COVER

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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CONTENTS

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pp. vii-viii

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CHAPTER ONE: Introduction: Presidential Nominating Conventions in the Media Age

Costas Panagopoulos

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pp. 1-15

It was about 6 a.m. on September 1, 2004, and I was on the tenth floor of Madison Square Garden in New York City—the epicenter of the American media universe for the week—waiting to begin an interview with a morning network news program about the Republican National Convention (RNC) that had convened its proceedings there the previous evening. The glass booth, one of dozens similarly transformed...

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CHAPTER TWO: Follow the Bouncing Ball: Assessing Convention Bumps, 1964–2004

Costas Panagopoulos

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pp. 16-28

Few features of the process of presidential selection in the United States have changed as dramatically as the national presidential nominating conventions. Once the setting for passionate candidate and policy contests between party factions, critics assert that contemporary conventions are primarily ceremonial: giant...

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CHAPTER THREE: Conventions and Campaign Dynamics

Michael G. Hagen, Richard Johnston

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pp. 29-52

The party conventions remain among the most important events of presidential campaigns. Though their function in some respects has changed dramatically, the conventions continue to provide an occasion for launching a party’s general-election campaign and for introducing—or reintroducing— the party’s candidates to the electorate. Parties invest millions of dollars and enormous planning effort...

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CHAPTER FOUR: Party Profiles: National Convention Delegates

John C. Green, John S. Jackson

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pp. 53-75

National party conventions are fast becoming the Rodney Dangerfields of U.S. political institutions: they don’t get no respect. After all, these quadrennial national gatherings are no longer deliberative bodies that make independent decisions of obvious importance, such as choosing presidential nominees. Th e development of the presidential primary system and the resulting candidate-centered and...

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CHAPTER FIVE: The Utility of Party Conventions in an Era of Low Visibility and Campaign Finance Reform

J. Mark Wrighton

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pp. 76-91

Over time, the process by which Americans choose their chief executive has changed dramatically. Th e process has progressed from individuals seeking the presidency to party elites choosing their standard bearers to a democratization of the process through which the mass memberships of political parties select nominees for the general election. Coupled with other changes in the political system (i.e., the...

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CHAPTER SIX: Nominating Conventions, Campaign Events, and Political Information

Costas Panagopoulos

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pp. 92-97

To some extent, the aim of this volume is to assess if national presidential nominating conventions still matter, and, if so, how and why? Th is chapter examines the impact of conventions on the level of political information about presidential campaigns disseminated by mass media channels. Previous studies have presented evidence that conventions do in fact increase the amount of media coverage of political campaigns...

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CHAPTER SEVEN: Conventions for the Unconventional: Minor Party Conventions, 1992–2004

John C. Berg

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pp. 98-112

Party conventions are usually thought to serve a number of important functions. Officially, they choose candidates, determine platforms, set the party’s rules, and elect the officers who will govern the party until its next convention. Unofficial functions are at least as important. Conventions can help bring contending factions together, inspire party activists to work hard on the campaign, and provide...

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CHAPTER EIGHT: Lights, Camera, Chaos? The Evolution of Convention “Crises”

R. Sam Garrett

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pp. 113-132

On the surface, the idea that presidential nominating conventions are prone to crises seems ludicrous. Because of the constant media coverage with which this book is concerned, presidential nominating conventions have become increasingly scripted to avoid any hint of dissent during the parties’ media showcases. Given this backdrop, conventions should be the last place we observe any disruption...

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CHAPTER NINE: Rewiring the Conventions (Again): The Internet and Innovation in Politics and Media

Michael Cornfield

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pp. 133-146

The age of online politicking has arrived. After ten years of public use, the Internet has achieved the status of a major medium for public affairs. In the run-up to the 2004 elections, approximately 75 million adult Americans turned to the Internet to get political news and information, discuss candidates and debate issues in e-mails, and participate directly in the political process by volunteering...

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CHAPTER TEN: Losing Control? The Rise of Cable News and Its Effect on Party Convention Coverage

Jonathan S. Morris, Peter L. Francia

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pp. 147-164

Before the late 1960s, party leaders dominated the nomination process. They controlled party delegates and brokered the deals that determined the party’s presidential nominee. In 1968, however, Democratic Party leaders were unable to control their convention in Chicago. Anti–Vietnam War protestors clashed with Chicago police outside the convention, while conservative and progressive Democrats...

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CHAPTER ELEVEN: Mass Media and the Democratization of Presidential Nominating Conventions

Terri Susan Fine

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pp. 165-188

Presidential nominating conventions demonstrate critical intersections among political parties, the mass media, and the public. Political parties and the mass media are crucial instruments of democracy. Although both have contributed to the decline of the deliberative nature of such gatherings, the solution to the problem can be found at its source: there is strong potential for parties...

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CHAPTER TWELVE: The New Role of the Conventions as Political Rituals

Gerald M. Pomper

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pp. 189-208

The previous essays in this volume have analyzed the great influence of the mass media on contemporary presidential nominations in the United States. Incorporating these analyses, this concluding chapter argues that conventions in the media age are now best understood as political rituals, different from their historical heritage. Once decisive in the choice of party leadership, conventions are now...

CONTRIBUTORS

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pp. 209-212