happened in recent decades, and it seems as if voters want candidates with at least a little experience in elective office.. The 2008 campaign saw an African American, an Hispanic  ...   opportunity to consider leadership.. In a campaign there is a lot of chaff, minor controversies that crop up, charges and countercharges, stagecraft, packaging and posturing.. Looking carefully at how a candidate organizes and conducts his campaign can offer further insights into his or her leadership abilities.. Is he or she willing to stick to his or her position on a difficult issue, challenge voters or think outside the box, or does he or she cling tightly to party orthodoxy.. At the same time, one can also ask if the modern campaign, with its bevy of consultants, emphasis on raising money, and premium on sound bite politics, bears much connection to the type of leadership required from a president.. An incumbent president seeking re-election has an edge in conforming to the image of a leader because he is surrounded by the trappings of office.. He arrives on Air Force I, he gets "Hail to the Chief" played, and he speaks from a lectern with the presidential seal on it.. Incumbency can be an advantage for a president not only in terms of symbolism, but in the concrete actions he can take during the campaign to "buy" support.. During the 1992 Fall campaign, for example, the.. Washington Post.. compared President George H.. W.. Bush to " a department store Santa Claus" and.. Detroit News.. writer James Gannon described "a flying fountain of federal aid.. Useful Links.. PBS - "Character Above All: An Exploration of Presidential Leadership".. Wikipedia - Leadership.. Google Search - Leadership Quizzes.. (there are hundreds of these online).. Articles.. Andreas Graefe and J.. Scott Armstrong.. "Who Should Be Nominated to Run in the 2012 Presidential Election? Long-Term Forecasts Based on Candidates' Biographies.. Paper presented at the APSA 2011 Annual Meeting.. (Sept.. 2011).. model uses the index method to incorporate 58 biographical variables (e.. g.. , age, marital status, height, appearance) for making a conditional forecast of the incumbent’s vote-share, depending on who is the opposing candidate.. Ronald Brownstein.. "Populists Versus Managers.. National Journal.. , Dec.. 17, 2010.. also.. see press release ".. Buyology, Inc.. Conducts Innovative Research Into Voter's Deeper Non-Conscious Feelings" Oct.. 4, 2011.. Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012 Eric M..

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  • Title: KEY PLAYERS: Media - Democracy in Action P2012
    Descriptive info: Coverage of Past Campaigns.. An Expanding, Evolving Media Universe.. The ever-expanding, ever-evolving media universe offers a wealth of sources of information about the upcoming presidential campaign.. As a news consumer you should try to avail yourself of a number of different sources, including from time to time some you might not normally look at.. Read, view or listen with a critical eye and ear and consider how well the story portrays the reality of a situation or event.. Be a Discerning News Consumer.. Think about where you get your news and information from.. There's a lot of it out there.. One can turn to the wire services, the networks, cable TV, local TV, radio ranging from NPR to conservative talk radio, newspapers, news magazines, opinion magazines, Internet-only news organizations, and individual or group blogs.. Further, the editorial side of a news organization may encompass a wide range of talent, including general assignment reporters, beat reporters, editors, producers, photographers, videographers, columnists, feature writers, and maybe even an editorial cartoonist.. The media are diverse—very diverse.. Conservative talk radio presents a very different picture of the world than do mainstream media outlets such as the.. New York Times.. or the.. than does Joe or Jill's blog.. Among the factors that affect the quality and quantity of news and election coverage a particular outlet presents are the available resources (financial, talent, equipment, and commitment), the needs of advertisers and the audience, established news practices, habits and conventions, the peculiarities of individual media, and technology.. Thus a local newspaper has a set of strengths and weaknesses that differ from those of a major network.. For a given medium, information about the campaign can be packaged in a variety of ways.. For example, on a network there are the flagship evening newscasts, morning shows, magazine programs, Sunday morning newsmaker programs, occasional specials, and so forth.. Similarly, in a newspaper one finds hard news articles, news analysis, long features, lighter, "Style"-type pieces, photographs, columns, editorials, and editorial cartoons.. Increasingly, information must be presented across different platforms; major news organizations have found that they must develop versions for mobile devices be they the iPad, other tablets or smartphones.. The Internet has come to play an increasingly important role in the past two decades.. Most traditional news organizations have established strong, integral online presences, and there are as well Internet-only news organizations.. The Internet also allows any motivated individual to become a publisher.. While some blogs are first-rate, on top of their subject matter, others don't contribute much beyond echoing what is already out there.. In this information age, stories are linked to and repeated, rapidly circulate in the blogosphere, and are minutely sliced and diced.. Buzz abounds.. A story may garner headlines but ultimately amount to little more than a "tempest in a teapot," while another story of lasting significance receives scant attention.. Readers and viewers must assess the veracity of a story as well as its importance.. Just as campaigns vie for support from voters, news organizations seek to gain loyalty of viewers, readers and surfers.. Promos in their own pages or broadcasts, or ads placed in other media highlight programming and personalities and establish brand identity.. Evolving Media Universe.. The Internet has greatly facilitated the proliferation of information.. Sites such as the Drudge Report (on the web since 1997), Newsmax.. com (started in 1998), Daily Kos (2002) and The Huffington Post (May 2005) are go-to sources of information for many Americans.. In addition to the news media, social