Romney’s Spot on 47%ers–American Freedom

THE INTERLUDE: I recently attended the Midwest Political Science Association Conference. Briefly, our study (with Anthony Daniels) employs a game theory framework to compare candidate responses to negative media frames.  Using data from the Jeremiah Wright, Swift Boat, and National Guard media frames, this study finds that agency matters.

So I went to ANES and got their question relating to 47% (did you take Romney’s 47% comment in the voting booth with you) and ran some regression. The comment was only taken in by Democrats. Hence, Romney, through his 1 minute “content” commercial spot, which aired in all 50 states, got people to move on… or the issue simply wasn’t salient and perhaps Romney should have spent money elsewhere.

Let’s recall Romney’s 1 minute primetime ad. spot; which aired simultaneously around America at 10am, local time, eight days after the story broke: “My fellow Americans, todays political conversations are focusing on my 47% comment. First, I’m sorry that I said that 47% of Americans are dependent upon government, are victims, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing… Now, here’s my role as your candidate for President. Entitlement reform starts with me! If the government provides everything for you, then government has the power to take it all away. Bigger government means less freedom. As your Republican candidate, I will organize public policy which helps Americans to become more independent–to have more freedom. In the next month, I will give a few examples of what entitlement reform could be on my website. For example, unemployment recipients should be doing community service while they collect. Thanks. I’m sorry about the comment. God Bless!”

As we know, even MSNBC praised the ad. Even though it’s hard to see how the comments worked in polls–since voters vote for different reasons–we know that 47% stayed out of the voting booth for Republicans and Independents. This is important, and it fits nicely as evidence for me and Anthony’s MPSA Paper.

THE POINT: To what degree can a political candidate increase his or her chances of winning election in campaigns? And, how exactly do they best increase their chance to win election? The above speech is what I expected Romney to do and say after the 47% remark didn’t go away. Of course, his actions were quite different. SuperPacs should consider this post when their candidate is being attacked by a negative media frame. Oh yea, and candidate’s too.


8 thoughts on “Romney’s Spot on 47%ers–American Freedom

  1. Just a suggestion, but I think it is always good practice to 1) link to data used in any blog post 2) detail your model (I ran some regression does not cut it!) 3) Include a results table (or better yet a neat graphic that highlights your results) of your model in the post. 4) Detail the question accurately. I have not seen the question but I do not think the ANES worded the question as you presented it above.

  2. honestly, for the second or third time, “Interludes” are just me ramblin’. I made it up. It is creative political fiction. Please read more carefully…read: “The above speech is what I expected Romney to do and say after the 47% remark didn’t go away. Of course, his actions were quite different.”

  3. Was not sure if you were just making up the analysis or not.

    To add another tip to the above, its probably good practice to note that the post uses made up analysis for those not familiar with your blog or just do not remember that interludes are made up. Probably also good practice to just not post made up analysis!

  4. seriously? blogs are just autonomous academic journals? musing is illegal? normative, or even post-positive, hypothesis are irrelevant? …a reduction of the field by such proportions would be quite hazardous.

  5. Musings are not illegal, obviously. But you shouldn’t say you ran a regression model without actually having–you know–run the model. Or at least note that no analysis were actually ran and this is a “musing” and that you are using the language of regression analysis as a rhetorical device.

    Not everyone who comes across your blog will understand that interludes are musings and that your musings are just made up things. It may reflect poorly on you, IDK. Just sayin’.

  6. in my defense, see the “about” page: “‘Epigrams and Interludes’: A break from work to muse. Sweet cake to some, liver sausage to others.” You know, we’ve had some good conversations, but this hasn’t been one of ’em. A better day for us both tomorrow…

  7. I am not sure everyone who comes to your blog will read the epigrams and interludes section. Even if they do, they might think you did the analysis and then mused based on your findings. But ok, cool. A better day for us tomorrow. Have you started teaching the public admin class yet?

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