Skip to main content

Über dieses Buch

This volume focuses on the 2016 Presidential campaign from a communication perspective, with each chapter considering a specific area of political campaign communication and practice. The first section includes chapters on the early candidate nomination campaigns, the nominating conventions, the debates, political advertising and new media technologies. The second section provides studies of critical topics and issues of the campaign to include chapters on candidate persona, issues of gender, wedge issues and scandal. The final section provides an overview of the election with chapters focusing on explaining the vote and impact of new campaign finance laws and regulations in the 2016 election. All the contributors are accomplished scholars in their areas of analysis. Students, scholars and general readers will find the volume offers a comprehensive overview of the historic 2016 presidential campaign.



Political Campaign Communication in the 2016 Presidential Campaign


1. Setting the Stage: Three Dimensions of Surfacing for 2016

In this chapter, Smith explores how our four-year national conversation rhetorically reconstituted the electoral landscape and shaped the subsequent nomination campaigns. In describing the surfacing phase of the 2016 campaign, Smith identifies three kinds of surfacing. It was a national conversation that concerned not only aspiring candidates but evolving structures such as laws, rules, and calendars as well as evolving issue priorities and their publics. Smith argues that the 2016 presidential campaign occurred in a rhetorical political landscape quite different from that of 2012 that greatly influenced the nomination campaigns of both parties. It is equally unlikely that the 2016 landscape will frame the 2020 campaign.
Craig Allen Smith

2. Midnight in America: The Political Conventions in 2016

In this chapter, Rachel L. Holloway analyzes the political conventions of 2016. Both Trump and Clinton faced significant rhetorical challenges in the conventions. Both were widely unpopular among Americans and both faced divisions within their party. The conventions provided an opportunity for the candidates to unify party supporters and broaden appeals to general voters. Holloway analyzes the themes, strategies, speakers, and messages of both conventions. The conventions were very much in contrast. The Democrats effectively managed and enhanced the communication potential of a nominating convention through strategic and well-orchestrated presentations. The Republican convention was less successful largely void of party leadership participation and painted a dark and angry perception of America. The parties offered opposing explanations and responses to the nation’s challenges.
Rachel L. Holloway

3. The Presidential Debates 2016

Ben Voth examines the 2016 presidential debates. He begins by noting the rhetorical significance of the 2016 debates and identifies four essential ingredients of a debate. In reviewing the presidential primary debates, Voth explains why 2016 was a blockbuster year with so many initial candidates among the Republicans and a surprisingly tough contest for the Democrats between Clinton and Sanders. Voth addresses the unprecedented role and impact of the media on the debates. Trump received overwhelmingly more negative press than Clinton and the moderators became active participants during the debates. Voth concludes with considerations of why Trump’s vulgarity and offensive arguments worked and five lessons from the debates that will influence the 2020 presidential debates.
Ben Voth

4. Political Advertising in the 2016 Presidential Election

Scott Dunn and John C. Tedesco review the strategies that dominated the candidate’s televised advertising messages and discuss some of the opportunities seized or missed by the campaigns. Unlike the past several presidential elections, televised advertising spending did not exceed the prior election spending. In addition, the narratives of the campaigns were not driven by the rhetoric of the ads. Both candidates relied heavily upon negative advertising. The ads reinforced perceptions that neither candidate was fit for office. The authors suggest perhaps if either candidate had run a few more positive ads to give voters an affirmative reason to vote for them rather than trying to convince voters they were the lesser evil, they could have pulled away and won the election convincingly.
Scott Dunn, John C. Tedesco

5. The Social Media Election of 2016

Social media radically upended the traditional campaign norms and practices in the 2016 presidential campaign. Its use was unprecedented in volume, scope, and tactics. The Trump campaign was transformative in relying on social media as the primary communication channel. This chapter reviews how the both campaigns utilized social media to include Quora, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vox, Buzzfeed, Upworthy, Facebook, Instagram, Longform, Twitter, Reddit, Snapchat, YouTube, and LinkedIn. The authors caution that although social media and digital communication were critical in the 2016 contest, it would be an overstatement to claim that social media elected Donald Trump. However, the campaign changed the way social media will be used in the future.
John Allen Hendricks, Dan Schill