media such as Facebook and Twitter have really came of age in the past several years and during the 2012 campaign.. A Pew Internet American Life Project report (.. ) from October 2012 found that, "Some 60% of American adults use either social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.. [and] 39% of all American adults—have done at least one of eight civic or political activities with social media.. At the same time, over the past decade-plus, established news organizations have had to significantly pare back on their reporting resources.. The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism's excellent.. "The State of the News Media 2013".. documents "shrinking reporting power" across much of the industry.. For example, the report states, "Estimates for newspaper newsroom cutbacks in 2012 put the industry down 30% since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978.. " Magazines continue to experience declines in ad pages and issues at newstands.. Television is affected as well; according to the report, "Across the three cable channels, coverage of live events during the day, which often require a crew and correspondent, fell 30% from 2007 to 2012 while interview segments, which tend to take fewer resources and can be scheduled in advance, were up 31%.. " One of the conclusions of.. "The Media and Campaign 2012,".. a special report in "The State of the News Media" is that "at a time of diminishing reporting resources, many newsmakers, in political, public and corporate life, are finding new ways to get their messages to the public—often with little or no journalistic vetting.. Recent years have seen immense changes in the industry, including startups, mergers and acquisitions and shutdowns.. Some examples:.. Politico.. (published by Robert L.. Allbritton) launched on Jan.. 23, 2007, and has become a leader in covering politics.. The  ...   a consistent place or on specific days of the week and by using a recognizable graphic to draw attention to them.. Regular series of articles can also helpful.. Candidate Profiles.. At different stages in the campaign, many news organizations will run in-depth profiles of the major candidates.. A first set of candidate portraits typically appears early in the campaign, perhaps a couple of months before the Iowa and New Hampshire contests.. After the primaries are over, heading into the conventions, the soon-to-be nominees are profiled again.. Finally, toward the close of the fall campaign, a news organization may choose to run a final profile.. A noteworthy example from television is Frontline's "The Choice.. " Writing or producing a candidate profile is a real art.. Consider what anecdote is used to begin the profile, who among the candidate's realm of acquaintances is interviewed, what images are used, and how well the profile captures the essence of the subject.. Issues.. It is relatively easy to report on campaign strategies and tactics, daily charges and countercharges and the latest poll results.. More difficult is the task of explaining "the issues" in a fresh and understandable way.. To untangle complex problems such as retirement security or tax policy, to lay out the candidates' proposals for addressing them, and to make it all relevant requires a great deal of research and thought from the reporter.. Even after all that work, readers may, given human nature, skip over the well-written story on trade policy to find out about the most recent candidate controversy.. Polling.. The media are firmly addicted to polls and devote substantial resources to conducting them.. Political reporters argue that polling data can suggest stories.. For example if poll numbers show a candidate is weak among particular demographic groups, the reporter might do a story about why this is so.. Sometimes however it seems that reporting poll numbers is a substitute for providing explanation of complex issues.. Horserace coverage adds nothing to understanding of the candidates and issues.. www.. PollingReport.. com-2012.. ].. Ad Watches.. Given the importance of TV advertising in modern-day campaigns, many news organizations now run ad watches.. These analyze the accuracy and fairness of candidates' claims and may provide broader information about where an ad fits in a campaign's strategy.. Ad watches have generally had a positive effect.. Campaigns now release their ads with documented fact sheets.. However, in the case of emotion- tugging "feel good" ads, doing an ad watch may be comparable to trying to dissect a soap bubble.. On the Scene.. In the fall, the major party campaigns will typically institute a "protective pool" arrangement to ensure that reporters will be on hand to cover any activities by the candidate.. The same kind of arrangement is in place to cover the President at the White House.. The Obama campaign instituted a protective pool on June 29, 2008; and the McCain campaign started the arrangement on August 3, 2008.. The McCain protective pool includes three wire reporters (AP, Reuters and Bloomberg), a wire photographer (AP), a TV crew of three (rotation among ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and NBC), and a newspaper print reporter.. Media on Media.. A number of news organizations have writers or reporters who focus specifically on media, or even on media and politics.. This type of reporting can be quite enlightening, reminding the audience that news presents only a version of reality; it is the product of many individuals' efforts and perceptions.. As another example, some newspapers have a weekly "Magazine Reader" type section which draws attention to feature articles; this can be an invaluable service for busy readers.. Endorsements.. In the closing month of the campaign, many newspapers make endorsements.. Newspaper endorsements may cause a significant difference in less-publicized races where voters are not familiar with the candidates or the specifics of a ballot initiative, but at the presidential level they probably do not have much impact.. That is not to say a newspaper endorsement has no effect.. When candidates are striving for credibility in the pre-primary period or the early primaries or seeking to persuade swing voters in the fall a newspaper endorsement may count for something.. A newspaper's endorsement is generally decided by the editorial board, although sometimes the publisher may weigh in.. Some newspapers have a policy of not making endorsements, at least at