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Impression Management, Super PACs and the 2012 Republican Primary

Symbolic Interaction

Published online on


Super Political Action Committees (PACs) are new organizations within American politics allowing for unlimited donations to candidate campaigns. Super PACs helped make the 2012 Republican primary the most well‐funded primary in American history. Both candidates and Super PACs spend much of their money on televised campaign ads. My study of the 2012 Republican primary expands existing literature concerning political impression management by examining advertising imagery in the era of Super PACs. I developed a typology of performance types from a qualitative content analysis of television advertisements for both candidates and Super PACs. The significance of Super PACs as they interact and overlap with the images of candidate ads calls for analysis of the changing front stage in the political realm.