This study breaks new ground in investigating candidate behavior in American electoral campaigns. It centers on a question of equal importance to citizens and scholars: how can we produce better political campaigns? First, Simon develops the idea of dialogue as a standard for evaluating political campaigns. Second, he reveals that candidates' self-interest in winning leads to avoiding dialogue or substantive campaign discourse. Third, the text demonstrates the beneficial effects produced by the little dialogue that actually occurs and finally, pinpoints the forces responsible for these rare occurrences.
Table of Contents
List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgments; 1. Introduction; 2. Dialogue: a standard for campaign discourse; 3. Understanding campaigns: background, theory, and methods; 4. The ventriloquist's hand: a game-theoretic model of campaigns; 5. Duck or Punch? Dialogue in a California Gubernatorial Election; 6. Dialogue and its effects in contemporary American elections; 7. Explaining and predicting the occurrence of dialogue; 8. Conclusion: toward more substantive campaign discourse; Appendix A. Analysis of the model of campaigns in mass elections; Appendix B. Experimental procedures; References; Index.