the presidential level.. Examining the reasoning used in various papers' endorsements can offer clear insights into the candidates' strengths and weaknesses.. Primary.. General.. Many Other Aspects.. There are many other aspects of campaign coverage to consider.. As an exercise, take a specific campaign event, such as a speech or a rally, and compare how a number of different news organizations cover it.. Useful Links.. [Washington Post-Chris Cillizza].. [Mike Dec].. [Christian Heinze].. Des Moines Register-Politics.. IowaPolitics.. Iowa Press.. O.. Kay Henderson (Radio Iowa).. WHO 1040.. "Mickelson in the Morning".. The Iowa Republican.. Montage Politics.. Politics1-IA.. , Granite Status.. Concord Monitor-Primary Monitor.. Politics.. WMUR-Politics.. GraniteGrok.. New Hampshire Watchdog.. NHInsider.. NH Political Report.. (subscription).. NH Journal.. RedHampshire.. Politics1-NH.. The State-Politics.. Post and Courier-Politics.. SC Hotline.. Romanesko.. [Poynter].. Mediate.. Newspaper Association of America.. The Association of Magazine Media.. National Association of Broadcasters.. National Cable Television Association.. Media Links.. Examples of Coverage.. Endorsements - General.. Endorsements - Primary.. The Magazine Cover Index.. Magazine Cover Portrayal of President Obama: The First Year..

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  • Title: KEY PLAYERS: Political Parties - Democracy in Action P2012
    Descriptive info: Committees/Affiliates.. More National.. Congress.. State Level.. Third Parties.. The Two-Party System.. Political parties frame the debate, recruit candidates, and raise money.. The Democratic and Republican parties dominate American politics and are organized at the national, state, and local levels.. Over the past decade in many states, an increasing percentage of the electorate has chosen to remain unaffiliated.. Despite dissatisfaction with the Democrats and the Republicans, minor parties face huge obstacles in their efforts to gain a foothold.. The United States Constitution makes no mention of political parties, yet the two-party system has become a foundation of the American political system.. The party that controls the White House has a major advantage in setting the national agenda through the bully pulpit, but executive power is constrained by the legislative and judicial branches.. Congressional leadership plays a key role in determining the directions of the parties as do the national party committees, state parties and state leadership.. Surrounding both parties are constellations of interest groups seeking to push them in one direction or another.. Both parties boast long traditions, the Democrats pointing to Thomas Jefferson, FDR, Harry Truman and JFK and the Republicans tracing back to Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.. Generally, conservatives align with the Republican Party and liberals and progressives align with the Democrats.. There is also the stereotypical image of Democrats as the party of labor and Republicans as the party of big business and the rich.. A more contrarian view holds that the major parties are basically very similar.. Ralph Nader often speaks of a "two-party duopoly" and likens the Democrats and Republicans to Tweedledee and Tweedledum.. The reality is more complicated.. In the Democratic Party there is constant tension between progressive and more pragmatic or centrist elements such as Blue Dog Democrats.. In the Republican Party social conservatives form a significant element of the base, but there are also libertarian elements.. Moderate Republicans are seen as a disappearing breed, disparaged by conservatives as RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).. Then there are groups such as the tea party movement which operate outside the party structure, but seek to influence it even as they in turn are wooed by the party.. Over time, the American electorate has tended to vote so that neither of the parties holds  ...   are not apparent and whose messages frequently feature attacks.. Always in the background, talk radio, cable television and the blogosphere abound with heated rhetoric.. There have been various efforts to transcend partisanship.. During their presidential campaigns, candidates George W.. Bush ("uniter not a divider") and Barack Obama ("there are no red states and no blue states") both made bipartisan appeals, but once they were in office they found those sentiments difficult to implement.. In May 2006 Unity08 launched with the goal of electing a bipartisan ticket to the White House; the group folded in 2008.. In 2007 former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell established the.. Bipartisan Policy Center.. Some are advocating.. "transpartisanship,".. an approach which "recognizes the validity of all points of view and values a constructive dialogue aimed at arriving at creative, integrated, and therefore, breakthrough solutions that meet the needs of all sides.. " New to the scene in the 2012 cycle were.. No Labels.. No Labels ("Not Left.. Not Right.. Forward.. ") formally launched on December 13, 2010 to "counter hyper-partisanship" and "bring together leading thinkers from the left, right, and all points in between.. " Americans Elect ("Pick a President, Not a Party") is working on ballot access in all 50 states and will hold an online nominating convention; "candidates are required to choose a running mate from a party other than their own.. Third Parties: Huge Obstacles.. One might think there is an opening for a third party, but uneven ballot access requirements and difficulties raising money, recruiting credible candidates, and attracting media attention form formidable barriers to these parties.. Minor or third parties include the Green Party, the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party; there are also a few state-based third parties such as the Independence Party in Minnesota.. Occasionally an independent candidate comes forth with sufficient credibility and resources to have an impact in a race.. American Political Science Association:.. Political Parties.. Open Secrets:.. Platforms:.. ,.. Libertarians.. Greens.. Constitution.. Amazon.. com:.. search Political Parties.. One book which has generated a fair bit of debate recently:.. Thomas Mann and Norman J.. Ornstein.. May 2012.. IT'S EVEN WORSE THAN IT LOOKS: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.. New York:.. Basic Books.. 2006.. 2002..

