1 The socio-psychological model otherwise known as the Michigan mode
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1. The socio-psychological model, otherwise known as the "Michigan" model, is a deterministic way of evaluating a
candidate. This model relies heavily on strong party identification. Party identification helps us to understand why
people vote along same party lines. In the 1996 presidential election, Bill Clinton's popularity among his own party
proved to be too strong for his opponent. There are five reasons why the "Michigan" model is helpful for evaluating
the outcome of the '96 election. The first one is that it is a good predictor of the vote. There are many reasons why
Clinton came out victorious in the '96 presidential election. This model helps to explain those reasons. A second
reason is that people rarely switch parties, going from a Republican to a Democrat, and vice versa. Clinton
supporters had a very strong party identification , and this partisanship is what Clinton was counting on to win the
election. Third, this model illustrates that most p!
eople develop party ID from their parents. This means that if your parents were Democrat, more than likely you will
be on too. Since the number of Democrats is greater than the number of Republicans, Clinton had a greater
advantage over his Republican adversary. The fourth precept in defense of the "Michigan" model is that even when
people deviate, their party ID still remains strong. This makes it harder for people to switch entirely to the other
extreme, their is still a bond between them and their grounded party. The fifth reason of this model says that nothing
has really changed. Basically, that people have stayed loyal to their parties. As we saw in the '96 election, the party
with the most loyalists won. This is very fundamental for maintaining an election.
The "Michigan" model thrives on competence, leadership, and integrity of a candidate. Throughout Clinton's
Administration in his first four years as being president, he has shown himself to be quite competent in his dealings
with domestic as well as foreign affairs. He has also shown his leadership, especially during hostile war-like times,
when the U.S. raided on Iraq. This leadership greatly increased his popularity among the American people. His
charisma helped to establish his integrity, although it was tested and may have been slightly tarnished by the
scandalous White-Water allegations. For the most part, Clinton's possession of all three attributes have undoubtedly
smoothed the way for his victorious second presidential election.
Another type of model that can help us explain Bill Clinton's victorious presidential election is the Rational Choice
model. This model is non-deterministic and relies more on what people can obtain from the election. The Rational
Choice model elevates issues, and not so much emphasis is centered around the candidate himself. It relies heavily
on the principle of cost and benefits. What can the people gain if they reelect Bill Clinton? This is the kind of
question this type of model purports. Clinton used this way of thinking to his advantage and promised to give the
people what they wanted if they would vote for him. Since the economy seemed to have gotten better over the last
four years, and the fact that most rational voters tend to be retrospective, greatly helped Clinton's edge over Dole.
Parties need a lot of support, and the most motivated people tend to be the ideological ones. This helps to explain
why party activists always try to push their way towards the!
extreme. Since this type of model deals more with issues, parties and candidates try and push voters to be irrational.
They will be vague and ambiguous when discussing certain topics. A lot of things candidates promise to give back
to the people, many times never reach the forefront. Bob Dole was in fact a little skimpy on elaborating on some
issues dealing with such things as gays in the military.
What ever the reasons may be for each model's evaluations, it is not hard to see why Clinton's persona and the issues
he discussed, helped him win the 1996 presidential election.
2. According to Holbrook, there is a natural tendency to give a certain level of support to a candidate. What he
means by this is that a large part of public support stems from factors unrelated to
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