The “Student Blog Post” series invites students from my PLS 321: Electoral Process course to author their own blogs about recent election events.
From Democratic presidential nominee Hilary Clinton’s email scandal to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s entertaining yet enticing Twitter page, it is without a doubt that the media has had a significant impact on the successes and failures of these presidential nominees during the race to presidency.
According to Donald Trump’s most recent tweets, he claims that the election is being “rigged” by the media in favor of Hilary Clinton. He goes on further to state that the media has brought about a negative effect on the polls. It also does not help that the recent release of the Trump tapes revealed his blatant disrespect for women. Not only has he lost a numerous amount of female voters, but he has also weakened his status in the polls. It can be concluded that Trump uses the media to his benefit. It is important to know that Donald Trump has a way of persuading people to believe in certain things and he cleverly uses media to execute this.
For Hilary Clinton, the media stirs up a storm when it comes to her health issues and her infamous emails. Without the exaggeration of the media, her health would not even be a notable issue. It is immaterial instances like these that have a tremendous effect on the ways that voters vote. Instead of focusing on Clinton’s policies and her vision, if elected president, for America, we are focusing on things like Clinton’s ability to even survive in office and emails that she sent over a decade ago. The media shifts the public’s attention away from issues that really matter in a time like electing a new president into office.
We can attribute the power of media over this year’s elections to two factors: first, this is the age of the millennials, technology is easily accessible at the touch of a button. And two, the media can be twisted to advance or harm a person’s reputation. In addition to the bias of the media, publishers of newspapers and televised news can throw out theories to the public whether they are true or false.
This leads to the reliability and relevance of the media. In author Larry Bartels’ “The Study of Electoral Behavior”, it is important to note the outcome of the Columbia Studies mentioned in the reading. One of the main hypotheses of this theory is that media has an impact of voting behavior. This study proved that media does not have an effect on voting behavior but it is social groups that are determinant of the way an individual votes. However, this study was conducted in 1940 when the television was just getting its running start. Fast forward seventy years later and the media is indeed one of the most influential factors of voting behavior.
Whether it be through televised debates, the morning after a huge scandal talk show discussions, news anchors going back and forth to get their points across, invigorating social media accounts, or even bias articles, the media is one of the most determining factors of the results of this election. It seems as if all eyes of the media are on both of the presidential nominees and the American people are waiting for catastrophe to strike as November 8th draws near.
Julie Meriales is a second year political science major at Cal Poly Pomona. She enjoys baking and studying law. She hopes to enroll in law school following graduation.