Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington / Edition 5

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Now updated with coverage of the 1996 elections, Congressional Elections is for everyone who wants to know what's involved in running for Congress.

Drawing on survey results and interviews with hundreds of candidates, campaign aids, party officials, political action committee managers, and political consultants, the book explores what it takes (candidates, strategies and campaign organizations) to win an election, and presents a compelling, fact-based picture of the two races all successful congressional candidates must win: one at home to win votes in their districts and one in Washington to gain support of national political leaders.

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Editorial Reviews

Herrnson (government and politics, U. of Maryland) draws on surveys of and interviews with candidates, campaign aides, party officials, and political consultants to paint a comprehensive portrait of congressional campaigns. He recommends campaign reforms that would enhance the competitiveness of congressional elections. Paper edition (unseen), $22.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872899650
  • Publisher: Congressional Quarterly, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/30/2011
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 604,614
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Tables and Figures x

Preface xiv

Introduction 1

1 The Strategic Context 7

The Candidate-Centered Campaign 7

The Institutional Framework 9

Political Culture 19

Campaign Technology 22

The Political Setting 24

Recent Congressional Elections 29

Summary 38

2 Candidates and Nominations 40

Strategic Ambition 41

Passing the Primary Test 54

Nominations, Elections, and Representation 61

The Senate 71

Summary 74

3 The Anatomy of a Campaign 75

Campaign Organizations 76

Campaign Budgets 87

Senate Campaigns 89

Summary 90

4 The Parties Campaign 91

National Agenda Setting 92

The National, Congressional, and Senatorial Campaign Committees 96

Strategy, Decision Making, and Targeting 101

Campaign Contributions and Coordinated Expenditures 105

Campaign Services 111

Outside Campaigns 121

The Impact of Party Campaigning 129

Summary 135

5 The Interests Campaign 136

Organizing for Electoral Influence 137

Strategy, Decision Making, and Targeting 151

PAC Contributions 158

Campaign Services 161

Outside Campaigns 164

The Impact of Interest Group Activity 169

Summary 172

6 The Campaign for Resources 174

Inequalities in Resources 175

House Incumbents 177

House Challengers 188

Candidates for House Open-Seats 194

Senate Campaigns 199

Summary 202

7 Campaign Strategy 203

Voting Behavior 203

Voters and Campaign Strategy 208

Gauging Public Opinion 210

Voter Targeting 213

The Message 216

Summary 226

8 Campaign Communications 228

Television Advertising 229

Radio Advertising 233

Newspaper Advertising 234

Direct Mail and Newsletters 235

Telephone Calls 236

The Internet and Social Media 237

Free Media 239

Field Work 244

The Importance of Different Communications Techniques 245

Outside Campaigns 247

Summary 247

9 Candidates, Campaigns, and Electoral Success 249

House Incumbent Campaigns 250

House Challenger Campaigns 257

House Open-Seat Campaigns 263

Senate Campaigns 267

Claiming Credit and Placing Blame 270

Summary 276

10 Elections and Governance 277

The Permanent Campaign 277

A Decentralized Congress 280

Political Parties as Centralizing Agents 285

Responsiveness, Responsibility, and Public Policy 287

Summary 293

11 Campaign Reform 294

The Case for Reform 294

Obstacles to Reform 297

The Evolving State of Campaign Finance 302

Some Ideas for Reform 306

Summary 313

Notes 315

Index 343

Notes Name Index 358

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