Grand Reunion Weekend: Do Political Campaigns Matter?
3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Presented by Professor James Cottrill, Political Science Department
While most coverage of the presidential campaign focuses on strategic concerns -- e.g. which group of voters is being targeted with a particular ad or speech and how is each candidate polling with particular groups -- we rarely reflect on what the proper role of campaigns in a democracy ought to be. Is it merely to win the race, or should it serve the higher purpose of informing and educating the electorate about the issues and policy proposals of the candidates? And what role do the negative attack ads play in "informing" the public? Finally, do these campaign ads actually have any impact in swaying voters one way or another, or do voters largely decide their vote based on factors, such as partisanship, that are not really affected by the campaign at all?
Cost: No charge