The Economy, the Candidates, and the 2008 Campaign

26 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2009

See all articles by Emily Thorson

Emily Thorson

University of Pennsylvania

Richard Johnston

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 31, 2009

Abstract

The 2008 campaign exhibited several unusual features and yet may have produced a quite predictable result. Unusually, the gap between the candidates expanded rather than contracted. The electorate was more polarized than ever yet vote intentions exhibited more volatility than in 2004. Much of the dynamics reflected a central, but unusual feature of the Republican campaign, namely, the presence of Sarah Palin on the ticket. For good and ill, Palin was a media phenomenon, a point we substantiate in detail. For all that, the campaign took the electorate toward, not away from the results projected by forecasting models. This forces us to think again about the meaning of induction from campaigns and about the link between the campaign and the underlying fundamentals of Presidential elections. We consider all these questions with data from the 2000, 2004, and 2008 National Annenberg Election Surveys.

Keywords: 2008 Presidential Election, Economy and Election, Sarah Palin

Suggested Citation

Thorson, Emily and Johnston, Richard, The Economy, the Candidates, and the 2008 Campaign (August 31, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1465131 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1465131

Emily Thorson

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Richard Johnston (Contact Author)

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

Vancouver, V6T 1Z1
Canada

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