Americans more concerned with viability rather than electability in primary races

Mar 05, 2012

With Super Tuesday tomorrow, candidates are warned to know that it's the viability they show as a leader, rather than their image or electability that may be the most important attribute in garnering the Republican nomination.

A recent study by ICA members Mitchell S. McKinney, PhD, and J. Brian Houston, Phd, of the University of Missouri, found in multiple surveys that viewers are more likely to see a candidate's –their position as the strongest representative of the or champion of party principles - from a primary debate as a key marker in making a decision in voter choice. However, it is the pre-debate choice that remains the highest marker for voter selection.

"This finding seems to go against some past research, and also some of the current political punditry, that suggests what party voters are looking for is the strongest candidate to go up against the other party's nominee," said McKinney. "In the current Republican race, this focus on party viability may explain why the Republicans throughout their long nominating contest seem to keep trying to find some other candidate as an alternative to Mitt Romney.

McKinney added, it appears that Romney, with his debate performances, has not satisfied the party faithful that he's the strongest, most viable, party leader. While he has stressed his electability against Barack Obama as one of his strongest points, he's not yet convinced some in his own party that's he's the strongest ."

Explore further: Cheater, cheater: Study shows what happens when employees feel excluded at work

More information: McKinney's paper will appear at the ICA Annual Conference, in May 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Provided by International Communication Association

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Women more likely to recruit other women for political office

Aug 08, 2011

The gender composition of those responsible for candidate recruitment plays a crucial role in either encouraging or discouraging women candidates to run for office, according to a recent study in Political Research Quarterly (PRQ) ...

Why New Political Parties Sizzle or Fizzle

Aug 04, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Across the globe, new political parties, from green parties to anti-immigration parties, are constantly emerging in democratic countries. But while some of these nascent single-issue groups fade away, others, ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Squirrel
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012
Why use six words "the viability they show as a leader" where one would be better and clearer--leadership?