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  • Title: KEY PLAYERS: Interest Groups - Democracy in Action P2012
    Descriptive info: Active at Every Stage.. Organized interests and well-organized individuals endeavor to shape election-year debate at every stage of the nominating process, from the pre-campaign period to the transition.. Organizations advocating on subjects from abortion and the environment to 2nd Amendment rights and taxes mount efforts big and small to see that their points of view are represented during the long presidential campaign.. There are myriad ways in which an interest group can seek to influence the campaign debate.. A hands-on approach may entail developing a network of local volunteers and supporters and encouraging them to show up for candidate events or do some phone banking, producing collateral items such as brochures and signs, issuing a pledge, or developing a questionnaire for the campaigns to respond to.. A group can send out a team to follow a candidate's bus tour and present its message or hire a plane to fly a banner over an event, or it may opt to run a more traditional media campaign using some combination of direct mail, print, radio and/or television ads.. Different Groups Can Do Different Things.. There are rules, of course, as to what various groups can do.. The foundation starts with the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.. In 2002, Congress passed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA).. In the decade since then, outside money has found many new channels to flow into the system.. Recent court decisions and a deadlocked, toothless Federal Election Commission have left matters so that, according to Paul Ryan of The Campaign Legal Center, "the 2010 general election became a wild west of undisclosed political spending.. " In the 2012 campaign that wild west approach expanded.. After the passage of BCRA, Section 527 organizations, named after a section of the tax code, emerged as a channel for soft money funds.. 527's can engage in voter mobilization efforts, issue advocacy and other activity short of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a federal candidate.. They are not subject to regulation by the FEC and there are no limits to how much they can raise.. Perhaps the most famous of the 527s to date was the Swiftboat Veterans in the 2004 campaign.. Swiftboat Veterans was found to have violated the limitations on campaign activity, thereby falling within the jurisdiction of the Federal Election Campaign Act, and were forced to pay substantial penalties—albeit two years after the campaign was over.. Developments in 2010 opened the floodgates.. On January 21, 2010, the U.. Supreme Court issued its decision in.. Citizens United v.. Federal Election Commission.. ), allowing labor unions, corporations and incorporated membership organizations to engage in direct electioneering communications with general treasury funds.. [Before.. Citizens United.. these groups could engage in a broad array of.. nonpartisan.. political education activities such as distributing voter guides, holding forums, etc.. They could also establish separate segregated funds or political action committees which were allowed to make partisan communications.. to their members.. Under.. Citizens United.. these organizations are still prohibited by federal election campaign laws from making direct contributions to federal elections campaigns.. The FEC has issued some advisory opinions, but its rulemaking process bogged down (.. FEC.. Building on.. , D.. C.. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on March 26, 2010 in.. SpeechNow.. org v.. ) that contribution limits on SpeechNow, a Section 527 organization, were unconstitutional.. Thus was born the.. "super PAC.. Unlike an ordinary PAC which makes contributions to candidates and party committees, super PACs are "independent expenditure only committees.. " According to the Center for Responsive Politics, these "can raise unlimited sums from corporations, unions and other groups, as well as wealthy individuals" which they then use to "advocate for the defeat or election of federal candidates.. " Again the FEC has issued some advisory opinions, but been unable to come up with rules (.. In addition to the super PACs, another.. type of entity emerged as a key player in the 2010 and 2012 campaigns.. 501(c)(4).. 's, tax-exempt, not-for-profit.. social welfare organizations.. ), are allowed to engage in political advocacy, provided that such advocacy is  ...   