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
“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.