If elections are easily predicted and voting behavior is easily explained with just a few fundamental variables, it seems quite plausible to argue that campaigns don't matter. This book attempts to answer the question, "Do campaigns matter?" by analyzing changes in public opinion during and across several presidential election campaigns. The crux of the argument is that although the national political and economic context of the election is very important, campaigns also play a crucial role in determining election outcomes. In particular, campaign events, such as conventions and debates, are primarily responsible for changes in public opinion that occur during the campaign period. Using many different data sources from several presidential campaigns, this important volume demonstrates that election outcomes are jointly produced by campaigns and national conditions.
Covering an important and neglected subject, Do Campaigns Matter? is essential for students in political science at both graduate and undergraduate levels. Its original research, imaginative approach at conceptualizing data, and excellent empirical analysis, make it a must read for researchers and professionals as well.