COMM 339 -- Persuasion

Dr. Lee McGaan  

  Office:  WH 308  (ph. 309-457-2155);  email
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Fall 2016 Office Hours:   MWF:  9:30 - 10am, 11am - Noon & 1 -2pm TTh:  2-3pm & by apt.  |  copyright (c) by Lee McGaan, 2006-2016

Course Description Syllabus Course Notes and Handouts Course Assignments +

        political persuasion

 Incumbency style  versus Challenger Style

Which candidates have used incumbency style and how?  (all levels)

  • use symbolic trappings of office
  • use the legitimacy of the office
  • office demonstrates competency
  • office can help create charisma
  • make pseudo events (announcements of new plans)
  • make appointments to jobs
  • create task forces
  • appropriate/grant funds to locals
  • consult world leaders
  • manipulate domestic issues (e.g. new benefits to voters
  • get endorsements
  • emphasize accomplishments
  • be "above the battle" hard at work
  • be aloof not involved in grubby politics
  • ignore opponents and attacks
  • don't campaign/work hard
  • use surrogates
  • create a crisis, esp. foreign


  • Must defend record - on the defense
  • May be blamed for all problems
  • Must look like they're working not just campaigning
  • front runner high expectations

 Which candidates have used challenger style and how?

  • Attack opponents record
  • take the offensive on policy issues
  • call for change
  • emphasize optimism for future
  • connect to tradition values of Americans
  • appear to represent the political center
  • delegate harsh attacks to media and others in party

Persuasive Campaigns vs Candidate Campaigns

last updated 4/13/2010