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American Politics

Alison Dana Howard

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Vote For Me: Appeals To Voters In Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speeches, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard Sep 2014

Vote For Me: Appeals To Voters In Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speeches, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard

Alison Dana Howard

With the proliferation of primary elections, party conventions began to ratify the choice of nominee typically already long decided. Conventions, however, still provide a forum to highlight and promote the parties' respective nominees. Above all, the convention offers a chance to convince (or, at least begin convincing) the general electorate that it should cast a ballot for the party’s nominee. A candidate’s nomination speech signals the launch of the general election campaign and provides each party’s nominee with a significant rhetorical opportunity. Up to this point in the presidential contest, primarily partisans have been engaged, the general ...


The Pedagogical Value Of Polling: A Coordinated 2012 Exit Poll Project Across Diverse Classrooms, Jennifer Kelkres Emery, Alison D. Howard, Jocelyn Evans Sep 2014

The Pedagogical Value Of Polling: A Coordinated 2012 Exit Poll Project Across Diverse Classrooms, Jennifer Kelkres Emery, Alison D. Howard, Jocelyn Evans

Alison Dana Howard

Several previous studies have demonstrated that student exit polling has educational value and promotes civic engagement (Berry and Robinson 2012, Evans and Lagergren 2007, Lelieveldt and Rossen 2009, and others). The authors of this paper have created assignments and an instructor's manual on running student exit polls in undergraduate courses. Three institutions used these assignments during the fall 2012 semester. Working together, these instructors created an opportunity for their students to participate collaboratively with others in survey design and data analysis. This effort further provided assessment data on the effectiveness of this pedagogical approach for student engagement outside of ...


George W. Bush And The Rhetoric Of Chief Legislator: The First Term, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard Sep 2014

George W. Bush And The Rhetoric Of Chief Legislator: The First Term, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard

Alison Dana Howard

Near the beginning of a congressional session, the president will present key pieces of his legislative agenda to both Congress and the American public in the State of the Union address (SUA). He will couch his requests in a way that seeks to persuade his audiences he has the legislative solution to a problem he details. Effective political communication between the president and Congress is essential since each play key roles in the legislative process. While Congress comprises the legislative branch, the moniker we attach to one of the multiple jobs with which presidents are charged is that of chief ...


Communicating As Chief Legislator: Four Case Studies From The State Of The Union, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard Sep 2014

Communicating As Chief Legislator: Four Case Studies From The State Of The Union, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard

Alison Dana Howard

While the Constitution stipulates in Article II, Sec. 3 that presidents can recommend necessary and expedient measures to Congress, it is up to Congress to act. The primary place presidents engage in the activity of recommending legislation is the State of the Union Address (SUA). We examine SUAs from 1965-2002 and identify the legislative requests that presidents make of Congress. The SUA is a unique presidential speech that allows assessment and comparison between presidents of whether Congress follows where the president leads. Are presidents successful in getting Congress to enact the policies they ask for in the SUA? Furthermore, the ...


Presidents And The Rhetoric Of Recessions, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard Sep 2014

Presidents And The Rhetoric Of Recessions, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard

Alison Dana Howard

Are presidents reticent during recessions? Some research indicates that presidents make fewer major and minor speeches when economic conditions worsen (Ragsdale 1984; Eshbaugh-Soha 2010). We examine whether this holds true with major discretionary speeches utilizing recessions as the indicator of poor economic conditions. In addition, we also investigate the subject matter of major discretionary speeches given during both economic expansions and contractions. Presidents potentially have an incentive during a recession to focus the attention of the public away from economic concerns, where they have little command and control ability, to foreign policy, where they do have more power to act ...