As witnessed in the 2004 elections, Americans feel the influence of interest groups today more than ever before. In races for the presidency, Congress, state legislatures, and even local school boards, interest groups help—in both major and minor ways—elect (or reelect) candidates who support their views. Interest Groups in American Campaigns is the only book to focus specifically on the role of interest groups in elections. Rozell, Wilcox, and Madland show that communication channels—from monetary donations to candidates and web pages for citizens—are the bedrock of interest group leverage on political parties, individual candidates, and voters.
This second edition goes well beyond a straightforward update and spotlights the major changes in the way interest groups are now active in modern campaigns. Continuing the tradition of the first edition, the authors draw on interviews with interest group leaders, coverage of campaign finance filings, and election surveys in their extensive analysis.
In addition to current data and updated examples and cases throughout the book, new coverage includes:
- the effects of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, the first finance reform package in a generation
- the rise of 527s in campaign advertising in light of campaign finance reform restrictions
- the successes and failures of George W. Bush and John Kerry to woo powerful interest groups