THE CAMPAIGN PROCESS
the nature of modern campaign structure, generally segmented into
nomination and general election campaigns, and often reported and discussed
in military and sports metaphors
the key players in the modern campaign, the campaign managers, and the paid
and volunteer staff who make up the campaign organization
the coverage of the game by the media—the media’s role in defining the
playing field, and how tradition and new media depict the political battlefield
and how campaigns try to manage media coverage
the rules of the game—campaign finance, and the effect of the Bipartisan
Campaign Reform Act of 2002
the main event—the 2004 presidential campaign and the lessons learned on
The Nature of Modern Political Campaigns
the language of campaigns: the military and sports metaphors—
The Elements of a Political Campaign (Figure 14.1)—
how candidates use the nominating campaign—
danger of moving too far to the extremes in the nominating campaign—
General Election Campaign
general election campaign—
courting interest groups—
brief theme or slogan—
deciding on issues—
defining a stance on topics of interest to voters—
factors influencing candidate’s positions and core issues—
public opinion polls—
The Key Players: The Candidate and the Campaign Staff
most important aspect of any campaign—
in the hands of the candidate—
the work of the campaign staff—
requiring the combined efforts of staff and candidate—
reasons candidates run for office—
what a candidate must do to be successful—
importance of visiting numerous localities—
candidate’s schedule in a typical campaign—
The Campaign Staff
collective work of the staff—
working on candidate’s needs—
size and nature of the organizational staff—
Volunteer Campaign Staff—
lifeblood of every campaign—
work done by unpaid volunteers—
get out the vote (GOTV)—
The Candidate’s Professional Staff—
The Candidate’s Hired Guns—
the specialized consultants candidates hire—
who works with the media consultants?—
The Candidate’s Personal Advisers—
Bush Campaign Organizational Staff (Figure 14.2)—
Covering the Game: The Media’s Role in Defining the Playing Field
who decided on use of paid media?—
Federalists’ negative portrait of Thomas Jefferson in 1796—
how well-known incumbents handled negative ads before the 1980s—
the new rule of politics regarding negative ads—
news media analysis of accuracy of candidate’s ads—
control of free versus paid media—
how the new media cover campaigns—
news media regard candidates with suspicion—
effect of media’s expectations on how public views a candidate—
The New Media
candidate-centered campaigns and the new media—
new array of weapons available to campaign—
recorded phone messages—
first widespread use of the Internet in national campaigning—
blogs and the candidate’s Web site—
how Kerry kept base after 2004 loss—
Campaign Strategies to Control Media Coverage
campaign strategies to influence news coverage:
what candidates can control and what they can’t control regarding
how candidates must prepare for debates—
Ford’s costly error in October 1976 presidential debate—
George H.W. Bush’s error in 1992 presidential debate—
importance of debates demonstrated in 2004 presidential debates—
confirmation of public preconceptions of candidates in the debates—
The Rules of the Game: Campaign Finance
campaign funds raised in various elections—
The Road to Reform
civil service reform and campaign finance, 1883—
Tillman Act, 1907, and campaign finance—
Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971—
Federal Elections Commission—
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA)—
BCRA and soft money—
McConnell v. FEC (2003)—
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
BRRA of 2002—
Individual Contribution Limits Per Election Cycle Before and After
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (Table 14.1)—
current maximum allowable contribution under federal law for
congressional and presidential elections—
limit on an individual’s gifts to all candidates, PACs, and parties
combined in each calendar year—
most candidates received majority of all funds directly from
strict disclosure law for individuals who spend over $10,000 to air
Political Action Committee (PAC) Contributions
current limits on PAC contributions—
PACs registered with FEC—
PAC contributions in 2004 election cycle—
why corporate PACs give primarily to incumbents—
which PACs more likely to support challengers—
disproportionate influence of PACs over individual contributors—
BCRA attempts to control PACs—
why PACs remain controversial—
PACs began in the 1970s—
PAC contributions in 2006—
Growth in Total Contributions by PACs to House and Senate
Candidates (Figure 14.3)—
Expenditure by PACs in the 2004 Election Cycle (Figure 14.4)—
special interest money of all types made it into politics well before
Political Party Contributions—
parties can give substantial contributions to their congressional
current limits on contributions by political parties—
political party contributions in 2006—
percentage of total campaign war chest from parties in contested
contributions from electorally secure incumbents—
done in one of two ways:
Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) contributions in 2006 to regain control of
the House and Senate—
Candidates’ Personal Contributions—
contributions from candidates and their families—
Buckley v. Valeo (1976)—
the meaning for wealthy candidates—
self-contributing candidates expenditures in 2006—
