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2016 MISSOURI SENATE RACE

Par   •  14 Novembre 2018  •  2 641 Mots (11 Pages)  •  562 Vues

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a veteran himself, addressed this collective by focusing on their conditions when returning to civil life and also their voting rights when still serving. The last coalition showing support for Kander was "Women for Kander". He addressed equality concerns for women, such as equal pay and protection of victims of sexual assault.

During his campaign, Kander focused on the image of Blunt as a Washington insider who had been working "too long" as a Congressman. So, his family lobbyist activity and him living in Washington D.C. were two main attacks of Kander on Blunt. Also, his veteran condition was used to portray himself as a reliable candidate and gave him more scope to address the gun rights issue from the Democrat Party, challenging the Republican candidate as the "owner" of the issue. Those attacks on Blunt due to his insider profile were rooted in the distrust in the political institutions among the American public . So, Kander could portray himself as a political outsider who focuses on citizens’ priorities over partisan and corporations’ interests. In order to achieve that, he tried not to identify himself to Clinton’s candidacy.

As for the financing of the campaign, the high competitiveness of the race made that outside groups spent a lot of resources campaigning for both candidates, amounting a total of $42 million coming from outside Missouri (four times more outside money than the spent in first Blunt’s Senate election six years ago) . Kander’s chance of defeating the incumbent gave him a larger outside finance "support", with $8 more million spent by outside groups campaigning on his behalf than for Blunt. However, the amount spent directly by Blunt’s campaign is $5 million larger than Kander’s, which leaves us with a difference of over $3 million for Kander’s candidacy. Nevertheless, the difference becomes smaller when we sum the money each candidacy had raised. Blunt had over $6.5 millions in cash on hand and Kander’s candidacy approximately $3.8 millions.

4. Electoral Results.

Roy Blunt won this election and kept his seat in the U.S. Senate. He won the 49.2% of the votes, while Kander won 46.2%, leading by a three-point margin . Kander only obtained the majority of the votes in six counties, the ones where the main cities and their suburban areas are, except for Springfield (St. Louis: St. Louis City and St. Louis County; Kansas City: Jackson County, Clay County, and Platte County; Columbia: Boone County –home of the University of Missouri–). In the Presidential election, Trump won its ten electoral votes by more than 19 points ahead of Clinton . Trump won in all the counties where Blunt won, plus Clay County and Platte County. In the Gubernatorial election , the Republican candidate, E. Greitens, won by a 5.9 margin over the Democrat candidate C. Koster. He won in the same counties where Trump won.

The incredible margin of Trump’s victory shows how unpopular Clinton was in Missouri, less liked than Trump (her favorability was 29/64 and Trump’s 37/56) . However, in the Missouri Senate race, the most unpopular was Blunt, whose work was approved just by 31% of citizens in July, while 42% of them disapproved it. Also, among republicans, not even half of them approved it, and the disapproval rate was significantly high (26%) . In the context of a state leaning Republican as Missouri, a Democrat candidate needs to have high personal rates among voters. However, instead of being this the care, it was completely the opposite, which produced such broad margin for Trump. Kander started off from a better position, with low favorability rates for Blunt and a relatively good condition as a candidate for Missouri’s electorate: white, veteran male. These good conditions were the reason for Democrats to increase the flows of money to support Kander’s campaign. Despite these facts, Blunt was still the winner of the election. This has to be linked necessarily to the Presidential election outcome. Kander’s defeat by just a three-point margin compared to the 19-points lead of Trump indicates that an important amount of voters split their tickets voting for both Trump and Kander. However, it was not enough for a Democrat victory in the Senate race. Hence, we could speculate with the idea that Kander could have won his race if Trump had won by the same margin Romney did in 2012, nine points instead of 19.

5. Theories to Apply.

Some of the characteristics of this race can be explained by certain theories and approaches about electoral politics that we have seen in class. One of those would be Geer’s study of negativity in electoral campaigns . In his work, Geer states that "negative appeals will be more likely to have evidence supporting their claims than positive appeals” (Geer, 2006: 54). He also found in the cases he studied that "negative ads were much more likely to provide clear evidence to support their point than positive ads” (Geer, 2006: 55). I have carried out a small analysis of 9 ads approved by each candidacy . Following Geer’s methodology for coding evidence, I found in Blunt’s ads 7 positive appeals supported by 4 pieces of evidence, while there were 15 negative appeals supported by 14 pieces of evidence. In Kander’s ads, there were 13 positive appeals with 4 pieces of evidence and 7 negative appeals with 10 pieces of evidence. At first glance, with these results we can reach the same conclusion that Geer did, that negative appeals are supported with more evidence. In total, we find 20 positive appeals with 8 pieces of evidence and 23 negative appeals with 24 pieces of evidence. This would also confirm Geer’s thesis about the increasing negativity on campaigning, and not only that but that it increases when the race is tight, as it is this the case. However, if we analyze the appeals done by each candidate, we see that Kander did more positive than negative appeals. We have to take into account that Kander, as a younger and less experienced candidate, was not well-known by some part of the electorate. Thus, he had to spend some time exposing himself as a candidate and that would explain the number of positive appeals making references to his own candidacy.

Another thesis we can find related to this campaign would be the one carried out by Buttice and Stone (2012) , about the effects of the relation between the quality of the candidates and their ideology on voting behavior. Although they consider the quality of the candidates relying more on facts such as their ability to mount a credible campaign (and the experience of Blunt would prove his), we could see Blunt’s poor rates as a sign of his low-quality candidacy for the Missourian electorate. Then, assuming this, we could apply

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