2004 Presidential Campaign

Overview

Presidential campaigns are our national conversations—the widespread and complex communication of issues, images, social reality, and personas. In 2004, more people participated in the conversation, as voter numbers in every demographic group increased to levels of the 1970s. Here, political communication specialists break down the 2004 presidential campaign and go beyond the quantitative facts, electoral counts, and poll results of the election. Factoring in everything from "527" groups to Fahrenheit 9/11, they ...

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Overview

Presidential campaigns are our national conversations—the widespread and complex communication of issues, images, social reality, and personas. In 2004, more people participated in the conversation, as voter numbers in every demographic group increased to levels of the 1970s. Here, political communication specialists break down the 2004 presidential campaign and go beyond the quantitative facts, electoral counts, and poll results of the election. Factoring in everything from "527" groups to Fahrenheit 9/11, they look at the early campaign period, the nomination process and conventions, the social and political context, the debates, the role of candidate spouses, candidate strategies, political advertising, and the use of the Internet. This enlightening book shows why more technology doesn't always mean more effective communication and how, as we attempt to make sense of our environment, we collect "political bits" of communication that comprise our voting choices, worldviews, and legislative desires.

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
The thirteen chapters by a broad range of scholars do a good job of analyzing one mega-event from a wide variety of perspectives without stepping on one another's intellectual toes. Using a mix of empirical and qualitative approaches, the selections take on enduring topics (political conventions, presidential debates, the Electoral College, and campaign television advertising) but augment these discussions with innovative and emerging topics (cyberpolitics, campaign films, campaigns in popular culture, and the role of first ladies as communicators). The selections are well written. . . . Recommended.
Choice
The thirteen chapters by a broad range of scholars do a good job of analyzing one mega-event from a wide variety of perspectives without stepping on one another's intellectual toes. Using a mix of empirical and qualitative approaches, the selections take on enduring topics (political conventions, presidential debates, the Electoral College, and campaign television advertising) but augment these discussions with innovative and emerging topics (cyberpolitics, campaign films, campaigns in popular culture, and the role of first ladies as communicators). The selections are well written. . . . Recommended.
Gary Woodward
This timely study provides a valuable scholarly reprieve from the daily journalism that still shapes our understanding of the 2004 elections. Denton has assembled a group of seasoned and thoughtful communication scholars who dispassionately assess elements of what was a white-hot campaign. With admirable clarity they place the battle for the White House in the essential contexts of its pivotal moments and its role as a measure of recent shifts in the national mood. Readers will find reasons for both hope and concern in this book’s insightful discussion of the evolving machinery of presidential elections.
Larry J. Sabato
Bob Denton has assembled a terrific team of academics to take a look back at the critical election of 2004. The volume is brimming with instructive political insights about one of the most heated presidential elections of our lifetime. Billions of dollars were spent to convince Americans to vote for Bush or Kerry, and this book helps explain the communication strategies at work behind the scenes and on TV. What a perfect, timely book for a wide range of both undergraduate and graduate politics courses!
Jim Kuypers
As usual, Bob Denton delivers a quality project. This edited volume brings together the usual suspects along with a liberal sprinkling of new talent. Although each chapter reflects well the personalities of the authors, the writing is of uniform high quality—a mark of a Denton edition. Advanced undergraduates as well as academic professionals will benefit from this book.
Gary C. Woodward
This timely study provides a valuable scholarly reprieve from the daily journalism that still shapes our understanding of the 2004 elections. Denton has assembled a group of seasoned and thoughtful communication scholars who dispassionately assess elements of what was a white-hot campaign. With admirable clarity they place the battle for the White House in the essential contexts of its pivotal moments and its role as a measure of recent shifts in the national mood. Readers will find reasons for both hope and concern in this book’s insightful discussion of the evolving machinery of presidential elections.
Jim A. Kuypers
As usual, Bob Denton delivers a quality project. This edited volume brings together the usual suspects along with a liberal sprinkling of new talent. Although each chapter reflects well the personalities of the authors, the writing is of uniform high quality—a mark of a Denton edition. Advanced undergraduates as well as academic professionals will benefit from this book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742535718
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Series: Communication, Media, and Politics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 7.48 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert E. Denton, Jr., is the W. Thomas Rice Chair and director for the Center for Leader Development at Virginia Tech.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Acknowledgments Chapter 3 1 Surfacing in 2004: The Democrats Emerge Chapter 4 2 Political Conventions of 2004: A Study in Character and Contrast Chapter 5 3 Presidential Campaign Films in a Televisual Convention Environment: The Example of 2004 Chapter 6 4 The 2004 Presidential Debates Chapter 7 5 Candidate Strategies in the 2004 Presidential Campaign: Instrumental Choices Faced by the Incumbent and His Challengers Chapter 8 6 Swinging the Vote in the 2004 Presidential Election Chapter 9 7 First Ladies in Waiting: The Fight for Rhetorical Legitimacy on the 2004 Campaign Trail Chapter 10 8 The Shadow Campaign in Popular Culture Chapter 11 9 Campaign 2004 Developments in Cyberpolitics Chapter 12 10 The Main Frame: Assessing the Role of the Internet in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Contest Chapter 13 11 Religion, Evangelicals, and Moral Issues in the 2004 Presidential Campaign Chapter 14 12 Videostyle in the 2004 Presidential Advertising Chapter 15 13 Explaining the Vote in a Divided Country: The Presidential Election of 2004 Chapter 16 Index Chapter 17 About the Contributors

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