Spinning Debates: The Impact of the News Media’s Coverage of the Final 2004 Presidential Debate
The purpose of the article is the analyses the role of the media in shaping the outcome of the 2004 presidential election. The media a presidential debate heavily sided with president Bush and influenced the outcome of the election. The article specifically researches on the influence of the media on voters’ presidential decision. The presidential candidates were George Bush and John Kerry. Bob Schiefer the moderator asked both candidates to share their opinion on homosexuality. Senator John Kerry answered, ““We’re all God’s children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney’s daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she’s being who she was, she’s being who she was born as.”
The remarks by senator Kerry gained a lot of media attention both Fox news, CNN and political surrogates commented on how cruel that statement of Cheney’s daughter being lesbian. The horrible comments from senator attracted extensive media attention the following day with the media seek comments from Lynne Cheney’s response to the comments made about her daughter being lesbian. The counter response from Lynen was emotional showing that the man senator Kerry is very bad and the comments were unfortunate and hurtful. Also, the vice president responded that he was angered by the remarks and showed how far senator Kerry can go to attract votes. The negative analyses on senator Kerry comments had an effect on how the voters viewed the presidential candidates. The article examines how the one-sided coverage of presidential candidates affects the opinion of voters on their presidential choice. The extensive coverage by all media on the comments by senator crated a one-sided coverage as the issue of Mary Cheney became an issue of focus for the both campaigns and the media.
The current literature on the influence of the media in the presidential election is limited and shows that the media has little influence on the voters’ decisions as the candidates are constantly countering their messages through campaigns and advertisement. However, the media shapes the agenda, making considering on issues and influencing voters’ position on issues in the election. However, the media are not effective in influencing the voters on their presidential candidate as they already have preconceived choice of their candidate’s based on their party affiliation.
The article seeks to find out the effect of the media coverage of the presidential debate an its effect on the decision of voters. There is a distinction between the debate and the media coverage of the debate which might be one sided as they can support one candidate over another and affect the voters decision. The survey was conducted using the news coverage following the 2004 presidential election using the coverage of the famous television of NBC, ABC, CBS and cable network of CNN and Fox news. Also, the popular newspapers of New York times and Arizona republic were analyzed. From the experiment, it is can be concluded that the people who watched the media coverage of the senator Kerry but did not watch the debate had a negative perception of senator Kerry and did not expect him to win the election. This shows that media coverage after the debates affects voters’ opinion and evaluation of presidential candidates.
Political Issues and the Dynamics of Vote Choice in 2008
The 2008 presidential election occurred during the financial crisis. The article seeks to determine the factors which influenced voters decision making during the 2008 presidential election. The consistent factor which decided the 2008 presidential election between Obama and McCain is the economy. Obama performed better in the economy and many believe that it may have heavily influenced the outcome of the election. This article disputes this notion and suggest that the voters had already made a decision concerning their candidates before the economic crisis started and start of the crisis just seven weeks to the election did not sway voters.
There are other significant social factors which influenced the outcome of the election. 2008 was a difficult election and research since the 1980s have shown that when the economy is performing poorly, voters tend to remove the incumbent. 2008 was a difficult year as the country experienced a financial crisis never seen before. The stock market crashed, many people lost their hems and many lost jobs. The economy became an important issue for the election for 60% of Americans.
The collapse of Lehman brothers in September was the pivotal moment and marked a very unique election where election happened during an economic crisis and made the economy one of the important issues of the election and not the moral conduct, or the Iraq war which determined the outcome of the 2004 election. The bush administration announced a $700 billion bailout program to help solve the economic crisis. The economy was rated por and in a worrying condition by over 90% of Americans.
However, when we look at the data, 63% of democrats thought the economy was a primary issue of concern for the election while 54% of republicans saw the economy as important factor, making a difference of 9% between the voters. This small difference in the perception of both voters of the different parties meant that the 2008 election was not determined by the economy as an issue as almost all voters agreed that the economy was a problem and therefore could not eb the deciding factor in the election. The article seeks to determine the extent to which the economy became a deciding factor in the 2008 presidential election.
The article focuses on the undecide voters and who did they trust on the issue of the economy. However, it is determined that only 3% of the 11% of undecided voters changed their mind concerning their presidential choice after the collapse of the economy. Obama had a slight advantage over McCain on the issue of the election even before the collapse of the economy and the data suggests that the economy was not a significant decider in the election. Social factors and Iraq were more deciding factors in the election and gave Obama an important advantage over McCain. Obama had promised to withdraw troops in Iraq and offer health care insurance. This ultimately proved to eb the deciding factors in the election outcome and not the economy as many had projected.