aligned with Romney were Restore Our Future, American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity, while Priorities USA Action was aligned with Obama (see for example,.. Ad Campaign in Colorado and Virginia.. Grassroots Campaigns.. While a hands-on, grassroots campaign requires more effort to organize, it can have great effect.. Candidates and their campaigns take notice when activists from a particular group keep showing up at their events.. As with the primary ad campaigns, many of the grassroots campaigns focus on the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire.. For example, the group Strong America Now has did extensive organizing during the Iowa caucus campaign.. During the 2008 primary campaign, Ben Cohen's Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, Divided We Fail, ONE Vote '08 and the SEIU's health care effort were very visible in both Iowa and New Hampshire.. In the fall campaign, labor support is critical for the Democratic nominee.. Union members provide the manpower for everything from turning out large crowds at rallies to working phone banks (.. The AFL-CIO's election programs place a heavy emphasis on member to member contacts such as workplace flyers, home visits, and calls.. While questions have been raised about the AFL-CIO's focus and commitment to electoral politics as opposed to organizing, there is no question that organized labor as a whole will play a significant role in the campaign.. More broadly, a considerable progressive infrastructure provides a foundation for Democratic campaigns.. One key group on the progressive side is America Votes.. Formed in the 2004 cycle, America Votes coordinates the campaign activities of a number of progressive groups thus avoiding duplication of efforts.. Also on the progressive side American Bridge, which is aligned with David Brock's Media Matters Action Network, had trackers following and videotaping the Republican presidential candidates during the primary, and continued its work in the general election.. The Analyst Institute, "a clearinghouse for evidence-based best practices in progressive voter contact," also attracted a bit of notice.. Democracy Alliance, formed in 2005, "was created to build progressive infrastructure that could help counter the well-funded and sophisticated conservative apparatus.. " There appears to be less of this type of infrastructure on the conservative side, although groups such as The Leadership Institute and GOPAC work on training activists and leaders.. Endorsements: Varying Impact.. During the primaries backing of an influential group can provide a significant boost to a nascent campaign.. An endorsement obviously carries more weight if it goes beyond the press release or announcement and involves resources.. During the general election, an organization's endorsement of a presidential candidate is probably not going to affect the voting decisions of the group's individual members, but it does give the campaign something to talk about and is a factor for members of the broader public to consider.. Conventions: A Time to Focus.. The national nominating conventions, with thousands of media representatives on hand, prompt many groups to mobilize and try to get out their messages.. Before the conventions actually start, interest groups weigh in on the party platforms.. At the conventions, a fair number of delegates are active members of one group or another, and they take the opportunity to network in various caucuses and meetings.. Groups also organize receptions or forums or they may set up hospitality suites.. In addition, there is the "outside" scene at the conventions, which has reached extraordinary levels in recent years.. Typically there have been fenced off demonstration areas set aside at the edge of the convention sites where representatives from groups with opposing views can make their points.. However, these are little more than side shows, and it is the street demonstrations that attract most of the attention.. 2012:.. Tampa.. Charlotte.. The Campaign Legal Center -.. "What Changed in the 2010 Election Cycle".. IRS -.. "Charities, Churches and Politics".. Center for Public Integrity -.. "Silent Partners: How political non-profits work the system".. (2003-05).. SCOTUS Blog -.. page.. FEC -.. "2008 Independent Expenditure Summaries - Presidential Candidates".. Examples of Activity.. Endorsements.. Interest Group Ads-General Election.. Interest Group Ads-Primaries.. Interest Groups and the 2012 Republican Primary Campaign.. Super PACs..

