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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

A New Test Of Issue Ownership Theory: U.S. Senate Campaign Debates, John C. Davis Oct 2016

A New Test Of Issue Ownership Theory: U.S. Senate Campaign Debates, John C. Davis

Speaker & Gavel

This study tests issue ownership theory on U.S. Senate debates. Issue ownership theory states that each of the two major American parties possess issues which the public perceive to be best handled by one party over another. Republicans are thought to be better at handling problems concerning national defense, foreign policy, and taxes. Democrats are believed to be better at addressing issues such as education, health care, and the environment. This study hypothesizes that, due to unique characteristics regarding the office being sought, U.S. Senate candidates from both major parties do not adhere to previously recognized patterns of ...


Coverage Of The 2008 Presidential Primary Campaign By Males, Females, And Mixed Journalist Groups, Sheri Whalen Oct 2016

Coverage Of The 2008 Presidential Primary Campaign By Males, Females, And Mixed Journalist Groups, Sheri Whalen

Speaker & Gavel

This study examines the trait, issue and tone coverage of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign by male, female and groups of male and female journalists in newspapers, newsmagazines and Sunday morning political television shows. Results indicate that the media focused more on traits than issues during the campaign. However, female and groups of male and female newspaper journalists focused more on issues than traits. All three journalist groups gave Hillary Clinton more negative than positive coverage and Barack Obama more positive than negative coverage. Female and groups of male and female ...


Motivated Reasoning And Viewers' Reactions To The First 2012 Presidential Debate, Jeffrey W. Jarman Oct 2016

Motivated Reasoning And Viewers' Reactions To The First 2012 Presidential Debate, Jeffrey W. Jarman

Speaker & Gavel

General election presidential debates are highly argumentative encounters filled with evidence, argument, and refutation. While the candidates come to the debates armed with evidence and arguments in support of their positions, it is unclear how the audience interprets the information. This paper reports the findings from a study of the first presidential debate in 2012. Participants evaluated the strength of arguments made by Obama and Romney, as well as which candidate won each segment of the debate. The study confirms that viewers do not dispassionately evaluate the debate, but instead are driven by partisan interests that lead them to find ...


Points Of Stasis In The 1960 And 2000 Presidential Debates, Kevin Stein Mar 2016

Points Of Stasis In The 1960 And 2000 Presidential Debates, Kevin Stein

Speaker & Gavel

The clash component of a presidential debate sets it apart from other types of campaign messages because the candidates are faced with a potential for “imminent rebuttal” not found in other types of messages, such as television spots or stump speeches. This study is a rhetorical analysis of the 1960 and 2000 presidential debates and attempts to identify the specific points of stasis (clash) where two arguments meet. These points of stasis are labeled in the classic rhetorical theory literature as conjectural, qualitative, definitional, and translative. The study tests the application of these categories as a precursor to future research ...


To Answer, Or Not To Answer - That Is The Question Of The Hour: Image Restoration Strategies And Media Coverage Of Past Drug Use Questions In The Presidential Campaigns Of Bill Clinton And George W. Bush, Shari Veil Mar 2016

To Answer, Or Not To Answer - That Is The Question Of The Hour: Image Restoration Strategies And Media Coverage Of Past Drug Use Questions In The Presidential Campaigns Of Bill Clinton And George W. Bush, Shari Veil

Speaker & Gavel

This study analyzed the relationship between image restoration strategies and media coverage, specifically, the image restoration strategies utilized by Bill Clinton in 1992 and George W. Bush in 1999 in response to questions of past drug use and the ensuing media coverage during the respective campaigns. A literature review of political apologia and image restoration strategies is presented, followed by potential explanations for the extensive media coverage of the drug issue. Articles published in 7 newspapers during the respective political campaigns were retrieved and textually analyzed to determine the candidates’ image restoration strategies. The reported presidential comments were then critically ...


Winning The Peace: The "Three Pillars" Of George Bush At Whitehall Palace, Terry Robertson Mar 2016

Winning The Peace: The "Three Pillars" Of George Bush At Whitehall Palace, Terry Robertson

Speaker & Gavel

The November, 19, 2003 speech given by George W. Bush at Whitehall Palace in Great Britain was one of the most significant in the President’s political career. Mr. Bush attempts, in the speech, to reinforce his proponents as well as negate the arguments of his skeptics. This work illustrates, through Neo- Aristotelian rhetorical criticism how the President met the rhetorical situation, how he utilized language and rhetorical devices, and critiques the means of persuasion utilized by Mr. Bush.


Third Party Candidates In Political Debates: Muted Groups Struggling To Express Themselves, Carolyn Prentice Mar 2016

Third Party Candidates In Political Debates: Muted Groups Struggling To Express Themselves, Carolyn Prentice

Speaker & Gavel

With the rise of a multitude of political parties, some campaign debate organizers are beginning to include third party candidates in their public debates. However, these third party candidates have been ignored in campaign debate literature. This study analyzed the transcripts of three campaign debates that included third party candidates, using muted group theory to understand the impact of third party candidates in campaign debates. The analysis demonstrates that third party candidates experience the communication obstacles of muted groups.

