Tracing the evolution of political advertising from 1952 through 2016, Darrell M. West returns with his much anticipated Seventh Edition of Air Wars: Television Advertising and Social Media in Election Campaigns, 1952-2016. Integrating the latest data and key events from the 2016 campaigns–including the most provocative presidential campaign in recent decades and the surprising victory of Donald Trump–West provides in-depth examination and insight into how candidates plan and execute advertising and social media campaigns, how the media covers these campaigns, and how American voters are ultimately influenced by them. This new edition includes coverage of social media campaigning, nano-targeting strategies in a fragmented electorate, and thorough analysis of the 2016 presidential campaign, from the candidates’ use of Twitter to concerns over falsehoods and deception, the impact of ads and debates on candidate perceptions, and the risks to democratic elections from new campaign developments.



Candidates do not choose their messages lightly. Most campaigners develop commercials and social media appeals based on game plans that outline the desired targets of the campaign as well as the themes and issues to be addressed. As campaigns have opened up and nominating battles have become common, the strategic aspect of electoral appeals has emerged as a major determinant. Candidates face more choices than at any previous point in American history. A system of presidential selection based on popular support places a premium on these decisions. Campaigners who pursue the wrong constituencies, go on the attack prematurely, or address noncrucial issues end up in political oblivion. For these reasons, it is instructive to look at the content and style of presentation with ...

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