most self-contribution candidates spend less than $100,000—
only federal candidates to receive public funds—
a few local and state candidates—
how a presidential candidate qualifies to receive public funds
during the nominating contest—
Presidential Election Fund—
how it is funded—
percentage of taxpayers who participate in contributing to the
procedures for general election funding of the two major-party
third-party candidate funding in general election—
The Fall of the Soft-Money Loophole and the Rise of the 527 Loophole
1978 FEC advisory opinion—
1979 amendment passed by Congress—
line separating expenditures that influence federal elections from
those that do not—
controversy over political advertising—
hard money and advocacy ads—
parties produced political ads that skirted the hard money rule,
allowing them to be paid for with unregulated soft money—
soft money contributions now prohibited by BCRA—
current rules for third-party issue ads—
soft money raised by Republican and Democrats during 2001-2002
(the last election cycle for the parties to use soft money)—
reformers hoped-for result of soft money ban—
loophole found in 2004 to go through BRCA—
527 political committees—
The Ten Most Active 527 Groups in 2004—
IRS Code and 527s—
sham issue ads—
BRCA now forbids 527 funded ads thirty days before a primary
and sixty days before a general—
Media Fund and America Coming Together (ACT)—
Texas developer Bob Perry—
Most Active Contributors to 527 Groups, 2004 (Table 14.2)—
contributions and spending by 527 groups in 2006 election—
likelihood of abolishing 527s—
The Main Event: The 2004 Presidential Campaign
The Party Nomination Battle
no significant opposition to Bush in Republican primary—
heated Democratic primary—
2004 Democratic Candidates and Their Strategies (Table 14.3)—
“anything but Bush”—
The Democratic Convention
Bush v. Kerry immediately before and after the convention—
testimonials from Kerry’s Vietnam swiftboat crewmates—
small post-convention bounce—
The Republican Convention
New York City and 9/11 theme—
moderate Republicans showcased—
Georgia Democratic Senator Zell Miller—
protests outside Madison Square Garden—
The Presidential Debates
first debate, high ratings—
questions on foreign policy elicited clashes—
Kerry considered winner of first debate—
second debate, town-hall format—
Bush energetic, unlike first debate—
Kerry generally considered winner of second debate—
McCain v Obama
The Fall Campaign and General Election
public opinion in final days of campaign—
particularly close in six states—
Iraq in campaign—
Kerry charges against Bush—
Bush charges against Kerry—
Obama v McCain
2004 Election Results (Popular Vote Percentage) (Table 14.4)—
Ohio in dispute—
Kerry concedes Wednesday afternoon—
Analyzing the Outcome of the 2004 Election
reason for high turnout—
Group-Identified Voting Patterns in the 2004 Presidential Election (Figure
similarities to 2000 election—
continuation of modern trends—
Analyzing the Outcome of the 2008 Election
Voting patterns for
Project Vote-Smart is a nonpartisan information service funded by members and
nonpartisan foundations. It offers “a wealth of facts on your political leaders, including
biographies and addresses, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances,
evaluations by special interests.” It also offers “CongressTrack” a way for citizens to
track the status of legislation, members & committees, sponsors, voting records, clear
descriptions, full text, and weekly floor schedules, as well as access to information on
elections, federal & state governments, the issues, and politics. Includes thousands of
links to the most important sites on the Internet.
The Democracy Project of PBS offers a Web site called “Dissect the Ad” that features a changing set of campaign ads that visitors are asked to criticize, dissect, and discuss. The point is to determine how the message is constructed—what images, tones, music, etc. and how it is designed to sway us. There are numerous current and past ads on which to practice from all ends of the political spectrum. You can read the content of the ads or, by downloading a player, you can view them. Following each ad are commentaries on both sides discussing the ad and you get the chance to post your comments, if you are so inclined, and read the comments of others.
The 30-Second Candidate PBS Web site provides information about campaign
television ads including historical timelines, “from idea to ad,” questions and answers and a transcript of the 1999 Emmy Award winning program.
Campaigns and Elections magazine's Web site is oriented toward campaign
professionals but is also useful to teachers and students. It offers articles, their table of
contents from the print version, job opportunities, and more.
Federal Election Commission Web site on campaign finance laws.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee-DCCC
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee-DSCC
National Republican Congressional Committee-NRCC
National Republican Senatorial Committee-NRSC
The Washington Post OnPolitics Web page reports on campaigns and elections. (Will
require free registration with The Washington Post.)
Brookings Institution's Campaign Finance Web page
Common Cause offers information on soft money donations, PAC contributions, and
voting records on campaign finance issues as well as other information.
The Public Campaign offers articles on campaign finance reform at the state and
national levels as well as numerous links.
