The 2012 election is over, but the debate over the fairness and accuracy of our electoral system continues. The courts are dealing with the alleged discriminatory impact of voter ID requirements on minority voters; privacy and vote manipulation are concerns as political campaigns utilize new technology to target voters; the news media are contending with harsh public criticism of their elections coverage; the campaign finance floodgates were opened with vast resources spent on negative advertising; and the Electoral College continues to undermine a national, democratic electoral system—Is this any way to run a democratic election?

This fully updated fifth edition answers that important question by looking at both recent events and recent scholarship focused on the democratic electoral process, including new data and timely illustrations from the 2012 elections.

Campaign Communications: How Much Do They Matter?

Campaign Communications: How much do they matter?

Did you know that…

  • the Republican stereotype of Democrats as big-government, liberal do-gooders and the Democratic stereotype of Republicans as big-business, mean-spirited conservatives have existed for almost eighty years?
  • most people believe that personality issues are relevant and important even though they also believe that the news media place too much emphasis on them?
  • political advertising in presidential elections began in 1952, and the first negative presidential ad was run in 1964?
  • about 80 percent of the political commercials that were shown or heard during the competitive stage of the 2012 Republican nomination campaign were negative?
  • fact checks on political advertisements reveal a consistent pattern of exaggeration, deception, and untruths?
  • Romney spent more than twice as much money ...
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