Campaigns and Elections American Style

Campaigns and Elections American Style

Campaigns and Elections American Style

Campaigns and Elections American Style


With new and revised essays throughout, Campaigns and Elections American Style provides a real education in practical campaign politics. In the fourth edition, academics and campaign professionals explain how campaign themes and strategies are developed and communicated, the changes in campaign tactics as a result of changing technology, new techniques to target and mobilize voters, the evolving landscape of campaign finance and election laws, and the increasing diversity of the role of media in elections. Offering a unique and careful mix of Democrat and Republican, academic and practitioner, and male and female campaign perspectives, this volume scrutinizes national and local-level campaigns with special focus on the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

Students, citizens, candidates, and campaign managers will learn not only how to win elections but also why it is imperative to do so in an ethical way. Perfect for a variety of courses in American government, this book is essential reading for political junkies of any stripe and serious students of campaigns and elections.



This book, a study of campaign management and elections, marries academic wisdom and the practical knowledge of professional political consultants, although the two worlds rarely overlap. Academics use explicit hypotheses and scientific methods for making systematic observations about campaigns and elections, whereas professionals draw generalizations based on direct experience. Campaign consultants “test hypotheses” by winning and losing elections. Both use theoretical perspectives about campaigns and voters, although one is academic and one practical. The common dimension to both worlds is the major changes that have occurred in the way campaigns are waged and elections won or lost in the past twenty years, as especially shown in the 2012 election campaign of President Barack Obama and his opponent, former governor Mitt Romney. This book analyzes the impact of the changes in the 2012 presidential election cycle from a variety of perspectives. The authors show the evolution and innovation in campaign strategy, the use of survey research, the changes in fundraising strategies, the role of communications and media, the use of digital and social media, the advancements in microtargeting and fieldwork, as well as the stability and changes in election law and turnout in 2012.

Academics use large data sets and systematically test hypotheses to make careful statements about voters and elections. They attempt to explain individual and collective political behavior and try to answer questions about . . .

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