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Congressional Elections

Congressional Elections
Campaigning at Home and in Washington

Eighth Edition

December 2019 | 372 pages | CQ Press
“It is the gold standard for texts on congressional campaigns and elections.”

— Bruce A. Larson, Gettysburg College

In Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington authors Paul Herrnson and Costas Panagopoulos combine top-notch research with real-world politics as they argues that successful candidates run two campaigns: one for votes, the other for resources. Using campaign finance data, original survey research, and hundreds of interviews with candidates and political insiders, Herrnson and Panagopoulos look at how this dual strategy affects who wins and how it ultimately shapes the entire electoral system. The Eighth Edition considers the impact of the Internet and social media on campaigning in the 2018 elections; the growing influence of interest groups; and the influence of new voting methods on candidate, party, and voter mobilization tactics.

Tables and Figures
1.The Strategic Context
The Candidate-Centered Campaign  
The Institutional Framework  
Political Culture  
Campaign Technology  
The Political Setting  
Recent Congressional Elections  
2.Candidates and Nominations
Strategic Ambition  
Passing the Primary Test  
Nominations, Elections, and Representation  
The Senate  
3.The Anatomy of a Campaign
Campaign Organizations  
Campaign Budgets  
Senate Campaigns  
4.The Parties Campaign
National Agenda Setting  
The National, Congressional, and Senatorial Campaign Committees  
Strategy, Decision Making, and Targeting  
Campaign Contributions and Coordinated Expenditures  
Campaign Services  
Outside Campaigns  
The Impact of Party Campaigning  
5.The Interests Campaign
Organizing for Electoral Influence  
Strategy, Decision Making, and Targeting  
PAC Contributions  
Campaign Services  
Outside Campaigns  
The Impact of Interest Group Activity  
6.The Campaign for Resources
Inequalities in Resources  
House Incumbents  
House Challengers  
Candidates for House Open Seats  
Senate Campaigns  
Single-Candidate Super PACs and 501(c) Organizations  
Female candidates, Political Movements, and Campaign Fundraising  
7.Campaign Strategy
Voting Behavior  
Voters and Campaign Strategy  
Gauging Public Opinion  
Voter Targeting  
The Message  
8.Campaign Communications
Television Advertising  
Radio Advertising  
Newspaper Advertising  
Direct Mail and Newsletters  
Telephone Calls  
Digital Advertising  
Free Media  
Field Work  
The Importance of Different Communications Techniques  
Outside Campaigns  
9.Candidates, Campaigns, and Electoral Success
House Incumbent Campaigns  
House Challenger Campaigns  
House Open-Seat Campaigns  
Senate Campaigns  
Claiming Credit and Placing Blame  
10.Elections and Governance
The Permanent Campaign  
A Decentralized Congress  
Political Parties as Centralizing Agents  
Responsiveness, Responsibility, and Public Policy  
11.Campaign Reform
The Case for Reform  
Obstacles to Reform  
Some Ideas for Reform  
Notes Name Index

"It is, in my view, the best of the congressional elections texts."

John Dinan
Wake Forest University

"In a few words: comprehensive, well-written, and timely. Herrnson was among the first to detect the role of the party-in-the-campaign centered in Washington, D.C., and the intervening years have proved him right."

John White
Catholic University of America

"This book is an excellent, engaging read in which students can learn a lot about the myths and realities of how congressional elections operate."

Ken Moffett
Southern Illinois University Evansville
Key features
  • Case studies and campaign fundraising and spending figures from the 2018 midterm elections
  • Influence of the #MeToo movement and unprecedented numbers of female activists and donors.
  • Analysis of the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives.
  • The rise of super PACs and 501(c) organizations that exist for the sole purpose of advancing the career of an individual candidate and can raise money from sources and in amounts prohibited to the candidate
  • The increased influence of wealthy individuals and groups on the conduct of congressional campaigns
  • The use of social media and the Internet to raise money, communicate with voters, recruit volunteers, and pretest television ads
  • Updated coverage of campaign strategy and communications includes the use of big data, microtargeting, and social media
  • Introduction of new convenience voting methods in many states
  • Introduction of other state reforms, such as redistricting commissions and California’s top-two primary system
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    ISBN: 9781544323084