The Media, the Public and the Development of Candidates’ Images in the 1992 Presidential Election

By Dean Alger

A paper by Dean Alger, spring 1993 fellow, examines the evolution of Bush and Clinton’s public personas during the 1992 presidential campaign. Alger traces the increasing importance of a candidate’s character and personality to the rise of campaign consultants, the increase of citizen involvement in the primaries, and the rise of television. This paper uses results from polls and focus groups as well as content analysis of national TV news programming to analyze public perceptions of Bush and Clinton, and to examine how each candidate’s image changed over time.

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