When Politicians Attack: Party Cohesion in the Media
Fostering a positive brand name is the chief benefit parties provide for their members. They do this both by coordinating their activities in the legislative process and by communicating with voters. Whereas political scientists have generally focused on the former, dismissing partisan communication as cheap talk, this book argues that a party's ability to coordinate its communication has important implications for the study of politics. The macro-level institutional setting of a party's communication heavily influences that party's prospects for cohesive communication. Paradoxically, unified government presents the greatest challenge to unified communication within the president's party. As this book argues, the challenge stems primarily from two sources: the constitutional separation of powers and the intervening role of the news media. In this setting, internal disputes with the president or within the congressional majority are more likely to arise; these disputes are disproportionately likely to be featured by the news media, and stories of intra-party strife become the most credible and damaging type of partisan story.
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agenda American analysis argue attacks Axiom Barack Obama Baum and Groeling beneﬁt Bill Clinton Bob Dole broadcast Bush Bush’s campaign candidates Clinton CMPA data coding coefﬁcient cohesion communication conﬂict congressional Democrats congressional party congressional Republicans Contract Contract with America Costly Credibility coverage cross-party dataset difﬁcult divided government election electoral evaluations example fellow partisans ﬁgures ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁrst franchise George W Gingrich Groeling data Hypothesis identiﬁed inﬂuence intraparty journalists legislative party majority party McDonald’s members of Congress message discipline NAFTA newsworthiness Newt Gingrich nonpresidential party nonpresidential-party criticism nonpresidential-party praise Obama ofﬁce ofﬁcials opposing partisan messages party brand name party in Congress party’s Pew Research Center political politicians predictions preferences president presidential approval presidential party presidential-party presidential-party criticism presidential-party praise reﬂect rhetoric Senate signiﬁcant signiﬁcantly sources speciﬁc statements stories strategy supermajority Table target uniﬁed government viewers vote voters White House World News Tonight