Politics in an Era of Divided Government: The Election of by Harvey L. Schantz

By Harvey L. Schantz

This publication describes, explains, and displays upon the 1996 presidential and congressional elections, devoting equivalent insurance to 3 stages of the political procedure: the most important social gathering nominations, the final election, and the next executive association. In doing so, this research hyperlinks elections and governance.

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Extra resources for Politics in an Era of Divided Government: The Election of 1996 and its Aftermath

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Alexander got 23 percent while Forbes finished a dismal fourth. 80 Buchanan also captured a majority of the small number most concerned about foreign trade. Dole garnered a majority from the 10 percent who viewed Washington experience as a plus and from those mentioning the deficit as the most important issue in their vote. Nearly half of all voters most concerned about nominating an electable candidate backed him, a big improvement over the Iowa poll numbers. On the debit side, only 10 percent who felt strongly that the nominee should have a vision of the future voted for him, as did 15 percent of those wanting a champion of conservative values.

Altogether, he showed up in a total of 765 stories over a period of 109 weeks, averaging seven stories per week. 41 Dole’s coverage looked all the more impressive for its variety. During the latter phase of the invisible primary, for example, the networks turned to him more often than all of his rivals combined for pronouncements on the 103d Congress and the 1994 midterm elections. He dominated in coverage of the budget battle and associated government shutdowns (100 stories or ten times the coverage of all other Republican candidates on this issue), the balanced budget amendment (15 stories to Gramm’s 2), welfare reform (27 Dole stories compared to 14 mentioning Gramm, Buchanan, or Wilson), and health care (59 stories compared to 23 for Gramm and Specter).

His approach was to attack incumbents in offices he had not yet held. Buchanan had spent nearly all of his life inside the Beltway, achieving notoriety as a conservative activist, Nixon aide, syndicated columnist, and television personality. Buchanan came across as a more authentic outsider than Alexander or Forbes, however, because of his 1992 bid to deny President Bush renomination and his passionate criticism of orthodox Republican views on trade. 28 Though much mentioned during the campaign, the outsider-insider distinction had remarkably little connection with candidate stands on the issues.

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