Incumbent v. Challenger – Two Very Different Animals

UC San Diego political scientist Sam Popkin knows what it’s like to face the wrath of the President of the United States. While working on Jimmy Carter’s re-election campaign, it was Popkin who stepped into Ronald Reagan’s shoes at the podium during Carter’s debate prep sessions and, after 11 minutes of giving the president a hard-to-swallow dose of what Reagan was expected to deliver in the real debate, both Carter and his wife seemed ready to pounce.

In total, Popkin has served on five Democratic presidential campaigns. He’s also conducted extensive research on every campaign going back to World War II for his book “The Candidate: What it Takes to Win — and Hold — the White House.” As a result, he’s got plenty of insight, frank assessments and strong opinions about the saga that is Obama v. Romney, which he shares this week on “UCTV Prime Vote.”

No matter what you thought of the candidates’ first debate this week, you’ll eat up the juicy details Popkin shares from his own experiences in “The Candidate: Debate Prep.” Then on “The Candidate: The Incumbent,” Popkin focuses on Obama’s advantages and weaknesses as the incumbent, an “entirely different animal” than Romney’s role as challenger. Popkin weighs in on that in “The Candidate: The Challenger.”

Once you hear Popkin’s perspective, which he’s also been sharing with The Atlantic’s James Fallows, you’ll look at the presidential race in a whole new light. Don’t miss it!

The Candidate: Debate Prep with Sam Popkin

The Candidate: The Incumbent with Sam Popkin

The Candidate: The Challenger with Sam Popkin

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