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Harvard University

Department of Government

GOV 1359:
THE ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE
Spring 2016

Professor:

Carlos E. Díaz Rosillo
cdiaz@fas.harvard.edu

Meeting Time:

Mondays, 7 – 9 p.m.
+ a weekly section to be arranged

Location:

Northwest B103

Office:

Dunster House E303

Office Hours:

Wednesdays 3 – 5 p.m. and by appointment

Course Requirements Course requirements include: attendance and participation in lecture and section discussions (20%). videos. Failure to complete any one of the course requirements will result in a failing grade in the course. Late assignments will be penalized at the rate of 1/3 of a letter grade per day late. and mobilize voters. a campaign advertising group project (20%). However. You may elect to write a research paper on a topic approved by the professor in lieu of the final examination. . and a final examination (30%). To make sense of the complexities of presidential campaigns and elections in the United States. we will have a few other evening class meetings to watch and discuss the presidential primary debates and the group projects. The 2016 presidential race is in full swing and you will have a front-row seat as developments in the campaign unfold. After taking this class. Topics to be studied include the role of political parties and candidates. economists. a campaign memo assignment (15%). Course Objectives The course will equip you with the analytic tools to understand the role of presidential campaigns and elections in American politics. exhibit a thorough understanding of our electoral system. discussions. and the transition from campaigning to governing. political advertising and media coverage. journalists. and compare and contrast them to those of political scientists. we will also take advantage of interdisciplinary approaches to understand the ways in which presidential campaigns influence American political behavior and politics –for instance. you will be able to analyze and evaluate the conduct of presidential campaigns and elections in the United States. a midterm examination (15%). The main discipline that we will use to explore these and other topics will be political science. to think critically and constructively about the choices afforded to citizens in our democracy. and critically engage the literature on presidential campaigns and elections and how it relates to the current electoral process. among others) that will allow us to link more effectively the theoretical insights we will learn in this class with the current race for the White House. The 2016 campaign will be used as a laboratory in which to explore political science research on presidential campaigns and elections. It studies the origins and evolution of the presidential selection process and explores how modern campaigns inform. influence. we will incorporate the insights of historians. Details about all these requirements will be provided in class. campaign strategies and tactics. debates. campaign finance and voter mobilization. and on-line sources. and campaign insiders. and to value the importance of active and responsible participation in public life. we will use a variety of pedagogical tools (including guest lectures. There will be no make-ups exams. In addition to lectures.Course Description This course examines the role of presidential campaigns and elections in American politics.

The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election. that you have consulted to complete your assignments.edu. Quotations must be placed properly within quotation marks and must be cited fully. John Sides and Lynn Vavreck. as stated in The Harvard College Handbook for Students: “It is expected that all homework assignments. Craig and David B. The Electoral Challenge: Theory Meets Practice. discussions. projects… papers… and any other work submitted for academic credit will be the student’s own. lectures. The term ‘sources’ includes not only primary and secondary material published in print or online. Students should always take great care to distinguish their own ideas and knowledge from information derived from sources. 10th ed. Hill. videos.. Elizabeth McKenna and Hahrie Han. New York: Oxford University Press. Course Materials Stephen C. All work should be entirely your own and must use appropriate citation practices to acknowledge the use of books. 2014. In addition. DC: CQ Press. Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2. the sources must be indicated.” Students are also expected to be familiar with the Harvard Guide to Using Sources.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America. but also information and opinions gained directly from other people. Boston: Cengage Learning. or any other assignments with anyone else outside the teaching staff for the course. The Road to the White House 2016. Washington. 2016. which is available at usingsources. you will need to monitor campaign developments by reading a national newspaper of record on a daily basis. 2011. All students are expected to hand in work on time and in a professional manner. articles. Stephen J. . Whenever ideas or facts are derived from a student’s reading and research or from a student’s own writings. Any student that presents work that is not of his/her own authorship will automatically fail the course and will be subject to the College’s rules regarding academic dishonesty.fas. That means that you may not discuss your paper assignments. 2nd ed. Students should be aware that in this course collaboration of any sort on any work submitted for formal evaluation is not permitted. exams. To understand how the theories we will be studying in class apply to the current presidential campaign. 2013. etc. eds. + additional readings available online or on reserve. all paraphrased material must be acknowledged completely. websites.harvard. except for the campaign advertising group project (details about the type of student collaboration permitted in this project will be provided in class).You will be expected to keep up-to-date with the assigned weekly readings and to participate in class actively and thoughtfully. Wayne. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

no. 2015.The Lineup Getting Started Mon.” PS: Political Science & Politics. Stephen Wayne. 244-274..” The New York Times. pp. Neil Irwin. . The Road to the White House 2016. “US Presidential Election Forecasting. 25 Introduction and Overview: Understanding Presidential Campaigns and Elections in the U. Jan. 1 The Origins and Evolution of the American Presidential Selection Process Stephen Wayne. William Mayer and Jonathan Bernstein. 2. pp. April 2014. The Making of the Presidential Candidates 2012. 159-194. June 4. vol. 284-347. 2-24. Mon... 47.S. pp. eds. pp. The Road to the White House 2016. “Why a Presidential Campaign is the Ultimate Start-Up. Feb.

