Coattail Effect

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  • Lower candidates on a party ticket are elected into office because they are of the same political party as a popular candidate at the top of their ticket. The coattail effect in presidential elections has been irregular in the 20th century. This phenomenon has been attributed to the ability of incumbents to increasingly distance and insulate themselves from other party members in the eyes of their local constituency. A recent example of a likely coattail effect was in the 2004 presidential election of Republican George W. Bush, which also witnessed Republicans gaining control of both Houses of Congress. The term is also used when referring to political agenda setting, when an otherwise uninteresting issue receives public attention only because it is purportedly related to another ...

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