Open Secrets, the Web site for The Center for Responsive Politics, documents the
money raised and spent by congressional candidates, individual donors, and PACs. It
includes information on large soft money donations and the financial disclosure reports of members of Congress.
The Center for Public Integrity, which conducts investigative research and reporting on public policy issues, hosts a Web page featuring news and information about 527 political nonprofits.
The American Association of Political Consultants provides information for and about political campaign consultants.
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
1) An early danger for a candidate in the nomination campaign is
c. having too much money.
d. All of the above.
2) The public part of the campaign in which the candidate makes appearances and
meets voters, in part to stimulate local activists, is called the
a. general election campaign.
b. nomination campaign.
c. personal campaign.
d. media campaign.
3) Perhaps the most significant political adviser to President George W. Bush, both
in the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, is an individual who was not even
listed on the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign organization chart. That key adviser is
a. Marc Racicot.
b. Karl Rove.
c. Ken Mehlman.
d. Mary Cheney.
4) Advertising that attempts to counteract an anticipated attack from the opposition
before the attack is launched is called an
a. attack ad.
b. innuendo ad.
c. inoculation ad
d. immunization ad.
5) The first president or presidential candidate to make effective use of the electronic
a. Franklin Roosevelt.
b. John F. Kennedy.
c. Bob Dole.
d. Howard Dean.
6) One of the most significant pieces of legislation dealing with campaign finance
reform, a law which has altered the campaign finance landscape in ways we may
have yet to discover, is called the
a. Federal Election Campaign Act.
b. Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.
c. Federal Election Commission Act.
d. Political Action Committee Act.
7) Citizens often contribute money to political campaigns because
a. they like the candidate or party or a particular stand on issues they care
b. they want to feel involved in the political process.
c. they want access to the candidate.
d. All of the above.
8) Individuals are allowed to contribute to a single federal candidate in each
of the primary and general elections.
9) There are approximately PACs in the U.S.
d. 1, 500
10) The U.S Supreme Court in 1976 ruled that no limit could be placed on a
candidate's personal spending in his or her own election campaign due to free
speech guarantees in the case of
a. U.S. v. Nixon.
b. Rockefeller v. U.S.
c. Buckley v. Valeo.
d. Perot v. Mitchell.
11) The only federal political campaigns that receive public funds are
a. presidential campaigns.
b. House campaigns.
c. Senate campaigns.
d. All of the above
12) The 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act
a. banned soft money contributions.
b. allowed the growth of 527 political committees.
c. had no effect on overall spending in the 2004 campaigns.
d. All of the above.
13) One of the more controversial campaign finance issues to evolve in the 2004
presidential election centered around the use of
a. soft money.
b. PAC contributions.
c. 527 political committees.
d. All of the above.
14) What effect did third parties play in the 2004 presidential election?
a. Ralph Nader once again played the role of the spoiler.
b. The Green Party nearly won presidential electors in several Northeastern
c. The Reform Party nearly won presidential electors in several upper-
d. Third parties played an insignificant role in the 2004 election.
15) Former general and Supreme Allied Commander in Europe who ran
unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004 was
a. Howard Dean.
b. Richard Gephardt.
c. Bob Graham.
d. Wesley Clark.
1) Negative advertising is a new phenomenon.
2) The news media usually regard political candidates with suspicion.
3) Candidate debates are entirely staged and scripted.
4) Knowing they cannot be successful in doing so, modern candidates rarely attempt
to manipulate press coverage.
5) Political action committees can give unlimited amounts of money to candidates.
6) Candidates can spend as much of their own money as they wish on their own
7) Third-party candidates for president, by federal law, are not allowed to receive
public funds for their campaigns.
8) PACs are the primary source of election funding and threaten to destroy the
legitimacy of the election process.
9) The Republicans were the first to vigorously pursue the use of 527s in 2004.
10) The factor that significantly undermined the campaign of Howard Dean for the
Democratic nomination for president in 2004 was his reputed temper.
Possible Essay Topics
1) What are the personal and organizational aspects of a campaign?
2) What are the pressures and hazards of the nomination campaign?
3) What are independent expenditures? What are the constitutional issues and
concerns surrounding them?
4) Discuss candidate debates. How effective are they? Are they truly debates? How
might they be changed to make them more effective and useful?
5) Can the press be manipulated by candidates? Does spin work? How do the media
cover political campaigns?
6) Discuss the structure of a political campaign and the personnel involved.
7) Discuss the types of media and advertising a candidate may choose to use.
8) What are the rules regarding campaign finance for presidential elections? Do they
work? Why or why not?
9) What are PACs and how do they affect the election process?
10) Discuss the 2008 presidential campaign and election.
ANSWERS TO STUDY EXERCISES
Multiple Choice Answers