Monday, August 3, 2015

Long-Shot Candidates in the Marketplace

So, how about we take another run at the election, shall we?

This time, I was interviewed by Nova Safo for the public radio program Marketplace, for a segment that aired on Tuesday evening, July 21st, 2015. The segment, entitled Long-shot candidates reap benefits after race, was only 2 minutes and 10 seconds long, and includes quotes from yours truly and University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. And you can click on the link to listen to it over there if you like. They have a very nice web page for it.

Of course, I'm happy to embed their little audio recording player in here as well, and appreciate the fact that they make it available in this way.

And here is the text version, also available over there. It starts like this:

With Ohio Governor John Kasich today entering the race for the GOP presidential nomination, the total number of major contenders has risen to 16. There are also five major candidates on the Democratic side.

A lot of them are long shots, whether due to lack of name recognition, lack of financial support, or low numbers in the polls.

Now, let me interject that the fact that they're long-shots still means that they have a shot. And candidates like Obama, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton for that matter, have started out with little or no broad recognition or support, and gone on to win the White House. Anyway, I'm up now, so let me turn the story over to me:

But long-shot candidates have a reason to be optimistic. For one, sometimes they win. "Our current president being an example of one, where somebody comes out of nowhere," says Lance Strate, professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University.

And things really have changed due to new media and social media, starting with Obama in 2008, where these new forms of communication were used to effectively organize volunteers and grass roots support, although the impact was felt earlier with Howard Dean's strong polling results in 2004, on the strength of favorable support among bloggers. That was before his campaign imploded after the Iowa Caucuses and his "I Have A Scream" speech. But the role of the new media environment in contemporary presidential primary campaigns is a phenomenon that is worthy of note, so let's sound that note:

The reason for so many long-shot candidates in this election cycle is that campaigns are getting better at organizing online and through social media, Strate says. "A political campaign can get started with a relatively small amount of resources to begin with, and then take off," he says.

And now it's Larry Sabato's turn, and the bottom line that whether candidates win or lose, they still win:

Even if candidates don't win, or even get their party's nomination, they can still benefit by improving their name recognition, says Larry Sabato, who heads the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "You can increase speaking fees. You may very well be offered a TV or radio contract," he says.

You may recall that this very same point came up in some previous posts here on Blog Time Passing, most recently in A Fortune in Speakers' Fees, before that in Of Fees, Futility, and Mike Huckabee, and earlier on in Giant Speaking Fees-Fi-Fo-Fum

And you know how I like to provide the outtakes, so to speak, in these posts that feature my quotes, not that every word I say is worthy of being immortalized, but just on the off chance that there may be something there of interest to someone out there, and also to show how quotes are abstracted out of a longer series of remarks (to aid in the general semantics goal of consciousness of abstracting).

And you might expect that with a radio interview like this one, including one conducted via telephone like this one, that there wouldn't be anything more. Well actually there is, but I'm going to save that for a follow-up post. I think this short segment, while not going into any great depth, is, for a short news segment, very nicely done, so I want to let it stand on its own in this post.

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