Barack Obama ElectionThe United States Presidential Election 2008:
An in depth description of the candidates and relation to Consumer Behavior
The presidential election of 2008 will be one that will defy all others and go down in history. With a woman candidate, a black candidate and one of the oldest candidates to run for presidency, this election has everyone talking and wondering what will happen next. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the remaining candidates for the Democratic Party and John McCain is the remaining candidate for the Republican Party.
Campaigning for the presidential election began early in the fall of 2007. From October 2007 until June 2008, the candidates will travel throughout the nation for state primaries, caucuses and conventions. (“United States presidential election, 2008”) With the hopes of gaining the most super delegate votes before the November 2008 election, each candidate must express their marketing strategies across to the public and perfect the consumer research process in the most efficient way.
Barack Obama Biographical Information
Hawaii native, Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was born on August 4, 1961 to Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham. At the young age of two, Obama’s parents split forcing him to temporarily live in Indonesia with his mother then moving back to Honolulu with his father.
Upon graduation from high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles to obtain a further education at Occidental College before later transferring to Columbia University in New York City. In 1983, Obama received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia in political science. Obama sought to obtain more education and attended Harvard Law School in 1988. Obama was recognized in The New York Times as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review in 1990. (“Barack Obama”) Until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama was a part time professor at the University of Chicago Law School teaching constitutional law.
Public service became the focus of Obama’s career as he took on roles of a community organizer, civil rights attorney, and a leader as the state of Illinois senator. (Barack Obama U.S. Senator for Illinois) Obama was sworn into the office of Senate in January of 2005 and believes in the ability to “unite people around a politics of purpose- a politics that puts solving the challenges of everyday Americans ahead of partisan calculations and political gain.” (Meet the Candidate)
Obama has provided over $100 million in tax cuts for families across the state along with the expansion of childhood education.
Barack Obama has fought to get Illinois veterans “the disability pay they were promised while working to prepare that Veterans’ Affairs Committee for the return of thousands of veterans who will need care after Iraq and Afghanistan.” (Meet the Candidate)
Barack Obama is the candidate that speaks out on the issues that will define America in the 21st century.
Barack Obama Target Audience
Barack Obama is a politician that is concerned with families and communities across the nation. Minorities, young adults, middle class African American families and college students are some of the people within Obama’s target audience.
At the Selma Voting Rights March Commemoration in 2007, Obama stated “I’m here because somebody marched. I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants.” (Welcome to the Online Home of African Americans for Obama) Middle class blacks are a large target for the Obama campaign along with other Americans from ages 18-35.
After Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., made remarks about the racial ties between whites and blacks, Obama was forced into a corner where he may have lost some of his voters. However, at a speech made in Philadelphia, Obama spoke on race stating that “the comment that have been made and the issues that have surfaced…reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through.” (Obama Urges U.S. to Grapple with Race Issues)
Although Obama’s campaign has been successful in predominately white states and large black states, there are still racial divisions from coast to coast not only between blacks and whites. Other minority groups are concerned with their treatment by the United States government. Latinos, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, and Indian Americans are some of the minority groups that the Obama campaign is focused on receiving votes from. Racial tensions exist between the Latino and black communities. Yet Obama has implemented strategies to improve those issues that matter most to the Latino community as a black presidential candidate.
Univision, a Spanish-language network, sponsored a presidential debate for the first time in history. (Obama Has Appeal to Latinos) This proves that the Latino vote is increasing potency. In California, Obama has already won the backing of Latino lawmakers. Latinos and other minorities are looking for change and the Obama campaign’s focus is to bring about change not only in the U.S. government but across the entire nation.
College students and youth adolescents are also a target audience for the Obama campaign. Obama believes that getting younger voters is working toward the change that we are fighting for. Profiles on networking sites such as Facbook.com and MySpace.com are geared to attract younger voters. Over 400,000 have joined the group “Barack Obama for President in 2008” on Facebook.com. (Contenders Look to Young Voters in 2008 Election) Other presidential candidates, from both parties, have online profiles and support groups on these sites, yet they’re issues do not have as much of an impact as Obama.