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  • Title: KEY PLAYERS: Electorate - Democracy in Action P2012
    Descriptive info: Can We Do Better?.. Turnout in the 2012 presidential election was 58.. 2 percent of eligible voters.. There are still significant numbers of nonvoters.. America claims to be "the world's greatest democracy" so the question must be asked, can we do better?.. The Changing Electorate.. The campaigns, parties, aligned organizations, and many other groups all work to encourage people to vote.. The debacle of Florida in 2000 reminded voters that voting can indeed make a difference.. While 2008 saw the highest turnout since 1968, as.. 61.. 6 percent.. of eligible voters turned out, in 2012 turnout dipped to.. 58.. 2 percent.. of eligible voters.. In the 2012 general election four states had turnout of greater than 70 percent of eligible voters: Minnesota (75.. 7%), Wisconsin (72.. 5%), Colorado (70.. 3%) and New Hampshire (70.. 1%).. However, at the other extreme were Hawaii (44.. 2%), West Virginia (46.. 3%), Oklahoma (49.. 2%) and Texas (49.. 7%).. Different demographic groups also turned out at different levels.. A May 2013 Census Bureau report "The Diversifying Electorate—Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections)".. found that 66.. 2% of blacks voted, 64.. 1% of non-Hispanic whites, 48.. 0% of Hispanics and 47.. 3% of Asians.. Overall, according to the Census Bureau report, non-Hispanic whites accounted for 71.. 1% of the eligible electorate, blacks 12.. 5%, Hispanics 10.. 8% and Asians 3.. 8%.. However, because of the different turnout rates, the composition of those voting was somewhat different: 73.. 7% non-Hispanic whites, 13.. 4% blacks, 8.. 4% Hispanics and 2.. 9% Asians.. A major finding of the report is that "the 2012 voting population expansion came primarily from minority voters.. The Hispanic Vote.. The Hispanic vote received particular attention this election cycle.. According to the NALEO Educational Fund, "In 2008, 19.. 5 million Latinos were eligible to vote, but half did not cast ballots, because they were not registered or did not turn out.. " NALEO projected 12.. 2 million Hispanics would vote in the Nov.. 2012 general election compared to 9.. 7 million in Nov.. 2008 (.. The NALEO projection proved to be high; the Census Bureau report cited above put the total number of votes cast by Hispanics at 11.. 2 million.. The Pew Hispanic Center noted that, "Hispanics continue to punch below their weight.. " (.. Jan R.. van Lohuizen of Voter/Consumer Research observes that the Hispanic vote "did not increase uniformly, and most of the increase did not occur in the key swing states.. But the big story on the Hispanic vote was the strong support for Obama, 71% to 27% according to the exit polls.. A report by the Pew Hispanic Center states, "Obama's national vote share among Hispanic voters is the highest seen by a Democratic candidate since 1996, when President Bill Clinton won 72% of the Hispanic vote.. van Lohuizen writes, "Republicans have a very significant image problem among Hispanics.. Voter ID Laws.. Efforts of a number of states to pass voter ID laws, ostensibly because of concerns about voter fraud, became a significant issue in the months leading up to Nov.. 2012 (examples:.. FL.. PA.. TX.. The Brennan Center for Justice raised early alarms of a "wave of restrictive laws that could make it harder for up to 5 million Americans to vote," but subsequently pared the number to a still significant 500,000 voters.. Brennan cited "closed offices, long trips without cars and spotty public transit, and prohibitive costs for documents needed to get ID (.. On Sept.. 19, 2012 "groups representing communities of color.. declared a 'state of emergency' on voting rights in the U.. and said that millions of people could be disenfranchised by restrictive voter laws.. ) (see also.. NCSL: Voter Identification Requirements.. About Those Non-Voters.. Many reasons have been advanced to explain why so many Americans decline to engage in the most basic act of civic participation.. First, many Americans say they are too busy.. A 1998 Census Bureau study found that among those who were registered but did not vote in the 1996 campaign, 21.. 5 percent said they did not vote "because they could not take time off of work or school  ...   the same after a while, thirty-second spots are not a very effective way to conduct a reasoned discourse, and the multitude of attacks likely discourages some people from turning out at the polls.. Register and Vote Efforts.. Besides the parties', campaigns' and their allies' efforts to bring out their own supporters, secretaries of state and county election officials sometimes mount campaigns to encourage citizens to register and vote.. Additionally a host of nonpartisan organizations have sought to register voters and raise turnout, often focusing on specific demographic groups.. Many efforts focus on youth, including the National Student/Parent Mock Election, Kids Voting USA, the PIRGs' New Voters Project, and Rock The Vote.. There are other groups seeking to encourage turnout among African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, low income voters and members of the faith community; groups are also concerned about the voting rights of felons who have served their sentences.. National Voter Registration Day, Sept.. 25, 2012, was a noteworthy effort that brought together dozens of partners (.. Most of these efforts procede without incident, but in 2008 ACORN attracted considerable noteriety.. For almost forty years ACORN had sought to organize low- and moderate-income communities, but in 2008 there were a number of instances where the group was involved in falsifying voter registrations, and it became a magnet for criticism from Republicans and the right, ultimately filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nov.. 2010.. Efforts of organizations working on civic engagement and voter participation range from 30-second public service announcements (PSAs) that contain slick get-out-the-vote messages to grassroots drives in which people go door-to-door in targeted neighborhoods.. Person to person contact, particularly from family, friends and neighbors is especially effective.. In addition to organizations which encourage people to register