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Democracy Matters - Episode 32: What Miner Bo’s Campaign Can Tell Us About Democracy


 
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SUMMARY: In this episode of Democracy Matters, we talk with Director and Producer Todd Drezner about The Campaign of Miner Bo, which documents Bo Copley’s bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018.


It’s probably safe to say that Bo Copley never expected to run for U.S. Senate. A lifelong resident of Mingo County, West Virginia, Copley worked in the coal industry for 11 years until he was laid off on September 18, 2015. In May of 2016, Copley was invited to join a roundtable discussion with Hillary Clinton, who was campaigning in West Virginia before the state’s presidential primary. Copley, his voice breaking, showed Clinton a picture of his three children and challenged her assertion that she was a friend to coal miners. Copley’s raw emotion broke through the usual campaign chatter, and throughout the campaign, he was a regular on cable news. 

In this episode of Democracy Matters, we talk with Director and Producer Todd Drezner about The Campaign of Miner Bo, which documents Bo Copley’s bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018.

Episode Links: 

Discussion Questions

  • What does Bo’s story tell us about the nature of politics and political life in America today?
  • What changed in national party politics versus state party politics in West Virginia over the last decade and how have these changes affected voters? 
  • How does media coverage of campaigns and elections contribute to what we know about candidates and their campaigns? How should the media and reporters cover campaigns differently? 
  • What are the obstacles candidates without strong relationships to political parties and donors face in campaigns? How can such obstacles be overcome?

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Published: Monday, August 3, 2020

Last Updated: Monday, August 3, 2020

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