ERIC Number: ED163540
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Manipulating Public Expectations; Pre- and Postprimary Statements in the '76 Campaign.
Freshley, Dwight L.
Predicting the outcome of a primary election gives a candidate more exposure to the press, gives him or her a chance to predict modestly and then look better than the prediction, and helps create interest in the election and thereby increase voter turnout. During the 1976 Presidential primaries, most candidates adhered to the classic rule to make modest predictions so that anything more than predicted could be claimed as victory. Thus in some instances more than one candidate was able to claim victory. In the New Hampshire primary, both Jimmy Carter and Morris Udall could claim victory since Carter won the most votes and Udall outpolled all other liberal candidates. Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford could both claim victory in New Hampshire because Ford received the most votes and Reagan received far more than the 40% he had predicted. Violating the rule can have had results; Henry Jackson, for example, may have hurt his candidacy by predicting a landslide in New York that did not materialize. When predictions fail to become reality, face-saving statements are necessary. Some can extend the damage; some can minimize it. The successful candidates made the most positive use of their instances of overpredicting. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Presidential Campaigns; Primary Elections (1976)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (64th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2-5, 1978)