Media's Influence On Presidential Elections

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Media plays an ever-increasing role in politics and presidential elections. One of the first major elections in which the media was believed to affect the results of an election was the Nixon-Kennedy election of 1960. On November 12, 1960, just four days after winning the election by a narrow margin, Kennedy said, “it was the television more than anything else that turned the tide (Webley, 2010).” The television highlighted the personality and performance abilities of candidates; even more so than previous mass medias including radio and print. This was an era where only a few channels were accessible to the public and the President had command of the airwaves (Starr, 2010). It was believed by the public that the television unified the nation. Cable television and the Internet would divide the people all over again, bringing media to yet again another historic turning point. Media not only influences political opinion of voters, it determines the behavior of candidates and officials, and it sets public…show more content…
From television to social media everyone has something to say. For the past 50 years, candidates have based their campaign around the messages in their television commercials and in their debates. Committed party members, both Republicans and Democrats alike, will take information in with caution and typically hear what they want to hear. It is the undecided voters who are swayed by the media as to whom they should vote for. More often than not it is the undecided voters who decide the elections, this is the case in point as to why the power of media in elections can be substantial. This is why candidates for office spend most of their time, effort, and money into developing effective media strategies. In the 2008 election cycle, the candidate who spent more on a congressional campaign won the race more than nine out of ten

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