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Unformatted text preview: Essay Study Questions 1. Draw upon the lectures, handouts, videos, and readings (jameison) and write an essay that both explains and compares and contrasts why George Bush won the election of 1988 but lost his re-election bid in 1992. In your answer cover the following: (1) pre-election environment, (2) messengers/ candidates, (3) the message strategy, (4) channels of communication, (5) audience, and (6) effects. 1988- pre-election environment : foreign policy and economy were both good from the Reagan era- candidates : George Bush was the heir-apparent (VP) running against former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis- message strategy : Bush used a message strategy that tapped both positive messages (that linked him to the Peagan prosperity) and attack messages (that framed Dukakis as too liberal and “out of the main stream” with voters). The actual issues didn’t seem to matter. The public was most interested in the deficit and the state of the backing industry, but neither candidate did much to discuss these issues. Bush was viewed as more competent, more experienced, and better character traits. The Bush themes, news coverage, and ads demonstrated a consistency that were not evident in the Dukakis campaign.- Channels of communication : - Audience : Bush had an electoral strategy to sweep the South, West, and Midwest, with a few states in the East. Dukakis sought to sweep the East, the industrial Midwest, the farm states of Iowa, minn, and wisconsin, and the Pacific Coast and Hawaii. - Effects : Dukakis only won 10 states and DC but he broke new election ground for the Democrats as he did sweep the Pacific coast. The political foundation was laid for a bi-coastal strategy in future Democratic presidential campaigns. Bush swept the entire South. Bush won 40 states and 53.9% of the popular vote. 1992- pre-election environment: economy was poor (it got better, but the media failed to report) and foreign policy was good. One of the main reasons Bush lost the election was due to public perception of the state of the economy. He failed to respond to the public’s concern. He compromised with the congressional Democrats and signed off on a 1990 budget bill that raised taxes and made some budget cuts. - Messengers: incumbent president George Bush and former Arkansas governor Bill Clinton and Ross Perot (who drew many Republican votes)- Message strategy: The 2 biggest issues were the economy and trust. Bush did not reassure voters about the economy and it cost him the election. Clinton crafted strong attack ads to blame Bush for the second highest tax increase in history, without mentioning it really was the Democratic congressional plan. Conservative voters lost trust in him because of the tax increases and siding with Democratic congress....
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- Fall '08