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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 11, 2007

Honors students will play pundit Dec. 12

A group of University of Iowa honors students spent the semester investigating how presidential candidates portray themselves in public, in debates, in advertising and online, and the impact of those strategies on the race. The class will present their research from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in Room 1117, University Capitol Centre.

The public and the media are invited to this free event.

During Wednesday's poster presentation, students from the honors seminar "Engaging the Candidates: Perspectives of the Presidential Nominating Process" will use visual aids to showcase their work. They will be on hand to present their findings and answer questions. Their research analyzes issues including:

-- Barack Obama's strategy for mobilizing the youth vote in Iowa, and the risks and rewards resulting from this strategy.

--How Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Obama vary their messages on immigration when addressing different audiences.

--Similarities and differences in Mike Huckabee's and Obama's use of the Internet.

--Patterns in the sources and amounts of political action committee campaign contributions to candidates of both parties.

--How the Internet extends and changes the means by which candidates appeal to voters, emphasizing the potential uses of this resource in future elections.

--The role of campaign finance in this post-regulation era of nomination politics.

--Whether Edwards can use Jimmy Carter's 1976 strategy of campaigning early and extensively in Iowa to gain momentum in the Democratic race.

The students will be presenting their final projects for the course. Other assignments throughout the semester included attending candidate presentations, meeting with party and media representatives, and analyzing media reports and poll results. Engaging the Candidates is taught by Cary Covington, associate professor of political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For information on other caucus-related courses offered at the UI, visit:

For information on the UI Honors Program, visit:

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070,; Cary Covington, UI Department of Political Science, 319-335-2339,