Barack Obama tries to appeal to the groups of American citizens that the other candidates may forget. The young and intelligent are going to be the adults of tomorrow, so it is important that the presidential candidates have an influence on these groups so that they can be educated for tomorrow and the election of 2008.
Barack Obama Marketing Strategies
In the current presidential election, Barack Obama is leading the Democratic party. Obama has been able to “develop initiative approaches to challenge the status quo and get results.” (Issues) From Illinois State Senate to Washington Presidency, Obama has a plan to bring about change in all aspects of all American citizen lives including family, the economy, the government and society.
Education is one of the issues that Obama plans on rectifying. In today’s America, children are failing classes at higher rates than ever, even with the “No Child Left Behind” act, which failed to adequately support and pay teachers leaving over six million middle and high school students reading behind their grade level. This drastically huge amount of students left without proper education raised the number of high school drop outs, resulting in only 70 percent of high school students to graduate with a diploma. Furthermore, between 2001 and 2010 two million qualifying students will not attend college because they will not be able to finance it. (A World Class Education)
Barack Obama’s platform on education is to promote state “zero to five” programs that will ensure students are ready to enter school at kindergarten, reform “No Child Left Behind” so that schools are encouraged to improve rather than punishing them for non-improvement, assess the dropout crisis by investing in schools to implement intervention strategies that would support middle school children to learn more. Also, the Obama platform for education calls for recruiting teachers with qualifying backgrounds and simplifying the application for financial aid so that more students may be able to afford college and won’t be left in as much debt.
The United States economy had fluctuated over the years but currently is in a recession. Although wages are stagnant, prices continue to rise on heath care, tuition, and necessities such as vegetable and gas. Tax cuts have been given to the wealthy rather than to middle class citizens. Obama plans to provide middle class Americans tax relief up to $1,000 per working class family to eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans. (Plan To Strengthen the Economy)
Also, by improving NAFTA and strengthening foreign trade with nations, the American economy should rise and create more jobs for Americans. Obama will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions and increase minimum wage. All of these plans along with many others will help strengthen the American economy so that United States citizens will have a fighting chance to get out of debt and get back on their feet.
Barack Obama has always been one to oppose the war in Iraq. During the Iowa primaries, Obama stated that “too many people took the President at his word instead of reading the intelligence for themselves. Congress gave the President the opportunity to go to war. Our only opportunity to stop the war was lost.”(Plan for Ending the War in Iraq) Since 2003, during his pre-campaigning for this upcoming presidential election, Obama has come up with tentative plans to remove troops from Iraq and swiftly end the war.
If elected to office, Obama has promised to immediately remove troops from Iraq. With the strategy to remove one to two combat brigades each month, Obama insists that all troops will be out of Iraq in less than two years. Obama will push for national leaders to come to accord with the Iraqi government and establish regional diplomacy.
Obama has tried to put into practice ways for Congress to end the war and has given Congress the plans and initiative needed to do so. Many of Obama’s voters are putting their trust in him with the hopes that he will stick to his word and end the war in Iraq promptly so that the economy may have a chance of stabilizing and the number of American causalities will cease.
Hillary Clinton Background Information
A native of the state of Illinois, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was born October 26, 1947. At a very young age, Clinton became involved in many political endeavors including the U.S. presidential election of 1960, in which she found electoral fraud against the republican candidate Richard Nixon. (“Hillary Rodham Clinton”)
Majoring in political science, Clinton attended Wellesley College in 1965. Throughout her matriculation at Wellesley, Clinton remained very active in the political organizations that were available on campus including the Rockefeller Republican Wellesley Young Republicans organization and the student College Government Association. As the first student to give their own commencement address, Clinton graduated from Wellesley in 1969.
Clinton attended Yale Law School where she met her husband former President William Jefferson Clinton. As the former first lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton became elected to public office and the first woman elected independently statewide in New York State. (Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for New York)
As an advocate for the state of New York, Clinton has worked with communities throughout the state to strengthen the economy and expand opportunities for New Yorkers. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton fought with her colleagues to provide New York with the funds needed to rebuild. (Biography) Clinton continues to work for the resources needed for New York to grow and improve homeland security in New York and other communities as well.
