Press, Polls and the 1988 Campaign: An Insider’s Critique

By Dayton Duncan

Dayton Duncan, spring 1989 fellow, reflects on his relationship with the media during the 1988 presidential campaign, when Duncan served as press secretary for Governor Michael Dukakis’s campaign. He critiques the excessive emphasis that the media placed on polling, the trend toward reporting on character in a way that can emphasize the inconsequential, and the competition between media outlets – factors that among others, are contributing to lower quality political coverage, argues Duncan.

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