In 1976, a housewife from New York, Ellen McCormack ran for President. In 18 states, her name appeared on primary election ballots as a Democrat. Her platform was strictly based on a pro-life approach to the issue of abortion. Even though she did not win any primaries, McCormack’s campaign was successful enough to have raised money for federal matching funds and for Secret Service protection. The extra campaign dollars also allowed for the creation of television spots that would promote McCormack’s pro-life beliefs.
Would a commercial, such as this one, work in today’s political climate?
When Paul Ryan was named as the Vice-Presidential nominee by Republican Mitt Romney, I was asked about his impact on the Presidential race. I said many times that the Ryan pick would finally energize the conservative base of the Republican Party who were skeptical of their nominee in Ryan. Ryan’s youthful enthusiasm coupled with his wonkish policy appeal was just what the Romney campaign needed. The bland Romney campaign searched for its voice throughout the primary season and through the early stages of the general campaign. Ryan would be that shot in the arm. For a short time, the Ryan pick did help pull even with President Barack Obama in the polls. That momentum seems to have been lost in the last week, as recent reports from the Romney front have stated that Ryan has been muzzled by his Romney’s staffers. Romney’s team wants Ryan to speak less on his “bread and butter” topic, the budget, and more on how badly Obama has run the country. Conservative pundits and grassroots supporters wonder why this is so? Without Ryan’s budget appeal, the Romney campaign was back to where it started, in search of a voice.
How much of a factor should a Vice Presidential pick be for a Presidential ticket? What criteria would you look for when choosing a VP nominee?
From the 1964 Ralph G. Martin book, Ballots and Bandwagons, a compilation of events from five political conventions in the early half of the twentieth century:
“Political Axiom Number One says that the brighter the presidential prospect of victory, the greater the crop of available candidates.”
It is a pretty simple rule, but do you agree with such an axiom?
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) of 2002, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act, includes a provision where political candidates, running for public office at the federal level, must identify their own political advertisements with the phrase, “I approve this message.” This idea was intended to discourage candidates from running negative ads on television or radio. However, when ads are produced and aired by outside organizations, such as interest groups or political parties, they acknowledge that their ads are not affiliated with any candidates or campaign committees. In effect, the interest group or political party is letting the audience know that the ads are independent of any candidate. Candidates for state office are not required to have an “approval” message included in their ads.
Does it matter to you if an ad is run by a candidate or by an outside political organization? Did you even know there was a difference between the two?
This piece of Presidential memorabilia was from the 1964 campaign of Republican nominee, Barry Goldwater. Goldwater lost the election to President Lyndon Johnson in a landslide. However, Goldwater’s candidacy shifted the Republican Party to the conservative right. Your thoughts on the slogan/bumper sticker?
A common misperception from the 1988 Presidential campaign between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis is that Bush team produced and ran ad that prominently featured Willie Horton. The “Willie Horton ad” is it was to be called, featured a criminal (Horton) and how he was allowed out of prison on weekends by a Massachusetts Governor (Dukakis) in part to that state’s prison furlough program. The ad mentions that while Horton was out on one weekend pass, he kidnapped, stabbed, and raped a woman and brutally beat that woman’s boyfriend. The ad struck a nerve with the public, hurt the Dukakis campaign, and Dukakis never recovered. Many who watched the ad would reference it as “Bush’s Willie Horton ad” when in fact the ad was created by the National Security PAC (Political Action Committee). This PAC ran an ad, by federal law, independent of the Bush campaign.
How would the public know if the ad was paid for and produced by an outside or independent organization? Sure, there was a disclaimer at the bottom of the “Horton” ad that disclosed the source. The disclaimer was about the size of the type of disclaimers that you see in a car commercial. A magnifying glass is a necessity for proper reading. In the last twelve years, identifying a commercial’s source became a bit easier for the public. With the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) (2002), candidates at the federal level who run ads from their own campaign coffers must say, “I am so and so and I am approve this message.” Most campaign commercials are run by outside organizations, so this BCRA requirement is not applicable.
What are your thoughts on the amount of ads that you have seen in the last few months? Now that the elections are over, you perhaps can fully process what has been transmitted over the airwaves in this election season.
In this week’s installment of Evaluating the Ads, Georgia is on our mind. There’s an open seat for the United States Senate involving Michelle Nunn (D) and David Perdue (R). The reason for the vacancy is due to retirement of Senator Saxby Chambliss (R). Republicans are hoping to hold on to the seat. Nunn is the daughter of former United States Senator Sam Nunn (D). Perdue is a cousin of former Governor Sonny Perdue (R).
The first ad is from Perdue’s campaign.
Does a biographical ad resonate with you?
The following ad is from Nunn’s campaign.
Does an endorsement from former Senator Nunn make a difference to you?
Posted in General Political Science
Tagged 2014, Ads, David Perdue, Democrat, Elections, Georgia, Michelle Nunn, Republican, Sam Nunn, Saxby Chambliss, Sonny Perdue, United States Senate
When California voters show up to the polls this November, they will have a limited number of choices at the ballot box for Governor, other statewide races, and races for US House. Known as the “Top 2” Primary, the top two candidates in the primary advance to a run-off in November’s general election. Traditional open/closed primary elections guarantee a nominee from each political party who holds a party primary. Therefore, if three parties hold primary elections, then each party will have a nominee on the ballot in the general election. In a “Top 2” system, no party is guaranteed a nominee in the second round of voting. You could end up with the top two primary winners from the same political party. The Green, Libertarian, and Peace and Freedom Parties will not have a candidate in November’s statewide and national races in California.
What are your opinions on a “Top 2” Primary? Do you favor such an election? Do you favor the traditional open/closed primaries that most states have where each party will have some form of representation on Election Day?