The 2012 US Presidential Campaign: What do Past Campaigns Tell Us About This One?

23.05.2012 - 19:15
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
MZES Public Lecture
Prof. Richard Johnston, Ph.D.
Lecturer affiliation: 
University of British Columbia

The 2012 US Presidential election promises to be hard fought, with a narrow margin of victory. The Republican primaries stupefied the rest of the world as they did, in truth, many Americans. This lecture proposes to place the current campaign in the context of past ones, drawing upon the presenter's own research, mainly with the National Annenberg Election Study, as well as on work by others. The particulars of 2012 will be assessed against general patterns. Elements in the assessment include: strategic implications of the Electoral College; the "invisible primary"; party polarization and its impact on nominations and the general campaign; recurring features of general campaigns; activation of fundamental considerations versus opportunities for strategic manipulation.