A New Study Frames Elections As a Horse Race

A horse race is an event in which participants wager on the outcome of a horse-mounted competition. Participants can place bets on the winning horse, as well as accumulator bets in which multiple bets are placed and paid out if all bets are successful. Horse races take place in countries across the globe, and have been a long-standing tradition in many cultures.

In recent years, horse racing has experienced a flurry of technological innovations that have brought it into the modern era of information technology. While the sport still retains most of its traditional rules, regulations and traditions, it is now subject to a heightened level of security on and off the track. Thermal imaging cameras can detect heat stress post-race, MRI scanners can identify lingering injuries and 3D printing can produce casts, splints and prosthetics for injured horses.

Despite these advances, horse racing remains a dangerous sport for both horses and humans. The recent spate of deaths on the track, most notably the 30 horses at Santa Anita in California in 2019, has prompted renewed calls for reforms to improve the sport’s safety. While the gruesome details of each death are difficult to read, they are a reminder that, despite the best efforts of trainers, veterinarians and other racetrack personnel, some horses do not make it through the exorbitant physical demands of racing and training.

The study, led by Johanna Dunaway and Regina G. Lawrence, looked at news articles published in print newspapers between Sept. 1 and Election Day in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Researchers found that corporate-owned or large-chain newspapers were more likely to frame elections as a horse race, with coverage focusing on unusual polls or speculation about whether a candidate would win or lose.

When a horse is entered in a race it may be given an antepost price, which is the odds it has to be beaten by other horses to win the race. This is usually a higher price than the actual starting price and reflects the fact that no horse is guaranteed to line up on race day. This can cause frustration for owners who have made travel plans in anticipation of a horse running on a specific day only to find that the race does not fill up or that the horse has been transferred out of the race for one reason or another. Fortunately, most major races are published weeks or even months in advance and this does make planning ahead a little easier.