Campaigns are about getting people to vote for your candidate, and today’s show is about the missteps that can happen along the way. First, we tell the story of the musical jingles that help put people in (and keep others out) of office. Second, we answer the question you’ve always wondered: why is there so much negativity in most campaigns? And last, one student goes door-to-door and the people who answer either don’t vote, or won’t vote, for her candidate.

Host: Micah Cratty
Producer: Micah Cratty
Featured: Gabe Winant, Kalani Leifer, Jonah Berger, Elissa Morales, Wesley Lim, Monica Uddin, Jeremy Newman, and Omair Saddat
Music: Brad Wolfe, Taylor Murchison, Rego Sen, and Kissing Johnny

Release Date: 10 March 2008

Listen to the Full Show:

Story 1: We’re Not Jim Webb’s Guy

Two eager young citizens go canvassing for Virginia Senator Jim Webb. They meet a woman who puts all polling, demographics, strategy, any political tactics whatsoever to shame. It’s a lesson in democracy.

Producer: Micah Cratty
Featuring: Gabe Winant and Kalani Leifer

Featuring: Gabe Winant and Kalani Leifer

Story 2: Get on the Raft with Taft

Jingles have been used to sell products for as long as there have been commercials. But they’ve been used to sell candidates even longer. The history of campaigns songs from the 19th century to Billy Ray Cyrus.

Producers: Alissa Morales and Wesley Lim

Story 3: Flip Flopping

In every election cycle, people bemoan the mudslinging and negative campaigning. With all the backlash, why do candidates persist in doing it? This story brings us one answer, and the surprise that negative campaigning may even be good for us.

Producers: Monica Udine, Jeremy Newman, Omar Sadat

Story 4: Fellow Blue State Folks

Stanford student Melissa Leavitt tells a story about going door to door in Nevada canvassing for John Kerry. Along the way she learns about the dark side of trying to get people to vote, and a way to do it better.

Producer: Micah Cratty
Featuring: Melissa Leavitt