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The proposed text presents a detailed case study of the US Senate race in Montana in 2012 and is intended for use as a supplement in courses on campaigns and elections, the US Congress, and American Government. This race is of particular interest because it was one of only a few competitive races in 2012 and because of the impact of Citizens United and so-called “dark money” on the campaign. Furthermore, the setting in Montana offers a view into the rising political influence of the West, the importance of “place” in politics, and the impact of congressional styles and constituent relationships on campaigns and elections. The author, David C.W. Parker, was granted exceptional access by both campaigns over the 21 months preceding the election, allowing him to tell the story of the race in fascinating detail. Throughout the narrative, Parker will weave in political analysis and place the race in the broader context of congressional elections and the research literature.

The Message Matters: The Politics of Personality and Issues
The message matters: The politics of personality and issues

If election outcomes are so easily predicted, then what effect—if any—do campaigns have? Political scientists Andrew Gelman and Gary King explain how campaigns affect election outcomes even though the end result is often known in advance with a high level of certainty. They claim that presidential campaigns are fairly balanced informational affairs.1 With both candidates having similar financial resources, it is difficult for either to sustain an edge in advertising or organizational outreach for very long. Gelman and King argue that a campaign and its communication efforts “enlighten” the preferences of voters by informing them about the ideologies of the candidates and their issue positions. In highly ...

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