Campaigns and Elections American Style (Transforming American Politics)by James A Thurber
Pub. Date: 03/28/1995
Publisher: Westview Press
For the first time, leading political scientists and experienced campaign professionals (many instrumental in the 1992 and 1994 elections) have come together to consider the nuts-and-bolts of American campaigns and elections in conjunction with academic theories and research. Sometimes the two views correspond quite closely—as when academic Paul
For the first time, leading political scientists and experienced campaign professionals (many instrumental in the 1992 and 1994 elections) have come together to consider the nuts-and-bolts of American campaigns and elections in conjunction with academic theories and research. Sometimes the two views correspond quite closely—as when academic Paul Herrnson’s research on volunteerism reinforces grassroots campaign specialist Will Robinson’s experience with field operations at the local level. Other times, theory flies in the face of practice, as William Hamilton (campaign pollster) and Raymond Wolfinger (survey research specialist) reveal in essays on the use of campaign surveys. Sam Popkin embodies the essence of the book; he is a key academic who also played an important role in advising the Clinton campaign.The essays in this volume provide a real education in practical campaign politics. Academics and campaign professionals describe the innovation and reality of election campaigns as they have evolved over time to culminate in the 1992 phenomena of town meetings, bus tours, MTV, talk radio, infomercials, and focus groups. Especially relevant to the 1994 midterm elections, we see how campaign themes and strategy are set, how they are communicated, how advanced campaign tactics are used, why mobilizing volunteers is essential, why early campaign money is worth more, how to get the media to cover a campaign without paying for it, and how to use focus groups, survey research, and media to win elections. Offering a unique and careful mix of Democrat and Republican, academic and practitioner, male and female campaign perspectives, this volume scrutinizes national- and local-level campaigns through 1994 with the 1996 elections in mind. Students, citizens, candidates, and campaign managers will learn not only how to win elections, but why it has become imperative to do so in an ethical way.Perfect for a variety of courses in American government, Campaigns and Elections American Style is borne out of the marriage of campaign professionals and academics teaching in American University’s nationally televised Campaign Management Institute. This book is essential reading for political junkies of any stripe and serious students of campaigns and elections. All will be impressed by the clear portrait this volume paints of the professionalization and dramatic transformation of American election campaigns over the last 30 years.
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