Studies of Communication in the 2016 Presidential Campaign


6. Trump as Troll: Personae and Persuasive Inoculation in the 2016 Presidential Campaign

This chapter explores the candidate persona of Donald Trump. It specifically describes how Trump’s campaign persona inoculated him from attacks from opponents. The analysis demonstrates how Trump used persuasive inoculation to imprint his version of the other Republican candidates’ personae on the public and to enfeeble the influence from the candidates themselves. During the presidential campaign of 2016, while Trump’s rivals carefully scripted their own personae, Trump effortlessly and offhandedly destroyed each in turn. Trump’s persona assignment against his rivals operated best at the emotional level, vitiating his opponents with his swamp-draining caricatures of them and raising the capital of his own celebrity billionaire belligerence in the process.
Deronda Baughman, Dennis D. Cali

7. Issues of Gender in the 2016 Presidential Campaign

This chapter provides an overview of how issues of gender played out across the primaries, general election and postelection phases. From the beginning of the political season, there was no question that gender was going to be a major consideration in the presidential campaign. Challenges women face in political campaigns are well documented. Most of the gender characterizations and portrayals noted in the 2008 race also appeared in the 2016 contest, to the detriment of Clinton. The two unexpected aspects were the negative reactions of third-wave feminists and younger women to the candidacy of Clinton and the statements, attitudes and behavior Trump displayed towards women throughout the campaign, not to mention much of his life. In the end, Trump enjoyed strong support among Republican women, married white women and evangelical white women.
Robert E. Denton

8. The Dark Power of Words: Stratagems of Hate in the 2016 Presidential Campaign

The election of 2016 stands out for its volume of hate-filled messages. The election changed the climate for discourse throughout society. In this chapter, the authors identify the hate stratagems used by both the Trump and Clinton campaigns as well as how they functioned in the course of the election. Kirk and Martin argue that the use of hate stratagems prevented discussion of policy issues during the general election campaign. They conclude by evaluating the impact of hate speech on civil discourse, the media, and self-governance.
Rita Kirk, Stephanie A. Martin

9. From Benghazi to E-Mails: Two Sides of the Same Scandal

This chapter argues that the Benghazi and e-mail scandals were no exception to the American political scandal narrative. Dewberry describes the American political scandal narrative and recounts the Benghazi attack. He focuses on how scandals related to Benghazi followed the scandal narrative in both the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections. Both attempts at scandal unfolded in a similar manner as other historical political scandals. Although both attempts failed to reveal a cover-up, Dewberry addresses the nature of the narrative as reflecting the use of scandals as a discursive political weapon.
David R. Dewberry

The 2016 Presidential Election


10. Campaign Finance and Its Impact in the 2016 Presidential Campaign

This chapter explores the campaign finance issues in the 2016 presidential election. Because understanding campaign finance requires a grasp of federal election laws, this chapter provides a brief and understandable overview of campaign finance laws. Next, this chapter discusses the campaign expenditures and impact the hotly contested presidential primaries had for the general election campaign. This chapter provides a detailed analysis of the campaign fundraising and expenditures of the Clinton and Trump campaigns as well as joint fundraising committees and super-political action committees, and concludes with analysis of why Donald Trump lost the money contest, but won the presidential election in 2016.
Cayce Myers

11. Explaining the Vote in the Election of 2016: The Remarkable Come from Behind Victory of Republican Candidate Donald Trump

The study of political campaign communication focuses on the elements of the political environment, messengers, messages, channels of communication (print, radio, television, social media, etc.), audience, and effects. This chapter explains the presidential vote in 2016, and it draws upon the key factors in political campaign communication to explain it. The authors focus on: (1) the overall political environment, (2) the rules of the game and the electoral college, (3) the salience of party identification, (4) the messengers, (5) the messages and campaign strategies, (6) the channels of communication, and (7) and the audience or the regional/state and demographic bases of the presidential vote, with special attention to the roles of gender and race-ethnicity in recent elections and the 2016 campaign.
Henry C. Kenski, Kate M. Kenski


Weitere Informationen

Premium Partner