The level of discourse in campaigns and elections ideally should elevate citizens' knowledge about the candidates and the issues that face the polity. But elections today are often beset by negative campaigns and an emphasis on the "horse race" over issues of substance. Running on Empty? looks at sixteen carefully selected, highly competitive races in the House and Senate during the 2002 midterm elections. Measuring various aspects of campaign discourse throughout a wide variety of paid and unpaid media coverage-including radio, TV, newspapers, direct mail, and the Internet-the authors arrive at some arresting conclusions about the quality of the messages conveyed, whether positive or negative. In all, this impressive set of original essays by political experts provides a timely assessment of the effectiveness of media reform and the democratization of campaign discourse in theory compared to practice.
L. Sandy Maisel is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Government, chair of the Department of Government, and director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby College. Darrell M. West is director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy and the John Hazen White Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Brown University.
Chapter 1 Preface: Gauging Political Discourse Chapter 2 1 Civil Discourse Derailed, or the Invasion of the Body (Politic) Snatchers in Connecticut 2 Chapter 3 2 "Accentuating the Positive": Personality, Polling, and Party in Kansas 3 Chapter 4 3 Partisanship Trumps Incumbency in Maryland's 8th District Chapter 5 4 A Three-peat in the 2nd Congressional District Race in Minnesota Chapter 6 5 Riding Your Record: Candidate Qualifications and Discourse in North Carolina's 8th District Chapter 7 6 "Nice Guys Finish Last," and Other Possible Untruths about Congressional Elections Chapter 8 7 "The Virginian" versus "The Little Mexican": The 2002 Race in Arizona 1 Chapter 9 8 Down to the Wire: Colorado United States House District 7 Chapter 10 9 A Campaign about Campaign Discourse: Maine's 2nd District Chapter 11 10 The Mayor Becomes a Congressman: Protecting a Lead Wins Big in Ohio's 3rd Congressional District Chapter 12 11 Contrary to Tip O'Neill, All Politics Is Not Local Chapter 13 12 Turning a "No Win" Race into a Win: Democrat Tim Holden Beats the Other George W. (Gekas) in Pennsylvania's 17th Chapter 14 13 A Cataclysmic Campaign for the Minnesota Senate Chapter 15 14 Racing in the Shadows: The 2002 Texas Senate Race Chapter 16 15 Tightly Contested Everywhere but the Ballot Box: The 2002 Campaign for the United States Senate in Maine Chapter 17 16 A Civil Campaign in a Competitive State: The 2002 North Carolina U. S. Senate Election Chapter 18 Conclusion: Discourse and Beyond