Republican (GOP) Primaries of 2012 Research Paper

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GOP Primaries /

The 2012 Republican primaries have been exceptionally heated this election cycle. Compared to four years ago, John McCain had already clinched his nomination by sidelining Mitt Romney by this point and seemed to be in a good leveraging position against the still competing democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. This year, however, Mitt Romney is back in the contest and is facing off against three Conservative candidates, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum. Of these three, Rick Santorum has given Mitt Romney the most trouble in his two-year march to the nomination, and has spent countless hours trying to frame Mitt Romney as an opportunist politician who is spending his way to victory. All three Republican candidates have suggested that Mitt Romney is far more centrist than the party can handle, and that Mitt Romney's passing of Health Care reform in Massachusetts while he was governor was a bad decision ultimately. Considering President Obama's Health Care bill is based directly off of the bill passed by Mitt Romney has not helped Romney's presidential campaign. 2 (York, 2012)

For his part, Mitt Romney has attacked Rick Santorum for being so conservative that he can never win a general election, and without the kind of Republican mainstream support that Romney has already clinched for himself thus far.

3 (Crowe, 2012)

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Also, Rick Santorum's many years in Washington and long congressional voting record makes him an easy target for Romney, since Romney only spent time as governor of Massachusetts for four years, and did not have to make difficult decisions on votes. The animosity between Santorum and Romney has become far more heated as the nation's primary season has run on, and the period of time between March 6th (Super Tuesday) and April 3rd has been no exception. This analysis will examine the role that the candidates' played in the GOP primary elections during this period.

The Role of Emerging Media

Research Paper on Republican (GOP) Primaries of 2012 Assignment

According to independent research in Issues in Technology Innovation, using YouTube as a platform for the cheap repetition of commercials and message is even more critical to the success of candidates than in the 2008 elections (Salmond, 2012). The use of social networks to promote political messages has both a positive and negative aspect to it. Since the audience is not captive in regards to their selection of messages, the audience generally has a higher interest in the content as well as a better retention rate of the message. It has also been shown to allow candidates the opportunity to listen to potential voters (Crawford, 2009).

Additionally, there are many opportunities to further develop the platform; which some have referred to as "Politics 2.0." The next generation in online politically-based content will contain more advanced techniques in data, text, Web, and opinion mining, social network analysis, visual analytics, multimedia analysis, ontological representations, and social media analysis can support online political participation, e-democracy, political blogs and forums, e-government service delivery, and transparency and accountability (Chen, 2009). Although it has already been identified that is currently a critical factor in reaching potential voters, these technologies will undoubtedly become even more salient in years to come. 4 (Ozkan, 2008)

Romney's Media Strategy -- Examples and Discussion

A collection of Mitt Romney's political ads was selected to illustrate his campaigning strategy. The first advertisement selected is from Mitt Romney's official campaign which first aired on March 18, 2012 entitled "None of the Above" (Romney, None of the Above, 2012). It begins by showing a clip of America's energy crisis, and a clip of President Obama mentioning that he will use an 'all of the above' solution to bring down the price of fuel. The ad then shows the three top policymakers in this regard, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy, and Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Ken Salazar, Romney attacks because of his statements that he rejects the exploration of oil on American soil in a 2008-recorded statement on the matter.

Steve Chu is attacked because he believes that with a higher price of gas, Americans will be incited to invest more in clean energy technology, which serves Steve Chu's purposes, not the American people. Lisa Jackson pushed for increased prices on electricity prices in order to garner more money for the development of cleaner fossil fuels. The Romney campaign has used the phrase 'none of the above' to refer to these three individuals, rather than President Obama's plan for 'all of the above', a clever twist. Mitt Romney got a lot of credit for this advertisement because it attacks not President Obama's personality, which most Americans like, but rather the administrators that work behind the scenes. The advertisement ends with Mitt Romney suggesting that President Obama fire this trio and then concludes with the call for viewers to see more at 5 (Richard, 2009)

The second advertisement is from Mitt Romney's Super PAC, called "Right Experience," which first aired on March 8, 2012 in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Alabama, four conservative republican states (Restore Our Future Inc., 2012). This Romney ad takes shots at Rick Santorum, by using a series of quotations to make Romney look better and Santorum worse. It begins by saying, "Mitt Romney helped create thousands of jobs," and then immediately says, "Rick Santorum is called the "ultimate Washington insider." It then says Romney "rescued the Olympics," and then "Santorum voted to raise the debt limit, five times." The ad then goes on to Romney's gubernatorial term, saying "he vetoed 800 times and turned Massachusetts' deficit into a surplus without raising taxes." Back to Santorum, the ad says that he has voted for billions in government waste, including the "bridge to nowhere" controversy in Alaska. The last image of the ad shows Santorum with a gray depressing background, with a name in small letters. Romney, however, is smiling with a blue background and big gold letters. The advertisement does nothing to explain any of these elements presented, but simply arranges facts in a favorable fashion for Mitt Romney.

The last of Mitt Romney's primary campaign commercials will focus on the ad "Conservative Record." First released on March 21, 2012, this ad concentrates on the positive qualities of Mitt Romney, not taking any chances to attack either Rick Santorum or President Obama (Romney, Conservative Record, 2012). This Romney advertisement is actually narrated by Mitt Romney himself, and touts his solid upbringing and private-sector experience. As a governor, Mitt restored fiscal balance in Massachusetts, which is the big selling point of the ad. It shows that instead of raising taxes, Romney simply cut spending and culled most of the state's person assistance programs. Romney suggests that the principles of private business do indeed work for government, and as such, he is the best man for the job. At the end of the ad you hear "I am Mitt Romney and I approve of this message," which candidates' usually only do for the best ads which portray them as superior candidates.

Mitt Romney's electoral reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, as he has garnished for himself a tremendous advantage by this point in the primary campaign. Super Tuesday on March 6th was the moment in which Romney's competitors could have ended his bid for the presidency, but Romney pulled through and has only edged forward in his lead. Romney's ads may frame arguments in convincing ways, but do not stretch the truth, sticking to well established speaking points for the Republican party's opposition to the Democrat controlled government and President Obama specifically.

Santorum's Media Strategy -- Examples and Discussion

Selected advertisements have also been selected from Rick Santorum's Presidential Campaign to illustrate his media strategy. This first ad is entitled "America's Future." It first aired on March 12, 2012 (Red, White, and Blue Fund, 2012). The advertisement is funded by "Red, White, and Blue Fund," a conservative PAC that supports Santorum for President. The advertisement begins with the statement that America is using $314 Billion per year on foreign oil, presenting an incredibly large number in order to convey a message about America's use of foreign oil. The advertisement does not mention that U.S. Presidents and America in general has been using foreign oil since before WWII, or that President Obama has permitted more offshore and shale oil plants within America than any other president in history. The article also mentions that this foreign oil is supporting Islamic radicals with unknown intentions, which is a strange assumption since all of America's foreign oil is sourced through American allies and has been this way for generations. The second half of the advertisement discusses Rick Santorum's plans for growing the American energy sector, chiefly by opening new drilling rigs and increasing the number of American jobs in the process. The problem with this is that the United States only has 3% of the world's oil reserve, and is already supplying 2% of the world's oil, which means that there is a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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