The Calculus of Concession: Media Coverage and the Dynamics of Winnowing in Presidential Nominations

Audrey A. Haynes, Paul Henri Gurian, Michael H. Crespin, Christopher Jon Zorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this research we outline and evaluate a theory of the "calculus of concession": when and why presidential primary candidates exit the race. Our explanation builds on prior studies of candidate attrition that traditionally emphasize money. However, we focus additional attention on the role of the press and its potential to influence a candidate's exit decision. Data from the 2000 Republican presidential nomination campaign are used to test a Weibull model of candidate exit. Our results suggest that money is a critical component. But our research also demonstrates that the influence of money on candidates' decisions depends on the candidate's competitive position in the race. The availability of financial resources is far more critical to a close runner-up than to a less established long shot. Conversely, news coverage is far more critical to the decisions of long-shot candidates early in the campaign than it is to big-shot candidates later on.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-337
Number of pages28
JournalAmerican Politics Research
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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