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Candidate-Centered Communication

Candidate-centered, or personal, campaigning is an increasingly common feature of elections in many democracies. The term usually refers to two key developments in electioneering. First is the degree to which leading political actors, rather than parties, have become the visible focus of election campaigns. This trend can be seen most clearly in presidential elections in the United States, where candidates for the presidency use the electronic media to sell themselves to voters. Second, personal campaigning can be understood as the extent to which personal information and imagery about a candidate or party leader, rather than policy programs, has become a major element of campaigns. Personal information includes: candidates' biographies, their appearances, beliefs, tastes, values, and any past or current misdemeanors—that is, all information concerning the ...

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