and vote, there are "election protection" efforts which seek to counter activities which might intimidate voters or suppress the vote.. Finally, it must be remembered that voting is only a first step, a minimum level of participation.. The real challenge is not just to increase the number of voters, but to ensure citizens are informed about the choices they make.. Groups such as Project Vote Smart and the League of Women Voters as well the news media do work in this area, but there remains room for improvement.. Learn, Engage, Register, and Vote!.. Project Vote Smart.. League of Women Voters.. Vote411.. Federal Voting Assistance Program.. National Association of Secretaries of State.. CanIVote.. Nonprofit Vote.. Many Groups.. Racial/Ethnic.. National Congress of American Indians - Native Vote.. National Coalition on Black Civic Participation - Unity Voter Empowerment Campaign.. APIAVote.. Yalla Vote.. Focus: Hispanic Vote.. Voto Latino.. Mi Familia Vota.. NALEO Education Fund "The 2012 Latino Vote: Potential and Impact" (Feb.. 8, 2012).. Pew Hispanic Center - Data and Resources.. William C.. Velasquez Institute.. Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.. Youth/Students.. PIRGs' New Voters Project.. Rock the Vote.. Campus Vote Project (Fair Elections Legal Network).. Your Vote, Your Voice.. National Student/Parent Mock Election.. Kids Voting USA.. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).. Faith.. United Church of Christ's Our Faith Our Vote.. FRC Action - iVoteValues.. Vote with Authority.. Redeem the Vote.. [appears inactive].. NRA Freedom Action Foundation - Trigger the Vote.. HeadCount.. (Music Fans).. Yoga Votes.. The Internet Votes.. Voter Participation Center - Women's Voices, Women Vote.. Military Voter Protection Project.. Overseas Vote Foundation.. Project Vote.. The National Coalition for the Homeless -You Don't Need a Home to Vote.. Declare Yourself.. Voting Information Project.. The Sentencing Project-Voting Rights.. Election Protection.. National Association of Chain Drug Stores NACDS RxIMPACT Votes.. General Links.. Pew Center on the States - Election Initiatives.. Census Bureau - Census 2010 News.. American National Election Studies.. Center for the Study of the American Electorate "Election Studies" at American University.. United States Election Project at George Mason University.. United States Election Assistance Commission "Election Administration and Voting Surveys".. Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.. Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies "Political Participation".. Vanishing Voter Project at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy (John F.. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University).. 2000-04.. Links.. Details of 2012 Voter Reg.. Efforts.. Interview with Rock the Vote's Heather Smith..

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  • Title: Context: 2012 Presidential Campaign - Democracy in Action
    Descriptive info: Presidential election campaigns follow a set of familiar steps, from the early maneuvering and testing-the-waters activities in the pre-campaign period to frenetic last-ditch efforts of the party nominees in the fall.. Each presidential campaign occurs in, and is shaped by, a unique historical context.. Considering the Field of Play.. Context in 2012 and Recent Elections.. Resources.. Beyond the temperaments, leadership abilities, and characters of the candidates, one must also consider the context, or playing field on which a campaign is fought, for this sets broad bounds within which the candidates and their organizations must operate.. Events, social and economic conditions, cultural tendencies, technology, and rules and laws governing the election process all combine to create a political landscape which may favor one or another of the candidates.. The historical context in which a campaign is waged impacts its substance, pushing various domestic and foreign issues into greater or lesser prominence.. Further, since our presidential election campaigns are so long, the terrain can change somewhat even during the course of one election cycle.. Consider the communications environment.. The technologies a campaign can use to reach voters are constantly developing.. In the past, the whistlestop tour may have been the best way to communicate with voters; more recently the 30-second television spot was the preferred currency, and now the Internet and social media have assumed an increasingly important role.. The dialogue is not exactly being conducted in Tweets limited to 140 characters, but Tweets are part of the equation.. Campaigns must also take into account a news ecosystem which has changed dramatically in the past decade.. The rise of the Internet has drained revenue from traditional media, causing outlets to slash newsroom jobs and forcing some newspapers to close altogether.. At the same time, the blogosphere has exploded.. In the absence of editorial checks, the quality of information provided by bloggers is decidely uneven, however.. Some bloggers are breaking stories and others are spreading misinformation.. There is also the notion that America has become a polarized nation, divided into "red" and "blue.. " Partisan bickering and gridlock seem very much the order of the day, but an argument can be made that sharp divisions go right back to the early days of the Republic and that gridlock is built into the system.. Others point to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal or the battle over Florida following the 2000 presidential campaign or talk radio as polarizing factors.. It is possible that the professionalization of politics, from the proliferation of lobbyists to the ubiquitous role of consultants to the widespread use of polls, has jammed the works.. In recent decades, voters increasingly are chosing to register as independents or non-affiliated (see.. political parties.. Certainly voter dissatisfaction was much in evidence in 2010 midterm elections and in the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements.. In general, American election campaigns are long and expensive and often fall short in producing substantive discussion of issues.. Campaigns seem more geared to scoring points and lining the pockets of consultants than addressing problems facing the country or community.. The process for choosing the party's presidential nominees places a premium not on ideas or experience, but on the ability to raise money in the year before the election.. