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The Structure of a Campaign All political campaigns can be viewed as a series of several campaigns that run simultaneously. The Nomination Campaign The.

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Presentation on theme: "The Structure of a Campaign All political campaigns can be viewed as a series of several campaigns that run simultaneously. The Nomination Campaign The."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Structure of a Campaign All political campaigns can be viewed as a series of several campaigns that run simultaneously. The Nomination Campaign The General Election Campaign The Personal Campaign The Organizational Campaign The Media Campaign

2 Campaign Challenges Handling the Press? Campaign Financing Televised Debates The News Media Individual Contributions PAC Contributions Personal ContributionsParty Contributions

3 Contributions and Expenses Campaigns are VERY expensive. House races can cost over $1 million but usually cost $400-700,000 for incumbents, less for challengers. Senate races cost much more. All political money is regulated by the federal government under the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1971, 1974, and 1976.



6 Soft Money Soft money is money with no limits or rules that is raised and spent outside of federal election guidelines. Soft money is often used to pay for ads that do not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a particular candidate. As long as these ads do not use the words "vote for", "elect", "vote against" or the like, ads can be paid for with unregulated soft money. Many argue that the huge infusion of unregulated soft money has destroyed the federal campaign laws.

7 Individuals FECA limits individuals to contributions of $1,000 per election, per candidate ($1,000 in the primary and another $1,000 in the general election). Individuals may give a maximum of $25,000 in gifts to all candidates combined in any calendar year. Individuals may also give up to $20,000 to a party each year.

8 PACs may donate $5,000 per candidate, per election. There are over 4,000 PACs registered with the FEC. PACs gave over $200 million to congressional candidates in 1996 (individuals gave $444 million). PACs

9 Parties also donate money to candidates. The Republican and Democratic parties give 10s of millions to congressional candidates. Wealthy members of Congress and state legislatures often also donate monies to candidates of their party. Some members of Congress establish their own PACs to give money. Parties

10 Personal Contributions In Buckley v. Valeo (1976) the Supreme Court struck down limits on personal campaign spending. Spending your own money on your campaign is a free speech right. Steve Forbes, Ross Perot, and other wealthy Americans have taken advantage of their personal wealth in their quest for office.



13 Do we vote for the Candidate or the Campaign? The most important factor in any campaign is the candidate (he/she is even more important than money). Campaigns are able (most of the time) to downplay a candidate’s weaknesses and emphasize her strengths. However, even the best campaigns cannot put an ineffective candidate in the win column – most of the time. Most people vote for a candidate not the campaign.

14 Voter Profiles voting introvert/extrovert pocketbook voter groupie voter glamour voter terror voter

15 Presidential Nominating Process A.Parties must appease extreme wings during nominating process, but need a moderate candidate to win an election B.Delegates not representative of voters— Democratic delegates much more liberal, Republican much more conservative

16 A. Presidential races are more competitive than congressional races (Congress--no term limits and tough to run against an incumbent) B. Fewer people vote in non-Presidential elections = Congressional races must be appealing to the more motivated, partisan voter C. Members can do things for constituents and get credit that Pres. can’t do D. Congressional candidate can deny responsibility for mess in Washington E. Power of presidential coattails has declined How do Presidential and Congressional races differ?

17 Running for President A.Getting mentioned B.Time: Reagan, 6 years; may need to resign from office C.Money: Individuals $1,000, PACs $5,000 to each candidate in each election D.Candidates must raise $5,000 in 20 states in individual contributions of $250 or less to qualify for federal matching funds (PAC contributions don’t count) E.Organization: large staff

18 Running for President, continued F. Strategy and Themes 1. Incumbents defend record; challengers attack 2. Setting a tone (positive/negative) 3. Develop a theme 4. Target voter

19 Primary vs. General Campaigns A.Different voters, workers, media attention B.Activists vote in primaries, more ideological C.Must be conservative or liberal enough to get nominated, then run from the center to get elected

20 The General Election Campaign: each Presidential hopeful must Target the campaign – strategy to achieve electoral majority Take advantage of political assets – incumbency Develop an image the voter responds to Attract the support of divergent groups Use issues and events for their own advantage Take advantage of the media as a primary means of communicating with the public Use the campaign organization and workers to get the vote out (labor, religious groups, etc.)

21 Parties Aim Their Campaigns to the Middle

22 A Valence Issue is one on which voters distinguish rival parties by the degree to which they associate each party or candidate with conditions, goals, or symbols the electorate universally approves or disapproves of. Examples are economic prosperity and political corruption. Two Kinds of Campaign Issues: Valence Issues

23 Two Kinds of Campaign Issues: Position Issues A Position Issue is one on which the rival parties or candidates reach out for the support of the electorate by taking different positions on a policy question that divides the electorate. Examples: Slavery or not, high tariffs or low tariffs.

24 Impact of TV, Debates, and Direct Mail on Campaigns A.Spots (paid advertising) can help little-known candidates become known B.Voters get more information from spots than from news broadcasts C.Visuals (news broadcasts) cost candidates nothing D.Debates usually an advantage only to challenger; incumbent or frontrunner runs risk of gaffe E.Direct Mail made easier by computers; mailings can be targeted; result in donations

25 Money A.Presidential primaries partly funded with public money B.Presidential general elections: all public money unless candidate chooses not to accept C.Congressional elections: all private money D.Reform following Watergate scandal 1. Federal Election Campaign Act 1974: limits on individual donations; created PACs, with limit on donations; primary and general elections counted separately for donations

26 Money, continued E.Supreme Court ruled in Buckley v. Valeo that limits could not be set on individual spending of own money in campaigns unless federal money received F.“Soft money”—unlimited contributions to party organizations, not candidates, can only be used for “party building” but really used to promote campaigns G.Soft money banned in 2002 but 527 group loophole was exploited in 2004 election:, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

27 Money, continued H.Advantages of incumbency 1.Fundraising: PACs contribute to incumbents because they get re-elected 2.Can provide constituent services & pork 3.Can use free mailings 4.Can get free publicity

28 What decides elections? A.Party identification most commonly used factor B.Issues, especially economy 1.Retrospective voting: based on how things are going and have been going; usually helps incumbent unless economy is bad 2.Prospective voting: based on how things will go—used by few voters

29 A.Campaigns make a difference 1.Emphasize themes over details 2.Primaries have become more important B.Winning coalitions 1.Democratic: Blacks, Jews, Hispanics not as much; Catholics, unionists, southerners have been departing coalition 2.Republican: business and professional people; farmers

30 What is meant by a realigning election? The issues that separate the parties change, and so the kind of voters supporting each party change. There have been 5 realignments: a.1800 – Jeffersonian Republicans defeated the Federalists b.1828 – Jacksonian Democrats came to power c.1860 – Whig Party collapsed and Republicans under Lincoln came to power d.1896 – Republicans defeated Wm. Jennings Bryan e.1932 – Democrats under FDR came into power

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