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In a recent blog post, Rice University senior Melissa Fwu discusses Lynn Vavreck"s recent presentation to the Baker Institute Student Forum. Vavreck, associate professor of political science and communication studies at UCLA, shared her research on about campaign messages.

Citing several economic forecasting models suggesting that presidential election results are almost always correlated with the state of the economy, Vavreck recommends that Republican candidates stay away from mentioning the economy, which in the recent past has played to Obama"s favor. Instead, she says, the GOP should consider to basing its campaign on "a non-economic message that appears inherently in [the Republicans"] favor, and that a large majority of Americans value. At the same time, Obama must be on the unpopular side of the issue, without the ability to change sides."