. pp. 330-350. 8 Seeking the Nomination: The Primaries and Caucuses Stephen Wayne. 96-137. Stacy Ulbig. 38. 32-96.. Yesterday and Today. “The Appeal of Second Bananas: The Impact of Vice Presidential Candidates on Presidential Vote Choice. March 2010. Feb. September 2008. Additional readings TBA. vol. 22 Winning the Nomination: The Choice of a Running Mate and the National Convention Stephen Wayne. “Institutional Change and the Dynamics of Vice Presidential Selection. The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election. 142-168. John Sides and Lynn Vavreck.President’s Day! (No Class) Mon. 401-419. pp. no. Feb. The Road to the White House 2016.” Presidential Studies Quarterly. pp.The Nomination Mon. vol. Mon. 2. pp. no.. pp. 38.” American Politics Research. The Road to the White House 2016. Feb. 15 .. Mark Hiller and Douglas Kriner. 3.

July 2012. Emmet Buell. Stephen Craig and David Hill. “How the Presidential Candidates Use the Web and Social Media. pp. eds. 14 SPRING BREAK Mon. 2012. August 15. eds.. John Geer.. pp. 21 Dealing with the Media and Facing the Opponent: The Role of the Media and the Impact of Presidential Debates Stephen Wayne. 144-192. 233-236. Mar. . Feb. The Electoral Challenge: Theory Meets Practice. Mar. Mar. pp. The Road to the White House 2016. pp. Stephen Craig and David Hill. vol.. 422-427... 3.. 245-265. 7 MIDTERM EXAM Mon. 208-225. The Road to the White House 20116. 2nd ed. Attack Politics: Negativity in Presidential Campaigns Since 1960.” PS: Political Science and Politics. and Lee Sigelman. Alan Schroeder. pp. pp. 1-27. 1-131. Presidential Debates: Fifty Years of High-Risk TV. “The News Media and the Rise of Negativity in Presidential Campaigns. no. 45. Mon.” Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. 29 I Approve this Message: Advertising and Modern Presidential Campaigns Stephen Wayne. The Electoral Challenge: Theory Meets Practice. 225-236. pp. 117-141.The General Election Mon. Jr.

26114. Additional readings TBA GROUP PROJECT DUE (at the beginning of lecture) Mon.. Sunshine Hillygus and Todd Shields. Mon. The Road to the White House 2016. “Voters vote. The Electoral Challenge: Theory Meets Practice.. 243-292.. Why is this so hard for pollsters?. 141-176. Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2. Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know. pp. Todd Rogers and Adan Acevedo. Elizabeth McKenna and Hahrie Han. pp. Strategy. Watch: The War Room. The Electoral Challenge: Theory Meets Practice. 3-201. 2016. The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Presidential Campaigns. eds. 4 Campaigning by the Numbers: Polling and Modern Presidential Campaigns Herbert Asher. and Finance Stephen Wayne. Apr. pp.” The Washington Post.. pp. 2nd ed. D. 28 The War Room: Campaign Organization. pp. January 22. pp. 215-241. No Place For Amateurs: How Political Consultants are Reshaping American Democracy. Dennis Johnson. Mar.. 107-182... . 11 The Ground Game: Voter Mobilization Stephen Craig and David Hill. Stephen Craig and David Hill.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America. 28-52.Mon. Apr. pp. 7th ed. eds. 1-32. non-voters don’t. 174-203.

The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election.. Apr.. The American Campaign: U... Apr. Now What? Mon. 25 Summary and Conclusions: How Much Do Campaigns Matter? Stephen Craig and David Hill. John Sides and Lynn Vavreck. MEMO ASSIGNMENT DUE (at the beginning of lecture) Thu. 2nd ed. 189-203. pp. 295-305.. James Campbell. Apr. Wed. 97-242. The Road to the White House 2016. May 5 FINAL EXAM . pp.? (and How Did They Vote in 2012?) Stephen Wayne. 57-88. 1-23. 20 Student Presentations of Group Projects Mon. The Electoral Challenge: Theory Meets Practice. 3-78.S. 18 The Determinants of the Vote and the American Voter: Who Votes in Presidential Elections in the U. pp.. eds.The Election is Over. pp.S. Presidential Campaigns and the National Vote.