xviii Introduction is perceived as a last resort, focused on character and procedure over policy, while defining extremism in a way that might build winning coalitions, but ultimately can impair a party. Neville-Shepard suggests that this particular kind of moderate politics—which he terms “procedural centrism”—served not only as a direct backlash to Trumpism but also simultaneously under- mined party-driven reforms that may have helped reverse the trends it alleg- edly condemned. In Chapter 13, “Trump’s Disruptive Debate: Analyzing the Candidate Branding Costs,” authors Josh C. Bramlett, Benjamin R. Warner, and Mitch- ell S. McKinney examine voter evaluations of Trump and Biden after each of the two general election presidential debates in 2020 using post-debate sur- veys of 339 viewers from both political parties and independents. Specifi- cally, they assess the candidate brand association effects of each debate performance, as well as the constraints of partisan-motivated reasoning. The researchers report the positive and negative brand associations for both Trump and Biden across time and party to test four hypotheses. Results from their study support prior research on debate candidate branding and candidate evaluations and illustrate the branding risks associated with out- lier performances such as that delivered by Trump in the first presidential debate. Chapter 14, “Social Dominance, Sexism, and the Lasting Effects on Politi- cal Communication from the 2020 Election” examines the relationship between social dominance orientation, sexism, and candidate image in 2020. Extending their work from the 2016 presidential election—where they found evidence of sexism and social dominance orientation influencing voter per- ceptions of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—authors Mary C. Banwart and Michael W. Kearney asked if these correlations would emerge in the 2020 race between Biden and Trump without a woman candidate activating any threat to masculinity. Their study provides not only some answers about the 2020 election but also raises questions about how dominant attitudes develop around the role of women in politics, the men who disparage them, and the men who promise to provide them with protection. Finally, in Chapter 15, “Partisan Media and Polarization in the 2020 Cam- paign,” Benjamin R. Warner, Jihye Park, Go-Eun Kim, and Alyssa N. Coffey report the results of their analysis of responses drawn from the American National Election Study, a nationally representative survey of 6,291 U.S. citi- zens. Specifically, the researchers investigate the association of partisan media use and the polarization that defined and disrupted the 2020 cam- paign. They assess whether the association between partisan media use and polarization is stronger among those with more partisan strength, political interest, and attention to the election. They also consider the type of media consumed—pro-partisan versus cross-partisan—on the political polariza- tion of voters. The researchers report their results about the direct and
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