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Congressional Elections
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Congressional Elections
Campaigning at Home and in Washington

Eighth Edition


December 2019 | 408 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
 
Preface
 
Authorship and Acknowledgments
 
Introduction
 
Chapter 1 The Strategic Context
The Candidate-Centered Campaign

 
The Institutional Framework

 
Political Culture

 
Campaign Technology

 
The Political Setting

 
Recent Congressional Elections

 
 
Chapter 2 Candidates and Nominations
Strategic Ambition

 
Passing the Primary Test

 
Nominations, Elections, and Representation

 
The Senate

 
 
Chapter 3 The Anatomy of a Campaign
Campaign Organizations

 
Campaign Budgets

 
Senate Campaigns

 
 
Chapter 4 The Parties Campaign
National Agenda-Setting

 
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

 
 
Chapter 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

 
 
Chapter 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

 
 
Chapter 7 Campaign Strategy
Voting Behavior

 
Voters and Campaign Strategy

 
Gauging Public Opinion

 
Voter Targeting

 
The Message

 
 
Chapter 8 Campaign Communications
Television Advertising

 
Radio Advertising

 
Newspaper Advertising

 
Direct Mail and Newsletters

 
Telephone Calls

 
Digital Advertising

 
Free Media

 
Attracting Coverage

 
Fieldwork

 
The Importance of Different Communications Techniques

 
Outside Campaigns

 
 
Chapter 9 Candidates, Campaigns, and Electoral Success
House Incumbent Campaigns

 
House Challenger Campaigns

 
House Open-Seat Campaigns

 
Senate Campaigns

 
Claiming Credit and Placing Blame

 
 
Chapter 10 Elections and Governance
The Permanent Campaign

 
A Decentralized Congress

 
Political Parties as Centralizing Agents

 
Responsiveness, Responsibility, and Public Policy

 
 
Chapter 11 Campaign Reform
The Case for Reform

 
Obstacles to Reform

 
The BCRA and the DISCLOSE Act

 
The NVRA and the HAVA

 
Some Ideas for Reform

 
 
Notes
Name Index

 
 
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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