The Economy, the Candidates, and the 2008 Campaign

26 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 14 Oct 2009

See all articles by Richard Johnston

Richard Johnston

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Political Science

Emily Thorson

University of Pennsylvania

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

We claim that although the economy was an important factor it is hard to relate the evolution of vote intentions to the financial crisis. When the crisis reached voters’ consciousness, the vote shift was already under way. Already on the scene was Sarah Palin. Not only was her candidacy unraveling by this time but its continued deterioration tracked that of John McCain’s support with uncanny precision. We show that the dynamics of opinion on her were not epiphenomenal. We also show that her impact was extraordinary, twice as great as for any other recent Vice-Presidential candidate. We speculate on why this was so and ask what this reveals about contingent elements in campaigns.

Keywords: Economy and Elections, Campaign Effects, Sarah Palin

Suggested Citation

Johnston, Richard and Thorson, Emily, The Economy, the Candidates, and the 2008 Campaign (2009). APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1451215

Richard Johnston (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Political Science ( email )

Vancouver, V6T 1Z1
Canada

Emily Thorson

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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