As Senator, Clinton has enacted the Count Every Vote Act of 2005, which provides a verified paper ballot for every vote cast in electronic machines. This process will ensure that every American has the right to vote in fair, accessible and credible elections.
Hillary Clinton Target Audience
Hillary Clinton has gained the support of American citizen who may not get the attention they want. Blue collar workers, adults over the age of 40, women, middle class African American and white families are the target audience for Clinton.
With the current housing crisis, Clinton has addressed the Bush administration with solutions on how to combat these economic challenges, only to get turned down and ignored. The Bush administration has acknowledged that more support should be given to struggling families to help them restructure their mortgages and stay in their homes, yet they turned around and gave tax cuts to the wealthy. Clinton has a plan to amend bankruptcy laws and help put a voluntary freeze on sub prime interest rates so that families will be able to keep their homes. (Hillary Clinton Statement on Bush Mortgage Plan)
Since Clinton has long been a supporter of children and families, it is evident that women are the ideal target audience for Clinton being that she is a woman herself. At the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, Clinton stated that “women rights are human rights”.(A Champion For Women) Those words have resounded across the nation and worldwide. Clinton’s plan to help families balance work and home, develop a better health care system, and give every child a chance are some of the plans Clinton has in store for women voters to get what they want and deserve.
As New York State Senator, Hillary Clinton was devoted to changing the way of children and families throughout New York. Clinton plans on bringing those same ideals to the White House for the entire nation if elected into office.
Hillary Clinton Marketing Strategies
America is ready for a president that cares about our children. Continuously, Hillary Clinton has been an activist for parents and children. With the signing of the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act into her legislation, Clinton is trying to protect children from injury in and around motor vehicles. Clinton stated “we finally have a law that will save lives and make our children safer. Because of the changes this law will bring, fewer families will go through the unthinkable horror of losing a child.” (Clinton Kids and Car Safety Legislation Signed into Law)
Hillary Clinton is good for appealing to the audience that have young children and want to keep their children safe from harm, but Clinton also has a plan for the older American citizens. Health care is not an issue that only affect families, but it affects individuals as well.
Nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured. Although Americans receive some of the best health care in the world, the system is very flawed. Clinton stated “I am deeply concerned about the skyrocketing prescription drug costs” (Health Care Affordability) and has a plan to offer coverage choices for the insured and uninsured, lower premiums and increase security, promote shared responsibility between drug companies, individuals, employers, providers and the government, ensure affordable health care for all, and a fiscal responsibility plan that honors our priorities. (Providing Affordable and Accessible Health Care) With the plan to transform the American health care system, Clinton has opened the gateway for many Americans to be free of health worries.
Hillary Clinton has included in her platform comprehensive government reform for a better nation. Clinton plans on giving the American people a government that “puts competence ahead of cronyisms”. (Comprehensive Government Reform) With the idea of a 10-point plan to restore America’s confidence in their government, Clinton plans on being the 21st century government that meets America’s 21st century challenges. The hopeful presidential candidate expressed her views about where she stands with bringing about change in the White House.
I strongly supported comprehensive civil rights legislation…I have repeatedly called upon the Administration to implement threat based homeland security funding…I believe that we must bring the war in Iraq to an end…I pay very close attention to and work frequently on these critical issues to New York and our nation. (On the Issues)
Clinton has plans of reforming America with simple steps toward a brighter future. With no more corruption and no more deception, the Clinton administration plans on putting the qualified in positions of power. This comprehensive plan for government reform makes Clinton ready to lead the American people.
