Lori Cox Han

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    New research shows that there is still broad audience appeal for gentler political television comedy.

New research shows that there is still broad audience appeal for gentler political television comedy.

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In today’s politically polarized environment, late night political comedy is often caustic and personal when aimed at elected officials. But do older and more gentle forms of political comedy still appeal to modern audiences? With this question in mind, Brian Calfano and Lori Han tested a series of political jokes with survey audiences. Those surveyed responded most favorably to […]

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    How the King of Late Night’s political influence helped turn public opinion against a president.

How the King of Late Night’s political influence helped turn public opinion against a president.

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Can comedians and entertainers make a difference in politics all the way to the top? In new research, Brian Calfano and Lori Han examine the influence of the host of The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson’s mentions, between 1972 and 1974, of the Watergate scandal and President Richard Nixon. They find that Carson’s comments on Watergate likely influenced public opinion […]

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    How the ‘ESPN effect’ of framing politics as a conflict benefits more combative candidates like Trump and Sanders

How the ‘ESPN effect’ of framing politics as a conflict benefits more combative candidates like Trump and Sanders

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For many observers, how we discuss politics is beginning to have more and more common with the rhetoric of sports. In the 2016 election, candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders adopted a more adversarial style. Lori Cox Han and Brian Calfano examine how a more head-to-head campaign style influences voters, finding that both Trump and Sanders benefit if […]

  • Permalink President Barack Obama meets with Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the Oval Office, Aug. 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Gallery

    Republicans in Congress and President Obama both have incentives to get things done in the next two years.

Republicans in Congress and President Obama both have incentives to get things done in the next two years.

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This week’s midterm elections saw the Republican Party retake the Senate and gain its largest majority in the House in over 60 years. Lori Cox Han writes that the GOP’s success is down to President Obama’s poor approval ratings, anti-incumbency sentiment, low voter turnout, and a poor electoral map for the Democrats. She argues that despite their victory, the Republican Party […]

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