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Grassroots Campaigns

A grassroots campaign is a planned activity organized to mobilize public support to bring pressure on legislators, government officials, or corporations. Such campaigns often seek to educate, organize, and engage constituents to influence public policy. This form of political persuasion is an effective way to alert legislators and elected officials about public concerns and to spur them to action. A 2017 study by the Congressional Management Foundation found that “direct constituent interactions have more influence on lawmakers’ decisions than other advocacy strategies” (p. 13). This entry traces the origin of grassroots campaigns, discusses popular strategies and tactics, and introduces contemporary approaches to online campaigns.

The origin of grassroots campaigning can be traced to the 19th century. During the 1828 U.S. presidential race between John Quincy Adams ...

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