Hillary Clinton had fought for issues important to women in America and across the nation as a lawyer, advocate, First Lady and Senator. Women are some of Clinton’s strongest supporters because they know that only a woman and provide another woman with what it is that they really need. “I believe in the importance of equal rights for women in American and abroad.” (Women)
Women in the 21st century still only earn $.76 cents for every dollar men earn doing the same work. Clinton’s platform plans on making equal pay for equal work, increase the opportunity for women to obtain non-traditional jobs, prevent unintended pregnancies, honor the women’s movement, and decrease violence against women. (Issues: Women) All of these proposals by Clinton are a stepping stone in the continuous battle to ensure that all Americans are treated with dignity and respect.
John McCain Background Information
Son of the navy officer John S. McCain Jr., John Sidney McCain III was born August 29, 1936. After his family settled in Northern Virginia, McCain attended a private preparatory high school in Alexandria. Upon graduation in 1954, McCain decided to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and enter the United States Naval Academy of Annapolis. (“John McCain”)
For four years, McCain studied at the Naval Academy until beginning his career as a Naval aviator. Throughout 1961, McCain remained in the Navy until his retirement as captain.
McCain took on a new journey when he was elected to Congress in 1982 representing what then was the first congressional district of Arizona. (U.S. Senator John McCain Arizona) McCain has been the senator of Arizona since he took the place of the former Senator Barry Goldwater in 1986.
In 2000, McCain unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. (Biography) In 2004, McCain was reelected as Senator by an overwhelming 77 percent. In the Senate, McCain continuously fought for Congress to put an end to loopholes and fix the broken system in Washington. (John McCain Ready from Day One) With the citizens of Arizona in mind, McCain eagerly demanded that taxpayers’ dollars not go to waste.
As senior senator of Arizona, John McCain is currently the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Indian Affairs.
John McCain Target Audience
As a former presidential candidate and a retired naval officer, John McCain has the ability to attract a vast amount of American citizens. White conservatives, the Catholic community, middle and upper class white families, American citizens over the age of 50, environmentalists, and southern citizens are some of the member of McCain’s target audience.
Like many of our previous great U.S. Presidents such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Regan, John McCain is an experienced conservative willing to serve the American people. John McCain is a “common sense conservative who believes in a strong national defense, a more accountable government…and the dignity of life and traditional values.” (Why John McCain) John McCain has not opposed the war in Iraq and many older white conservatives believe that the war is the right thing to do.
The McCain administration deems this election as the time to determine whether American troops stay in Iraq and fight the battle or surrender and bring our troops home. McCain hopes to be the strong leadership that is needed with a vision and experience to guide our country and the world through this challenge.
Catholic voters are backing John McCain as he believes that the law followed by the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade must be overturned, the promotion of adoption and protecting marriage. McCain noted publicly “at its core, abortion is a human tragedy. To effect human change, we must engage the debate at human level.” (Human Dignity & the Sanctity of Life)
John McCain Marketing Strategies
John McCain’s economic plan outlines a pro-growth, pro-job strategy to get our economy back on track. American families all over the country are in an economic crisis due to the recession of the economy. The McCain administration plans on helping American citizens from the hurt of high gas prices and food costs, institute a summer gas tax holiday, all while ending the policies that contribute to higher transportation and food costs.(Budget, Taxes, and the Economy)
In order to help American families with the housing crisis, McCain plans on proposing a new “home” plan that will provide forceful and timely help to those hurt by the housing crisis. Under this plan, every deserving American family will be able to trade in the burden of a mortgage for manageable loan that reflects their home’s market value. McCain plans to form a Justice Department Mortgage Abuse Task Force that will investigate potentially criminal wrongdoing in the mortgage industry and bring justice to anyone who has been violated by the law.
McCain believes that taxes should be low and simple and plans to cut taxes for middle class families and doubling the personal exemption for dependents from $3500 to $7000.(McCain Economic Plan) McCain plans to keep taxes low and require a three fifths majority vote in Congress to raise taxes. The Federal Corporate tax rate on American employers will be lowered by 10 percent. The premiums on health care will also be lowered without losing quality from the health care system.
All of these plans are ways to put money flowing back into the economy and help American citizens recover from the debt crisis in the government and in their own lives.
