A thorough examination of the impact of campaign politics on presidential elections in the United States is presented in this book. Using actual election results and empirical evidence, the author also incorporates data on additional factors such as media coverage, the impact of nominating conventions on public opinion, presidential debates, and other events such as staff shake-ups, endorsements and scandals. In so doing, Holbrook develops a model for testing campaigns and proves how campaigns play a key role in shaping public opinion and, ultimately, influencing outcomes.
Chapter 2: Evidence against Campaign Effects
Evidence against Campaign Effects
The strongest arguments against finding significant campaign effects lie not in the existing scholarship on campaigns but in the body of scholarship pointing to other variables, at both the aggregate and individual levels, as the primary determinants of voting behavior and election outcomes. In short, this evidence suggests that election outcomes are too easily predicted without considering campaign variables and that voting behavior is too heavily influenced by long-term predispositions and attitudes toward presidential performance for campaigns to have any meaningful effect. Although findings of this nature do not rule out the possibility of significant campaign effects, they certainly are consistent with a more pessimistic view of the role of campaigns. Before beginning a detailed analysis of campaign ...