The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election

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Overview

Barack Obama's stunning victory in the 2008 presidential election will go down as one of the more pivotal in American history. Given America's legacy of racism, how could a relatively untested first-term senator with an African father defeat some of the giants of American politics?

In The Obama Victory, Kate Kenski, Bruce Hardy, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson draw upon the best voter data available, The National Annenberg Election Survey, as well as interviews with key advisors to each campaign, to illuminate how media, money, and messages shaped the 2008 election. They explain how both sides worked the media to reinforce or combat images of McCain as too old and Obama as not ready; how Obama used a very effective rough-and-tumble radio and cable campaign that was largely unnoticed by the mainstream media; how the Vice Presidential nominees impacted the campaign; how McCain's age and Obama's race affected the final vote, and much more.

Briskly written and filled with surprising insights, The Obama Victory goes beyond opinion to offer the most authoritative account available of precisely how and why Obama won the presidency.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The political campaigns for the election of 2008 introduced new uses of social media and targeted specific voter populations. Each side worked diligently to control media messages and public perceptions. Barack Obama tried to portray John McCain as too old and too much like President Bush, while McCain attempted to convince the public that Obama did not have enough experience to be President. Kenski (communication, Univ. of Arizona), Bruce W. Hardy (senior research analyst, Annenberg Public Policy Ctr.), and Kathleen Hall Jamieson (Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication, Univ. of Pennsylvania) use survey data from the National Annenberg Election Survey, as well as interviews with key campaign officials, to examine the impact of the various strategies on the election outcome. They pay special attention to the effect of the vice presidential nominees on voter behavior, including issues related to gender and the influence of popular media, such as Tina Fey's parodies of Sarah Palin.Verdict This data-rich and detailed analysis of the 2008 political campaigns will appeal to political scientists, political communication specialists, and campaign strategists and is likely to mold future campaign strategies.—Judy Solberg, Seattle Univ. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195399554
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/14/2010
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Kenski is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Arizona and was a member of the National Annenberg Election Survey team in 2000, 2004, and 2008. She has published over twenty articles in political communication and is co-author of Capturing Campaign Dynamics (OUP 2004).

Bruce W. Hardy is a doctoral candidate in the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania, a Senior Research Analyst in the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and a member of the 2008 National Annenberg Election Survey team.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of its Annenberg Public Policy Center. She has published many books, including Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment (OUP 2008) and the award-winning Spiral of Cynicism: The Press and the Public Good (OUP 1997), both co-authored with Joseph N. Cappella.

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Table of Contents

1. Maverick versus Mc-Same; Change versus Tax and Spend Liberal
2. Too Old versus Not Ready to Lead
3. What a Difference a Party Makes: Playing to and against Party Assumptions
4. The Issues that Mattered to Specific Groups? Stem Cells, Abortion, Immigration
5. Period One
6. Period Two
7. Period Three
8. Period Four
9. Period Five
10. Was the Election over Before it was over
11. Will Presidential Campaigns ever be the Same Again? Implications for the Future

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