As a former military officer, John McCain understands the importance of a strong military and in order to protect America, it is very necessary. McCain is committed to “ensuring that the men and women of our military remain the best and most capable force on Earth.” (National Security)
As a never ending advocate of our military and ensuring that our military is properly postured, funded and ready to meet the nation’s obligations. After recognizing the dangers imposed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, violent Islamic extremists and their terrorist attacks, McCain plans to strengthen the military, shore up our alliances, and ensure that the nation is capable of protecting the homeland.
John McCain has fought to honor our national commitment to veterans who have given their careers and livelihoods to ensuring our freedom. McCain believes that we must provide service to the members and their families while they serve. In order to provide for our service members, McCain has worked to increase pay scales for servicemen and women during both the Persian Gulf war and the current war on terror.(Commitment to America’s Service Members: Past and Present)
The Republican party’s candidate has chosen to support legislation to expand eligibility to health care benefits for reservists and their families. McCain believes that our veterans should get the health care that they need and deserve. By voting on proposals to raise Veteran’s Affairs doctors pay, the McCain administration will be able to retain high quality physicians and dentists.
John McCain is focused on providing American citizens and those citizens that have served the country with the services that they need and aren’t receiving from the current government. The American people are looking for a presidential candidate that will fulfill all of the promises that they propose.
Political Campaign Relation to Consumer Behavior
Each presidential campaign is a long race to see who will come out on top as President of the United States. All of the candidates, whether of the Republican party, Democratic party, and any other third party, are trying to convince the American people that they are the best person to lead the nation.
Presidential candidates are employing the marketing concept to satisfy the needs of the American people. The political campaign and candidates must go through the process of consumer research in order to get the most votes from the public.
The first step the candidates go through is defining the objectives of the research. In essence, this is developing their platforms on the issues that affect the American people. By carefully defining the objectives of the study, each candidate can thoroughly decide where they stand in the election with the amount of positive response that they receive in comparison to their competitors.
The next step of comparing secondary data helps the candidates intricately figure out the exact desires of the American people; separating their needs from their wants and wishes. The presidential campaign is a very serious topic and it is important that the candidates do not make empty promises to the American people only to be elected into office.
The third step of the consumer research process is to collecting qualitative and quantitative research through a primary research study. Qualitative research is data collection through depth interviews or focus groups. Quantitative research is also data collection but through questionnaires and attitude scales. Candidates may use both of these data collection methods in order to find out what issues impact which people the most.
Depth interviews and focus groups may encourage participants to speak about what they do not like about the current government in place and give the candidates or their administration an opportunity to discuss how they will make that change. Questionnaires and attitude scales such as the likert scale and semantic differential scale do not give participants as much freedom to give their responses but are rather more limited to what is being asked of them. In either situation, the candidates are getting a more in detailed sense of what is asked and wanted of them.
The fourth step is to collect primary data through data analysis and reporting research findings. After conducting the qualitative and quantitative research, candidate will be able to collect primary data, analyze that final data and report research findings. The final research findings that are presented to the public are the issues and platforms that each candidate stands for.
Some of the issues that matter most to the candidates in the upcoming November election have been analyzed based on what they felt needed to be changed in the American government but also what the American people felt needed to be changed. Barack Obama wants to end the war in Iraq, improve education for children, and fix the economy.
Hillary Clinton plans on strengthening middle class families, providing better health care for all American citizens, creating a positive government reform and ensuring that women receive equality. John McCain hope to restore human dignity and the quality of life, cut taxes, stable national security and better protect our veterans and their families.
Each candidate stands strong on their particular platforms and has the backing of many American citizens. Although it is impossible for the candidates to improve every aspect of life in the United States, the candidate that makes the best effort at promising change and delivering intellectual and idealistic ways to bring about that change will be elected into office come November. It is important that American citizens know where each candidate stands and vote for the candidate that is best qualified to the position of President of the United States so that America can continue to be the great nation that it is known
.Barack Obama Change We Believe In.
Barack Obama United States Senator for Illinois.
Hillary for President.
John McCain 2008 for President.
New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
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