The campaign process

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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 battlefield

The Nature of Modern Political Campaigns

the language of campaigns: the military and sports metaphors—

The Elements of a Political Campaign (Figure 14.1)—
Nomination Campaign

nominating campaign—

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—
The Candidate

reasons candidates run for office—

what a candidate must do to be successful—

symbolic efforts—

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—

voter canvass—

get out the vote (GOTV)—

The Candidate’s Professional Staff—

campaign manager—

finance chair—


direct mailer—

communications director—

press secretary—

Internet team—

The Candidate’s Hired Guns—

campaign consultants—

the specialized consultants candidates hire—

media consultants—

who works with the media consultants?—

The Candidate’s Personal Advisers—

Bush Campaign Organizational Staff (Figure 14.2)—

Ken Mehlman—

Karl Rove—
Covering the Game: The Media’s Role in Defining the Playing Field

paid media—

free media—

new media—

Paid Media

who decided on use of paid media?—

positive ads—

negative ads—

contrast ads—

spot ads—

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—

inoculation ads—

news media analysis of accuracy of candidate’s ads—

Free Media

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—

superficial coverage—

The New Media

candidate-centered campaigns and the new media—

new array of weapons available to campaign—

“rapid-response” technique—

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:





candidate debates—

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—

Kennedy-Nixon debate—

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)
Current Rules

BRRA of 2002—

Individual Contribution Limits Per Election Cycle Before and After

Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (Table 14.1)—

Individual Contributions—

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

“electioneering communications”—

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


Member-to-Candidate Contributions—

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—

Public Funds—

only federal candidates to receive public funds—

a few local and state candidates—

FECA controls—

how a presidential candidate qualifies to receive public funds

during the nominating contest—

matching funds—

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

presidential nominees—

third-party candidate funding in general election—

The Fall of the Soft-Money Loophole and the Rise of the 527 Loophole

soft money—

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)—

Howard Dean—

John Edwards—

John Kerry—

“anything but Bush”—

The Democratic Convention

Bush v. Kerry immediately before and after the convention—

Barack Obama—

overarching theme—

testimonials from Kerry’s Vietnam swiftboat crewmates—

Kerry’s speech—

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
Election Results

2004 Election Results (Popular Vote Percentage) (Table 14.4)—

Ohio in dispute—

Kerry concedes Wednesday afternoon—

Analyzing the Outcome of the 2004 Election

voter turnout—

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

Voter turnout

Voting patterns for


Web sites

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.

Practice Tests


1) An early danger for a candidate in the nomination campaign is

a. extremism.

b. corruption.

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

media was

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.

a. $5,000

b. $3,000

c. $2,500

d. $2,000

9) There are approximately PACs in the U.S.

a. 6,500

b. 4,000

c. 2,400

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-

Midwestern states.

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.


Multiple Choice Answers

1) a

2) c

3) b

4) c

5) a

6) b

7) d

8) d

9) c

10) b

11) a

12) d

13) c

14) d

15) d


True/False Answers

1) F

2) T

3) F

4) F

5) F

6) T

7) F

8) F

9) F

10) T

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