Tag Archives: US Elections

Politics 2.0 in Campaign ’08

So what does this remind you of? A galaxy from Star Trek, perhaps some form of scientific analysis of things under a microscope or maybe even a late entry for the Turner Prize? Actually, it’s a photo of an interactive map of the 533 websites making the debate on the presidential race.

Part of the Presidential Watch ’08 website, it also includes a trends monitor that tracks the impact that the candidates are having on the Internet and a blog to analyse all this data.

While this may be a tad complex for your average Internet surfer a new report from Pew Internet and American Life project on The Internet and the 2008 Election, shows how the online world is making an impact in the campaign, even when compared to four years ago:

The proportion of Americans going online on a typical day at the tail end of the primary season to get political news or information has more than doubled since a comparable point in the 2004 race – from 8% of all adults in spring 2004 to 17% of all adults in spring 2008

But it’s not all positive as the Report also points out that many Americans feel that the internet magnifies the most extreme viewpoints and is a source of misinformation for many voters.

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the US Elections.

Yes he did

Barack Obama

The final primaries of the US Presidential nominating process took place yesterday and Barack Obama secured the delegates he needed to claim victory over Hillary Clinton and line up a battle against John McCain for the election in November.

While Hillary won in South Dakota an expected win for Obama in Montana and a flurry of SuperDelegate endorsements, including former President Jimmy Carter, pushed him over the top making him the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party as he stated in his speech in St. Paul.

Attention will now turn to speculation about the potential Vice Presidential running mates for Obama and McCain, how the campaign will shape up now that there is a nominee for both the major parties and for us at Intute, how this will play out online.

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the issue of the US Elections.

Photo from Barack Obama on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license.

Indiana Carolina and the Last Big Primary

The BBC News website seems to be pushing the line that the latest Democratic primaries are really the last chance for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to strike a decisive blow in the Presidential race.

While I am more than happy to concede that they are more important than the recent vote in Guam, (sorry Guam!) the most likely outcome is a split decision, with one state for each of them – in which case the VoteMaster at Electoral-Vote.com says:

If Obama wins North Carolina by a larger margin than Clinton wins Indiana, then the math starts to kick in. He will have a lead of roughly 140 delegates with only 217 pledged delegates yet to be elected. That’s a big hill for Clinton to climb.

As for the broader Democratic Party, well it looks like Obama supporters are starting to say that the process should draw to an end sooner rather than later, while Hillary fans seem to see the process carrying on up to the Convention, at least according to the Gallop Poll.

Watch the results as they come in via the CNN Election Center and apologies if you thought this post was about the upcoming Indiana Jones movie!

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the 2008 US elections – just scroll past the Editor’s Choice selections to see the latest additions.

Pennsylvania Primary Punch-up

Pennsylvania sealIt crunch time yet again in the primary elections for candidates for the US Presidency. After Ohio, Super Tuesday and even New Hampshire, surely this time the Pennsylvania primary really must decide the Democratic nomination once and for all … well, no – we’ve had a six week break since the last primary, but still no knock-out blow.

The VoteMaster at Electoral-Vote.com sees Hillary Clinton taking Pennsylvania by a solid 10 point margin, but as ever the devil is in the detail, with the allocation of delegates meaning that she may only gain about 10 delegates in the overall race.

The latest from Gallop shows that Democrats are split evenly as whether they believe the ongoing race is helping or hurting the party, although as you may expect, Clinton supporters are happier for the race to continue than Obama supporters.

If it really is getting all too much for you, then why not enjoy a little distraction with this YouTube video that crosses Barack Obama with the film Rocky

Follow the results as they come in via the CNN Election Center.

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the 2008 US elections – just scroll past the Editor’s Choice selections to see the latest additions

Favourite blogs: Elections

ESRC Festival of Social Science 2008 logoWelcome to Our Favourite Social Science blogs.

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 7th –16th March, Intute: Social Sciences is featuring a series of articles by our subject editors presenting their favourite blogs.

Today, Paul Ayres from the Intute: Social Sciences team in Bristol, looks at the role blogs can play in elections.

