Media Advisory: Republican Party's Search of Anchor, Identity
May Begin at 2008 Convention, Says Carnegie Mellon Expert
WHO: Kiron Skinner, associate professor, Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University
WHAT: As the Republicans gather this week to nominate John McCain to represent them in the 2008 presidential election, their party is in a state of flux that will endure well beyond November should McCain's bid for the White House fall short.
According to Skinner, the party — with its socially conservative factions increasingly drifting apart from the fiscal conservatives — is poised for realignment. The process by which the Republican Party redefines its base will require a popular leader, much like Ronald Reagan was in the 1980s, Skinner says.
"McCain's camp is attempting to invoke Reagan in order to boost his appeal to the party's base, but he hasn't yet won over many important groups within the Republican ranks," she said. "If McCain loses the election, he's unlikely to be the anchor for the party's subsequent shift."
In addition to the overarching climate of the Republican Party, Skinner is also available to discuss a variety of other themes likely to emerge in convention coverage, such as the role that race may play on both sides of the campaign, potential electoral college breakdowns, overall strengths and weaknesses of the ticket, foreign policy's role in the election and effective campaign tactics.
WHY: Skinner is the author of the "Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin," which explores how those two candidates emerged from the fringes of their respective organizations in order to re-define their parties' centers.
CONTACT: Phone or live, on-camera interviews can be scheduled at any time with Skinner by calling Kelli McElhinny at 412-268-6094 (office) or 412-491-1640 (cell).