Sanders's Horse Race: How the Media Explained Bernie Sanders's Loss in the 2016 Democratic Primaries

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Sanders's Horse Race: How the Media Explained Bernie Sanders's Loss in the 2016 Democratic Primaries

Type: Master thesis
Title: Sanders's Horse Race: How the Media Explained Bernie Sanders's Loss in the 2016 Democratic Primaries
Author: Berkelaar, Maarten
Issue Date: 2018-04-30
Keywords: U.S. Presidential election
Media
Horse Race reporting
Bernie Sanders
Invisible primary
U.S. media election reporting
Primaries
Abstract: This thesis analyzes how The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal explained the loss of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries. This thesis argues that conservative and liberal media focus on different explanations for Sanders’s loss and that through the style of media reporting several important factors in the Bernie Sanders’s primary defeat, such as the influence of the invisible primary, were not sufficiently explored. Through the media’s “horse race” reporting style, which solely focuses on which candidate is ahead and which candidate is lagging behind, no attention was paid to what happened before the actual primaries and caucuses began. This thesis states, first, that there were no significant differences in how the analyzed newspapers explained Sanders’s loss, second, that the invisible primary was overlooked by the three analyzed media outlets and, third, that the invisible primary played a key role in Sanders’s loss.
Supervisor: Bilt, Eduard van de
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: North American Studies (Master)
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/61925
 

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