The political blogosphere is probably the most heated part of the world of online social science comment. With the US Presidential election in full swing, it seems apt that I take this as my subject for looking at the effect blogs can have on elections, by looking at some of my favourites.

Most mainstream media outlets now supplement their news coverage with a blog. One of my favourites is the Hotline on Call blog, a team blog from various political correspondents who work for the National Journal. It’s a rapid fire round-up of the latest election news, which can generate a lot of blog posts at key times of the campaign and provides an excellent summary of what is happening in the mainstream media Stateside. However, my favourite part is the HotLine TV daily video update, which usually features editors Amy Walter and John Mercurio.

During the campaign they have made a habit of posting special videos marking the departure of various candidates from the Presidential race.

But what about proper academic sources? No one site stands out above the rest, but The Monkey Cage features some good writing from four professors of political science at George Washington University. Among their number is Henry Farrell, who is also a contributor to Crooked Timber, one of those rare interdisciplinary blogs which cover a range of social science topics, including US politics. Another team blog is PolySigh, which includes analysis from Philip Klinker and has been particularly strong on racial and religious aspects of voter analysis. While the CalTech Election Updates blog and the Election Law @ Moritz blog provide valuable round-ups on the mechanics and legal aspects of voting.

Elections of course mean polling and the joys of polling data, undecideds breaking towards the challenger, margins of error and all sorts of other psephological nuances. While not presented as a blog, Electoral-Vote.com presents a daily analysis of the latests polls, maps of how this affects the overall national picture and occasional think pieces on broader issues – the latest of which is How Good Are Experienced Presidents? Or if you would like an alternative, The Gallop Poll presents updates of election data and their Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Frank Newport gives you the stories behind the latest polling numbers on their YouTube channel.

If you are interested in the broader role that the Internet can play in the campaign, then you really need to read TechPresident, set up by the Personal Democracy Forum to track “how the candidates are using the web and how the web is using them”. It presents a daily round-up on the latest on the web about and by the candidates, it tracks their popularity in terms of a number of popular Web 2.0 sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Technorati, and takes an activist stance asking Who will be America’s first TechPresident. If you want to supplement your TechPresident reading, then why not try PrezVid from Jeff Jarvis, which is tracking the YouTube element of the campaign.

Of course, there are plenty of other elections where the blogosphere can make an impact. In London, there’s a mayoral election coming up where MayorWatch is rounding up the latest news about the campaign and some say that political blogging is becoming more relevant in the Arab world too. In Europe, Roland Abold looks back on their role in the 2005 German elections and there is even an interesting visual representation of the French political blogosphere that reflects on their presidential election last year.

For some further academic analysis of the electoral blogosphere try:

You can contribute to this event by leaving a comment on this article, perhaps letting us know about your favourite election blogs or by helping expand our catalogue of academic blogs by filling in our suggest a site form.

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on blogs and elections, US elections and elections in general.

Oh me-o, oh my-o, oh Cleveland, Ohio

CJ CreggFellow West Wing fans may remember that as a line from CJ, but it may all come down to Ohio again – as someone who watched the 2004 election, I only hope that they are quicker at counting the votes this time – I have to sat that I gave up in the early hours when the Bush-Kerry dog fight came down to the Buckeye State.

Fast forward 4 years and it looks as though the Democratic race will hinge on the outcomes in Ohio and Texas – and even if there is not a decisive outcome, the question may well be whether the Democrats really want the race to go on to Pennsylvania in late April.

Make or Break Tuesday, Super Tuesday 2, whatever you call it – the Republican race may see the Coup de Grace, as John McCain could get over the top and with a sweep of the two big states, plus Rhode Island and Vermont.

In the broader campaign, how important is experience? The latest from the Gallop Poll reports that McCain and Clinton score better than Obama in this area, but only 22% of voters regard it as an important issue.

… and the latest from TechPresident includes a report on some research or should that be subterfuge from The Nation, who found that the John McCain campaign was the only major campaign to allow negative comments from users on their official blog.

Follow the results tonight as they come in via the CNN Election Center.

