Thursday, September 12, 2013

Review:"The Contemporary Effects of Vice-Presidential Nominees:Sarah Palin and the 2008 Presidential Campaign"

 Full paper AT THIS LINK

This paper published in a prestigious journal examines the role and effect of Governor Sarah Palin on the 2008 presidential campaign of Senator John McCain. It concludes, as have so many other professional observers and pollsters that the Democrat meme that "Palin destroyed McCain's chances" is utter rubbish.

The authors conclude that Palin had no detrimental effect on McCain's campaign.They also, in my opinion, seem to conclude that,in the end she had little positive effect on McCain's final vote tally, effectively for reasons, i.e. the economic crisis  which were beyond hers, or anyone's, ability to make a significant reversal of an impending defeat.

I differ with the authors in one respect of their conclusions. As I read their summary they appear to advise that Palin made little if any difference to the end result for McCain's campaign. In the body of the paper advise that Palin "fulfilled one of the requirements asked of her i.e. 'shoring up the base."

If that were the case then wouldn't that shoring have made a significant contribution to McCain's campaign? Anecdotally I have read many conservatives say the only reason they voted for McCain was because Palin was on the ticket. Tannenbaum 
( commented that after her convention address 'the base loved her and any doubts were erased."

In my opinion, if Palin had not joined the ticket McCain would have continued having trouble filling moderately sized venues,and with Lieberman or Romney on board as VP candidate would have suffered a defeat of near Mondale/McGovern proportions-again anecdotally "she dragged him over the line in Missouri" seems a valid comment. Post election analysis of voters reasons for supporting McCain bear out the conclusion that Palin did have a positive effect on their choice.

I am thankful to Mr. Box of Tulane for his correspondence and to the publishers for their permission to reproduce this extract.
We are happy for you to simply mount the title, author’s names and abstract on your web site, and insert a reference to the Taylor & Francis website:

The full paper is at the link at the green link above.


The Contemporary Effects of Vice-Presidential

Nominees: Sarah Palin and the 2008

Presidential Campaign


Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA


Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, USA

This paper reviews the politics of vice-presidential selection from the

point of view of both the scholar and campaign strategist. Using

John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate in

2008, we first explore academic theories of vice-presidential selection

and assess the ways Palin either succeeds or fails to meet the

expectations of those theories. We go on to explore the specific

factors the McCain campaign considered when selecting a vicepresidential

nominee and assess Palin’s performance in addressing

those factors. We conclude with a discussion of Palin’s impact

on the outcome of the 2008 election.