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Communication in the 2008 U.S. Election

Digital Natives Elect a President


Mitchell S. McKinney and Mary C. Banwart

The 2008 U.S. election was arguably the most important election of our lifetime: the first African American president was elected to office; the candidacy of Sarah Palin marked only the second time that a major party ticket included a female; and the electoral performance of young citizens – digital natives, greatly attracted by digital media – signaled the highest turnout in a long time.Taking all these issues into consideration, this book offers a landmark examination of the 2008 election from a global perspective, with emphasis on the wide range of digital media utilized by the campaigners and how campaign communication influenced young citizens. The authors argue that the use of digital technologies in the campaign, and the success of Barack Obama in attracting young voters to his cause, provides an excellent case study – perhaps something of a turning point in campaign communication – for carefully examining the emerging role of digital political media, and a continuing renewal in young citizens’ electoral engagement. The wide-ranging contributions to this volume provide a comprehensive examination of a historic political campaign and election. The book’s findings offer revealing answers regarding the content and effects of various forms of political campaign communication, and raise questions and possibilities for future research.
Contents: Mitchell S. McKinney/Mary Christine Banwart: The Election of a Lifetime – John C. Tedesco: The Complex Web: Young Adults’ Opinions about Online Campaign Messages – Monica Ancu: Viral Politics: The Credibility and Effects of Online Viral Political Messages – Leslie A. Rill/Mitchell S. McKinney: Talking Politics: Young Citizens’ Interpersonal Interaction during the 2008 Presidential Campaign – Sumana Chattopadhyay/Molly Greenwood: A Different Kind of Inter-media Agenda Setting: How Campaign Ads and Presidential Debates Influenced the Blogosphere in the 2008 U.S. Campaign – Clifford A. Jones: Political Advertising, Digital Fundraising and Campaign Finance in the 2008 Election: A First Amendment Normative Analysis – Hyun Jung Yun/Amy E. Jasperson/Lynda Lee Kaid: The Cumulative Effects of Televised Presidential Debates on Voters’ Attitudes across Red, Blue, and Purple Political Playgrounds – Mitchell S. McKinney/Leslie A. Rill/Darin Gully: Political Engagement through Presidential Debates: Attitudes of Political Engagement throughout the 2008 Election – Jerry L. Miller: Can YOU Hear Me Now? Identifying the Audience in 2008 Primary and General Election Presidential Political Advertisements – Alison D. Howard/Donna R. Hoffman: Talking to Millennials: Policy Rhetoric and Rhetorical Narratives in the 2008 Presidential Campaign – Karla M. Hunter/Jessica Lewis/Jerry Overton/Thomas Brandenburger: «Snap» Judgments: A Study of Newsmagazine Photographs in the 2008 Presidential Campaign – Benjamin R. Warner/Kelly L. Winfrey/Mary Christine Bawnart: Running Down Ballot: Reactions to Female and Male Candidate Messages – Dianne G. Bystrom/Narren J. Brown: Videostyle 2008: A Comparison of Female vs. Male Political Candidate Television Ads – Julia A. Spiker: Motherhood, God & Country: Sarah Palin’s 68 Days in 2008 – Lynda Lee Kaid/Zheng Xiang/Ji Young Ki: Perceptions of the U.S. and the 2008 Presidential Election from Young Citizens Around the World – Jesper Strömbäck/David L. Painter/Juliana Fernandes: International Media’s Love Affair with Barack Obama: Anti-Americanism and the Global Coverage of the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign – Christina Holtz-Bacha/Reimar Zeh: German Press Coverage of the 2004 and 2008 Presidential Election Campaigns – J. Gregory Payne/Efe Sevin: The Emerson Election Project: Reflections on the Visit to the U.S. by Indonesian Journalists during the 2008 Presidential Election.