September 08, 2016 -- Making sense of a presidential election campaign where nothing appears to make sense still requires reporters to be on the scene, gathering facts and presenting this information to an increasingly skeptical and restive American electorate, two National Public Radio journalists told a University of Delaware audience. [See the entire conversation here.]
NPR’s Domenico Montanaro, a UD alumnus, and Sam Sanders offered their views on how best to do this during a National Agenda “Road to the Presidency” discussion held Wednesday, Sept. 7, in Mitchell Hall.
Montanaro, who is NPR’s lead editor for politics and digital audiences, noted that both Republican Party candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders seemed to tap into the feelings of large segments of voters seemingly unsatisfied with politics-as-usual this year.
“Bernie gave Hillary Clinton more of a run than she thought he would,” Montanaro said. “Both men tapped into a feeling among voters that the current system does not work for them.”
Trends noticeable during this campaign include the rise of meanness and snarky social media comments as well as the loss of the traditional news cycle, Montanaro said.
“This is a certain type of election where so many rules have gone by the wayside and everything is being made new,” Montanaro said. “I try to look at it that way and it helps me make sense of things.”
When asked by moderator Lindsay Hoffman, associate professor of communication, associate director of the host Center for Political Communication and director of the National Agenda series, about indicators of a victory in November, Montanaro said that while polls remain important, they are not the sole predictors of electoral success. Historical trends and demographics also play major roles.