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich decried a lack of seriousness in the political process during a "Lincoln at Cooper Union" dialogue held on Feb.. 28, 2007.. "The process is decaying at a level that is bizarre, and it's a mutual synergistic decay between candidates, consultants and the news media," Gingrich said.. Individuals who might make excellent presidents may choose to self-select out rather than enduring the grind of a presidential campaign.. One wonders whether an Abraham Lincoln or a Theodore Roosevelt-type candidate would even be electable in the modern era.. The conduct of federal elections is governed by rules set out in Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations (.. ) (Federal Election Commission), state laws (.. ), and rules of the political parties.. These laws and rules have evolved over time.. For example, following the 2008 cycle, when twenty-four states held their presidential primaries or caucuses on February 5, both of the major parties changed their rules to encourage states and state parties to spread out their contests.. This resulted in a different pace to the 2012 Republican primaries.. More significant is the U.. Supreme Court's decision in.. and the emergence of super PACs which "can raise unlimited sums from  ...   ramifications of that collapse ultimately had the most telling effect on the outcome of the 2008 election.. The housing sector, which had been propelling economic growth, weakened markedly in 2007.. In March 2008 Bear Stearns collapsed and the Federal Reserve intervened.. By Sept.. 2008 a full-scale economic crisis had developed, dominating the closing weeks of the election.. 7 the federal government placed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into conservatorship.. Such was the seriousness of the situation that, even in the heat of the campaign, Congress managed to pass the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, a $700 billion financial rescue/bailout bill, which President Bush signed into law on Oct.. Major fluctuations roiled financial markets.. For example, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 777.. 68 points (6.. 98%) on Sept.. 29, 678.. 91 points (7.. 33%) on Oct.. 9, and 733.. 08 points (7.. 87%) on Oct.. 15, while gaining 936.. 42 points (11.. 08%) on Oct.. 13 and 889.. 35 points (10.. 88%) on Oct.. President George W.. Bush's job approval ratings hovered around 30-percent throughout the election year.. - The 2004 election in essence was about national security.. The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 had burned into the national psyche.. Within a month anthrax letters spread further anxiety to the extent that people were afraid to open their mail.. Increased security led to a new set of realities including long lines at airports and unsightly barricades around some public buildings.. Bush's popularity soared with the successful prosecution of the war in Afghanistan; his job approval reached 92 percent in October 2001 and was still at 83 percent in late January 2002.. The focus shifted to Iraq, and by the summer months of 2002 there was much speculation in the press and political circles about a possible war to force a "regime change" in Iraq, and about what form such a war would take and when it would come.. On March 19, 2003, having failed to gain the backing of the U.. N.. Security Council, the United States, backed by a "coalition of the willing," launched a strike on a meeting of key leaders in Baghdad, thereby beginning the war with Iraq.. Democrats selected Sen.. John Kerry as their nominee in significant part because he was a Vietnam veteran and was thus seen as someone who could speak with authority on national security.. - The event that most colored the political landscape in the 2000 cycle was the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.. This sordid story dominated the news in the latter part of 1998, culminating in the U.. Senate sitting as a Court of Impeachment in January 1999.. President Clinton survived, but the scandal set up a strong undercurrent which continued to resonate throughout the election cycle, creating a very awkward situation for Vice President Gore.. 1996.. - In 1996, the Cold War had receded into people's memories, and the campaign was fought on domestic issues.. The debate over the Clinton administration's health care proposal, Republicans' gain of control of the House in the 1994 mid-term elections, and the unprecedented shutdowns of the federal government all set the stage for the 1996 campaign.. 1992.. - The context of the 1992 campaign can best be summed up in the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid.. PollyVote.. by Scott Armstrong, Alfrez Cuzan, Andreas Graefe and Randall Jones.. The Keys to the White House.. by Allan J.. Lichtman.. The 2010 Statistical Abstract.. (U.. Census Bureau).. Economic Indicators.. Economy at a Glance.. (Bureau of Economic Analysis).. National Debt.. Interest on the National Debt.. (Bureau of Public Debt-U.. Dept of the Treasury).. and World Population Clocks.. Broader Perspectives.. British Prime Minister David Cameron's Nov.. 25, 2010 speech on wellbeing.. Gross National Happiness-American Project.. Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index.. TM.. Digital Universe.. (EMC).. Brendan J.. Doherty.. THE RISE OF THE PRESIDENT'S PERMANENT CAMPAIGN.. Lawrence, KS:.. University Press of Kansas.. "In this eye-opening book, Brendan Doherty provides empirical evidence of the growing focus by American presidents on electoral concerns throughout their terms in office, clearly demonstrating that we can no longer assume that the time a president spends campaigning for reelection can be separated from the time he spends governing.. Jesse Bricker, Arthur B.. Kennickell, Kevin B.. Moore, and John Sablehaus.. "Changes in U.. Family Finances from 2007 to 2010: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances.. Federal Reserve Bulletin.. , June 2012, Vol.. 98, No.. Congressional Budget Office.. "The 2012 Long-Term Budget Outlook," June 5, 2012..

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