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The Obama Victory


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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

About 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.


"The Obama Victory: How Media, Money and Message Shaped the 2008 Election is smart, groundbreaking and full of surprises. Despite all that's been written about the 2008 campaign, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Bruce Hardy and Kate Kenski have produced fresh, conclusive evidence of how rhetoric, themes, and unprecedented campaign spending--plus the Palin factor--explain the historic outcome. Sharply written and brilliantly documented, this is the book for anyone interested in politics."--Andrea Mitchell, NBC News "This book aims for an audience that includes, but is much wider than, the academic reader. It is much more a "fun read" than most scholarly books, in part because it incorporates the perspectives of campaign professionals along with anecdotes from the campaign trail. Some of these anecdotes will be familiar to readers, but many will be new and fascinating to any political junkie...Anyone who wants a better understanding of the outcome of the historic 2008 presidential race should read this book."--Political Communication "A scrupulous and revealing analysis of the 2008 presidential election campaigns...This volume is not for the politically faint of heart, but The Obama Victory likely will be viewed in the future as the go-to source for a comprehensive perspective on the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States...The rigorous dependence on data is impressive. Overall, The Obama Victory is a lively and enlightening perspective on the 2008 election."--International Journal of Communication "Excellent and comprehensive...the book offers a data-rich and extremely well-written account of the 2008 election. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a book that is more comprehensive in scope...Reading the book is almost like reliving the campaign month-by-month."--Journal of Mass Communication Education "This book provides critical documentation about the historic 2008 campaign. Summing Up: Highly recommended."--CHOICE "Fifty years from now scholars studying how Barack Obama overcame the odds of winning the 2008 election may turn to this impeccably researched book with its detailed regressions of the impact of various factors on voter decisions. They will find a wealth of data, charts, and graphs; meticulous explanations of methodology; and carefully drawn conclusions."--Communication Research Trends "The most comprehensive book on the topic to date...Kenski, Hardy, and Jamieson have done more than simply document one campaign. They provide a model for how presidential campaigns should be studied by communication scholars."--Southern Communication Journal "The best analysis of a presidential election in 60 years. Jamieson and her colleagues have set a new standard for analyzing campaign effects on voting and mobilization. A game changer for scholars, pundits and strategists."--Samuel Popkin, Professor of Political Science, University of California-San Diego "The rich data and analysis in this book provide the fullest account to date not only of campaign and media effects in one of the most exciting elections in American history but of how to think about these effects into the decades ahead."--Robert Shapiro, co-author of Politicians Don't Pander "This book could transform the way we understand presidential campaigns. The Obama Victory...could force a major shift in the financing of campaign coverage."--Thomas B. Edsall, The New Republic

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. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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