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Vice Presidents, Presidential Elections, and the Media: Second Fiddles in the Spotlight, Stacy G. Ulbig

Reviewed by Jody C. Baumgartner



In Congressional Government, Woodrow Wilson asserted that “The chief embarrassment in discussing the [vice presidency] is that in explaining how little there is to say about it one has evidently said all there is to say.” This is no longer true. Stacy Ulbig’s Vice Presidents, Presidential Elections, and the Media is a fine and welcome addition to a growing body of scholarship that examines various aspects of the vice presidency. It extends an analysis published in 2010 in examining how media coverage of vice presidential candidates from 1972 through 2008 affects evaluations of those candidates.

Ulbig finds that the amount and tone of media coverage affects how independent voters evaluate vice presidential candidates. In chapter 3, she illustrates that “vice presidential candidates who draw more (and more intense) media coverage exert a stronger impact on voter decision making” (p. 7). Chapter 4 shows that negative media coverage of vice presidential candidates has little effect, except in the case of incumbent vice presidents in their reelection bids. Chapter 5 focuses on media coverage of various demographic characteristics of vice presidential candidates. Here, the evidence suggests that “when the media focuses more on a vice presidential candidate’s sex or rel

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