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The complex role of political surrogates




Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, right, endorses  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Iowa State University, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, right, endorses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a rally at the Iowa State University, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/AP

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This election cycle, political surrogates have been out in full force, touting the messages of the presidential candidates. 

The role of the political surrogate may seem obvious — after all, no candidate can be in two places at once. However, since the advent of the 24-hour news cycle, the need for a prominent spokesperson has only grown. 

Surrogate roles aren't one-size-fits-all. Sometimes, a particular proxy is required to appeal to specific groups or to bring a candidate's platform to a portion of the population that might not otherwise pay attention. For example, a civil rights leader might convey a campaign's message better in African American communities while a movie star might help engage younger voters. 

Christian Grose specializes in political representation and is an associate professor of political science at USC. He joined Take Two to discuss the different types of political surrogates deployed this year. 

Press the blue play button above to hear the interview.