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the 2008 US elections – just scroll past the Editor’s Choice selections to see the latest additions.

10 in a row, Superdelegates and the Republican base

With Barack Obama having won the Wisconsin and Hawaii primaries this week, he has racked up 10 wins in a row and won contests in 24 states.

As the Democratic primary process assigns delegates proportionally, Obama’s lead may be pretty much insurmountable, unless Hillary Clinton starts racking up double digit wins in the states to come. More on this from HotLine TV.

The great unknown in the Democratic race is the Superdelegate – these are party grandees who have votes in the nominating process – who may decide which way the nomination goes, if there is a brokered convention.

There is a new site called Superdelegates.org where you can track how they are going to vote, or at least what has been said in public about it. The site also has a Google Earth layer, so there is a state by state visual representation of the data.

Superdelegates.org screenshot

Screenshot via Mashable.com.

On the other side of the ledger, Frank Newport of Gallop looks into the question of whether John McCain is rallying Republicans to his cause. He looks at historic data and concludes that McCain still has work to do if he is to claim the same level of support amongst Republicans as previous presumptive Presidential nominees.

What’s next? Well there is a period of relative calm before Super Tuesday 2 with the primaries in Texas and Ohio on March 4th, which will decide the fate of several hundred delegates and possibly push John McCain over the top to the Republican nomination and push Hillary Clinton out of the Democratic race.

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the 2008 US elections – just scroll past the Editor’s Choice selections to see the latest additions.

Last call for Super Tuesday

Voting is now underway for Super Tuesday 2008.

The latest from Gallop would indicate that there is a very high level of interest in this election and we may well see record turnouts as a consequence.

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the 2008 US elections – just scroll past the Editor’s Choice selections to see the latest additions.

The road to Super Tuesday

Tomorrow 24 states in America vote in primaries and caucuses in the next round of elections to select the candidates for the Democrats and the Republicans for the Presidential election in November.

In order to win the nomination, you need to win delegates. On the Democratic side about 50% of the delegates are up for grabs on Tuesday and on the Republican side about 40% of the delegates will be decided tomorrow.

Some more key sources to learn more about the process include:

The latest video from the campaign to ‘go viral’ is a version of Barack Obama’s speech from his win in the Iowa caucuses, that features contributions from a range of musical artists:

The conventional wisdom says that:

John McCain has a chance to cement his position as the Republican frontrunner tomorrow, the winner takes all format of Republican primaries and Rudy Giuliani dropping out means that liberal Republican votes will flock to him.

Hillary Clinton may still be ahead on the Democratic side, but the proportional allocation of delegates in the Democratic primaries, means that as long as Barack Obama remains close, the battle for delegates will go on beyond Super Tuesday.

… however, the conventional wisdom has been overturned enough times in this race already, so as ever it is best to wait until some real votes have been cast.

For some academic reading to fill in the time before the results roll in, why not try:

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the 2008 US elections – just scroll past the Editor’s Choice selections to see the latest additions.

Running for President is a serious business

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has tried to inject a little humour into the campaign by pretending to be an air stewardess – but it appears that the role of American satirists such as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in the campaign, has not been diminished by the current writers strike in Hollywood.

New research from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press looks at how the Internet is shaping the US Presidential election so far. Online video and social networking sites are increasingly important, especially among younger voters, often at the expense of traditional media:

Compared with the 2000 campaign, far fewer Americans now say they regularly learn about the campaign from local TV news (down eight points), nightly network news (down 13 points) and daily newspapers (down nine points).

But the online sources that are popular are pretty mainstream, with only The Drudge Report being cited as an alternative source for campaign information. A reference Hillary Clinton will not enjoy, as it is 10 years ago today that Drudge broke the story of the Monica Lewinsky scandal on his website.

Those who said that they get at least some political information from late night talk shows or comedy programmes, didn’t feel as though they were missing out due to the shows not being on during the writers strike.

Academics have studied the rise of political humour and satire, as exemplified by Stewart and Colbert, producing papers such as:

Intute: Social Sciences features more resources on the 2008 US elections – just scroll past the Editor’s Choice selections to see the latest additions.