Friday, October 1, 2010

News Beat: Colorado Senate Election

For my beat, I have chosen to focus on the 2010 Colorado Senatorial Election between Michael Bennet (DEM) and Ken Buck (GOP)

The 2008 Presidential Election was historically significant for several reasons. Not only was this the first time in the country's history that an African-American was elected but it was also the first time that the youth demographic made a noteworthy impact. I believe that this was caused by the Obama campaign's ability to target the under-30 demographic through communication outlets relevant to their generation. For example, they were able to transform typical campaigning items like signage into trendy momentos and utilize social media in a way that made youth's opinions seem valuable.

Now that another national electoral process is underway, I am curious to see if current candidates are embracing these new methods, or relying on stereotypical techniques like negative advertising. Compared to the fervor characteristic of the 2008 election, this election is barely causing a stir among young adults, and I want to examine why. Is it the message, or the messengers?

Instead of approaching the 2010 Senatorial Election from strictly a political perspective, I also plan to approach it from a strategic communicatin perspective. To the average person, politics is a tedious process that affects everyone but only grabs the attention of a select few. In my opinion, it's not what the candidates are saying, but how they say it. The standard family photographs, awkward commercials, and speeches only resonate with a few, and while traditional, can actually detract from the candidate's actual message. The messages are important, and I want to explore ways to highlight them for younger, more modern audiences.

Questions and Goals
  • contrast national concerns with local concerns as outlined in the candidate's agendas
  • analyze the ethos, pathos, and logos of the candidates campaign tactics, particularly their use of technology


  • monitor the media coverage of both candidates
  • contact the communications managers of both candidates
  • attend local events to gauge public awareness and opinions about the election

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