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Political Campaign Communication in the 2016 Presidential Election


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Table of Contents

Preface Chapter 1: Communication and Political Campaigns: A Prologue Importance of Political Campaigns Changes in the Political Campaign Communication and Political Campaigns Organization and Preview of Chapters Part I: Principles of Political Campaign Communication Chapter 2: Communicative Functions of Political Campaigns First Political Stage: Surfacing Second Political Stage: Primaries Third Political Stage: Nominating Conventions Fourth Political Stage: The General Election Conclusions Chapter 3: Communicative Styles and Strategies of Political Campaigns Preliminary Considerations Styles and Strategies of Campaigns Conclusions Chapter 4: Communicative Mass Channels of Political Campaigning Early Studies Contemporary Studies Conclusions Chapter 5: Communicative Types and Functions of Televised Political Advertising Historical Development Types and Functions of Political Ads Televised Attack Advertising When the Candidate Is a Woman A Final Question: Do Televised Attack Ads Work? Conclusions Part II: Practices of Political Campaign Communication Chapter 6: Public Speaking in Political Campaigns The Decision to Speak The Speech Political Speechwriting Surrogate Speakers Conclusions Chapter 7: Recurring Forms of Political Campaign Communication 161 Announcement Speeches Acceptance Addresses News Conferences Apologias Conclusions Chapter 8: Debates in Political Campaigns History of Political Debates Deciding Whether to Debate Political Debate Strategies Effects of Political Debates Conclusions Chapter 9: Interpersonal Communication in Political Campaigns Interpersonal Communication between Candidate and Voters Interpersonal Communication between the Candidate and Prospective Financial Contributors Interpersonal Communication between Voters Interpersonal Communication among Voters, Mass Media, and Voting Behavior Interpersonal Communication and Getting-Out-the-Vote Efforts Behavioral Characteristics of Successful Interpersonal Campaigns Conclusions Chapter 10: Advertising in Political Campaigns Developing a Master Plan for Political Advertising Basic Considerations in the Selection of Political Advertising Media Campaign Advertising Strategies Media and Other Types of Political Consultants Conclusions Chapter 11: New Communication Technologies and Political Campaigns Historical Overview of Campaigns and New Communication Technologies Internet Campaign Communication Strategy Internet Tools Conclusions Notes Index

About the Author

Robert E. Denton Jr. is the W. Thomas Rice Chair of Leadership Studies in the Pamplin College of Business and professor and department chair of communication at Virginia Tech.


Political Campaign Communication is deservedly an institution, established as the seminal study of election campaigning and the role of strategic communication since its first edition. This updated eighth edition-which features examples from recent campaigns and explores the use of digital technologies-continues to position the book as the key manual for understanding U.S. elections. -- Darren G. Lilleker, Bournemouth University
Political Campaign Communication is an expert take on the many important roles that communication plays in political campaigns. Clearly organized and well written, the book draws on lively examples from the past and present to illuminate its subject matter. There is little doubt that the new eighth edition of this classic text will appeal to students and professors alike. -- Kevin M. Coe, University of Utah
The updated eighth edition of this book maintains its position as an outstanding and comprehensive examination of American political campaign communication, both in theory and practice. Because campaign procedures in other parts of the world are often inspired by campaign features initially elaborated in an American context, it will also be of great interest to international students and scholars. -- Lars W. Nord, Mid Sweden University
This book masterfully introduces and explains key concepts, terms, and contexts that help us understand campaign rhetoric and communication in the specific context of the U.S. political scene. Communication is at the core of every political campaign, and Trent, Friedenberg, and Denton make us smarter about how it works. Scholars of campaign rhetoric, media commentators, and general audiences all have something to learn from Political Campaign Communication. -- Paul Achter, University of Richmond

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