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HTC Communication Senior Co-Authors Article for the American Behavioral Scientist

Nov 15, 2013

HTC Communication Senior Tyler Borchers recently received the fantastic news that an article he co-authored has been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

The article, Bain & Political Capital in the 2012 GOP Primary Debates, was authored by Borchers and Dr. Jerry Miller, an associate professor of political communication. The piece, which Borchers and Miller presented earlier this year in Kansas City at the Central States Communication Association President’s Undergraduate Honors Research Conference, examines the dynamic of political communication in the 2012 Republican Party presidential primaries.

Borchers explains the topic of the piece in detail: “Dr. Miller and I were both following the Republican primary debates, and our topic emerged once Bain Capital became a regular topic of discussion. This was a conservative field of candidates, even by Republican standards — one of Romney's biggest obstacles was that he was perceived to be too moderate. Yet several other candidates (most notably Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry) criticized Romney's work at Bain using liberal language. That was the dissonance I wanted to examine: how two Republican icons could attack another candidate from the left without damaging their conservative credentials. The fact that private equity is such a complicated practice only made our research more interesting because it allowed the candidates onstage a great deal of freedom to frame Bain however they wanted.”

Borchers and Miller began working on the piece after discussing the political primary season following a tutorial focused on political communication in Borchers’ freshman year.

“Dr. Miller provided invaluable guidance throughout the entire process. He helped ground my original paper in the literature we would end up building on,” Borchers said. “It was an incredibly rewarding experience. Few undergraduate students have the privilege of working so closely with a professor, and I'm thankful to Dr. Miller and HTC for giving me that opportunity.”

After presenting the paper at the Kansas City conference, the pair refined the work and submitted it for publication with the American Behavioral Scientist.

The abstract for the article can be found online at: http://abs.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/10/25/0002764213506218

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