As he has done for each presidential campaign since 1992, Robert E. Denton Jr. gathers a diverse collection of communications scholars to analyze specific areas of the most recent campaign season. Topics include early campaign rhetoric, the nomination process and conventions, candidate strategies, presidential debates, political advertising, the use of new media, and coverage of the campaigns.
This volume looks at the 2020 presidential campaign from three perspectives. The first section addresses the major political campaign communication areas, including pre-primary/candidate surfacing, the conventions, the debates, political advertising, social media, and news coverage of the campaign. The second section includes two unique perspectives on political branding and the politics of food in the 2020 campaign. The final section of the volume provides the broad overviews of campaign spending and finance as well as the national perspective of explaining the vote. Thus, the chapters cluster around the themes of campaign communication, studies of unique or special topics relevant to the campaigns, and the overall election.
Robert E. Denton, Jr. holds the W. Thomas Rice Chair in the Pamplin College of Business and is professor and director of the School of Communication at Virginia Tech. Denton is the author, coauthor, or editor of 30 books, several in multiple editions, on the presidency and political campaigns. His most recent volume is Political Campaign Communication: Principles and Practices, 9th Edition (coauthored with Judith Trent and Robert Friendenberg).
Section I: Political Campaign Communication in the 2020 Presidential Campaign
1. Setting the Stage: Surfacing for 2020, Craig Allen Smith and Kathy B. Smith
2. The 2020 Conventions: As Productions, a Departure; As Rhetorical Exercises, Business as Usual, Theodore F. Sheckels
3. Presidential Debates 2020, Benjamin Voth
4. Political Advertising in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, John C. Tedesco and Scott Dunn
5. The Social Media Campaign of 2020, John Allen Hendricks and Dan Schill
6. Media Coverage and the Practice of Journalism in the 2020 Presidential Campaign, Robert E. Denton Jr.
Section II: Studies of Communication in the 2020 Presidential Campaign
7. Political Branding in a Digital Age: The Role of Design- and Image-Based Messaging Strategies in the 2020 Presidential Campaign, Lisa M. Burns and Courtney Marchese
8 The Politics of Food in the 2020 Presidential Campaign, Emily J. H. Contois
Section III: The 2020 Presidential Election
9. Campaign Finance and Its Impact on the 2020 Presidential Campaign, Cayce Myers
10. The 2020 General Election Vote in a Divided American Electorate, Kate Kenski and Henry C. Kenski