Research Moves: Veep as “Attack Dog”

This is Challenge 8: (i.e., what I would like to read about in a journal)

As a political science Ph.D. Candidate, I am always trying to make a new research move in American Politics considering observable evidence. I wonder: to what extent has Joe Biden or Paul Ryan been an “attack dog”? After brief reflection, and many sighs, I would begin by researching (after my dissertation is complete) speeches according to the following picture.

To what degree has the Veep candidate attacked the opposing party’s platform and recent history? Of course, I would only go back to T.R., keeping in mind Tulis and The Rhetorical Presidency. Do you have a better suggestion?


4 thoughts on “Research Moves: Veep as “Attack Dog”

  1. Perform content analysis on stump speeches/interviews. Compare time various actors spend directly engaging the opponent’s platform/policy, do vice president candidates spend significantly more time engaging the opponent? Further conditions can be to see if vice presidential candidates are particularly negative. There is a package in R called readme that should make this sort of analysis a little more manageable.

    • By various actors, do you mean Veep and President / presidential candidate? To show, actually, that statistically the Presidents / presidential candidates actually spend more time being the attack dog than the Veep?
      Or is various actors the Veeps from Wilson on (think Tulis)? Showing high points of attack dog and low points–patterns, trends, correlations?

      Also, what else is missing in order to skip the conference and go right to the top-tier Journal? What suggestions are we looking for? What does the R analysis reveal? Null hypothesis: there is no difference in various actors as an attack dog in any general election campaign?

  2. is that all :] I like it so far. Could you look at it from a point of view of positive agency? Could “attack” be observable moves by the Veep to capture the median voter by pushing the opposing candidate into the back benches of his or her opposing party? Could this be a “positive attack”– like promoting the same party presidential candidate’s plans to the median voter by explaining it as a wiser route for the median voter to choose, as opposed to the limited positive causes and effects of the opposing party’s stance [see pacman picture]?

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