Author (Your Name)

William Charron, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Government Dept.


Anthony Corrado


The presidential primary season does not mark the beginning of the presidential campaign trail. It is during the ill-defined preprimary stage when the national press corps start to carefully observe the early efforts of candidates. and the presidential "precampaign" becomes a time for young campaigns to benefit or suffer at the hands of early press attention . Perceptions take shape within the press pertaining to each precampaign's "viability," or chances of capturing the nomination. These perceptions are passed on to the electorate in the form of news stories, and images are created that tend to frame how the primary race will most likely evolve. This paper examines national and regional press coverage ofthe 1991-92 Democratic preprimary race. through close analysis of two major newspapers. The standards that the press use to evaluate and interpret early campaigns are determined, as are overall press reporting strategies. Perspectives that govern the handling of the candidates are analyzed. and final assessments are made as to whether the candidates in this race received fair treatment.


Presidential candidates, United States, Press, Presidential Precampaign


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