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 5: The Effect of Debates
The Effect of Debates
Other than the nominating conventions, presidential and vice presidential debates are easily the most visible regularly scheduled events of the campaign season. Televised debates began with a series of debates during the 1960 campaign, went on an extended hiatus during the 1964, 1968, and 1972 elections, and returned to become regular events since the 1976 election. Today, debates have become a common part of the political landscape during election years. One question concerning debates that has received mixed responses from the academic community is the degree to which debates are important political events in the campaign. Although debates are highly visible events, it is not clear that they are very important to the voting public. In this chapter, ...