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Elections, Political Parties, Pressure Groups, Unit 3

2012 Republican Primaries get uglier

Newt Gingrich is desperately trying to play himself back into the Republican Primary race after lacklustre showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, and having been the victim of attack ads in the first two states he is trying to give Romney a taste of his own medicine prior to the vote in South Carolina.

This piece in The Guardian analyses one of the latest ads (play the clip first of all, and watch until the end when it starts to look like a spoof…)


The analysis by The Guardian is excellent as it highlights the usefulness of this sort of material to a Unit 3 answer.

  • The nature of the ad shows that there has been an increase in partisan behaviour over recent years, something which is coming back to haunt Romney who (at least in part due to his origins in Massachusetts) was a liberal Republican.
  • It’s also a great example of the personal nature of the Presidential campaign and the nature of personal attack ads.
  • It also eludes to the role of Super PACs which fits into both the elections and Pressure Group topics
  • Finally it shows the power of the internet- ads like this are cheap to make and if they go viral they can get hundreds of thousands of hits. Campaigning like this is relatively new, and enables US candidates to be less reliant on glossy, expensive campaigns.  The use of social media is now a very significant aspect of any campaign. Obama’s 2008 campaign was praised for its use of technologies such as Facebook and the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. is clearly going to be a feature of 2012.

Before you finish with this piece- follow the link to the Romney attack ad at the bottom of the article- just to reinforce the point that they are all as bad as one another!







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