Since World War II, party affiliation among U.S. voters and straight-ticket voting has been on the decline (Miller & Shanks, 1996 ...


A Functional Analysis Of Non-Presidential Primary Debates, William L. Benoit, Jayne R. Goode Feb 2016

A Functional Analysis Of Non-Presidential Primary Debates, William L. Benoit, Jayne R. Goode

Speaker & Gavel

Despite the fact that political debates are increasingly common at all levels of government, relatively little work investigates the content of non-presidential debates (and work on primary debates is even less common). This study breaks new ground by analyzing four non-presidential primary debates. Two Democratic gubernatorial debates, one Republican U.S. Senate debate, and one Republican U.S. House debate were content analyzed using the framework of the functional theory of political campaign discourse. Overall, these debates were mainly positive, with 71% acclaims, 22% attacks, and 7% defenses. The Democratic (and gubernatorial) debates had more attacks and defenses and fewer ...


Newspaper Coverage Of U.S. Senate Debates, William L. Benoit, Corey Davis Feb 2016

Newspaper Coverage Of U.S. Senate Debates, William L. Benoit, Corey Davis

Speaker & Gavel

Political debates are important message forms, capable of informing and in-fluencing voters. However, news coverage of debates informs and influences both those who watch, and those who do not watch, the debates. This study compared the content (functions and topics) of 10 U.S. Senate debates from 1998-2004 with the content of newspaper articles about those particular debates. Newspaper coverage of debates was significantly more negative than the debates themselves, reporting a higher percentage of attacks and a smaller percentage of acclaims than the candidates employed. The newspaper articles also stressed character more, and policy less, than the candidates. This ...


On The Conversational Style Of Ronald Reagan: "A-E=[Less Than]Gc" Revisited And Reassessed, Windy Yvonne Lawrence, Ronald H. Carpenter Feb 2016

On The Conversational Style Of Ronald Reagan: "A-E=[Less Than]Gc" Revisited And Reassessed, Windy Yvonne Lawrence, Ronald H. Carpenter

Speaker & Gavel

During contemporaneous rhetorical criticism of his style in discourse, President Ronald Reagan was assessed in terms of his living up to the eloquence of John F. Kennedy‘s Inaugural Address. In those two Speaker & Gavel Essays, Reagan was found to be deficient and thus a "less-than-great communicator." After revisiting and reassessing those two essays, Reagan‘s essentially conversational mode of communication for television was found to embody rhetorical elements that indeed may have fostered eloquence sufficient to retain the sobriquet of "great communicator."


"I Am A Candidate For President": A Functional Analysis Of Presidential Announcement Speeches, 1960-2004, William Benoit, Jayne R. Goode, Sheri Whalen, Penni M. Pier Feb 2016

"I Am A Candidate For President": A Functional Analysis Of Presidential Announcement Speeches, 1960-2004, William Benoit, Jayne R. Goode, Sheri Whalen, Penni M. Pier

Speaker & Gavel

This study investigates the nature of presidential announcement speeches, messages that introduce the current crop of contenders for the White House to voters and the news media. Announcement speeches are typically voters‘ initial exposure to these politicians as candidates for the White House. Seventy-five presidential announcement speeches from 1960 through 2004 were analyzed with the Functional Theory of Campaign Discourse. Acclaims were over three times as common as attacks; defenses were quite rare. Republicans and winners were more positive than Democrats or losers. These speeches were evenly split between policy and character. Democrats discussed policy more, and character less, than ...


A Functional Analysis Of French And South Korean Political Leaders' Debates, Yun Son Choi, William L. Benoit Feb 2016

A Functional Analysis Of French And South Korean Political Leaders' Debates, Yun Son Choi, William L. Benoit

Speaker & Gavel

This study reports two replications of research employing the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse, analyzing political leaders‘ debates from one European and one Asian country. French political debates from 1988 and 1995 and South Korean debates from 1997 and 2002 were content analyzed using the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse. Acclaims were the most common function, followed by attacks and then defenses, in both French and South Korean debates. Policy was discussed more often than character in French and South Korean debates. In France, but not in South Korea, incumbent party candidates acclaimed significantly more and attacked less ...


Because I Said So: A Functional Theory Analysis Of Evidence In Political Tv Spots, Jayne R. Henson, William L. Benoit Jan 2016

Because I Said So: A Functional Theory Analysis Of Evidence In Political Tv Spots, Jayne R. Henson, William L. Benoit

Speaker & Gavel

This study examines presidential general election television advertising (1952-2004), primary advertising (1952-2008), and non-presidential advertising from 2002 (gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, U.S. House) to understand the use of evidence (statements for which sources are provided) in such campaign messages. 8% of the themes in these spots were supported by evidence (that is, identified a source for a claim). However, the longitudinal presidential data suggests that evidence in advertising was rare until the 1990s, when Bill Clinton in particular employed a great deal of evidence in his spots. Although the appeals across all ads were mainly positive (70% of the ...