• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Lessons Learned
Lessons learned

What can be learned from the Montana Senate race and Tester's victory to help us better understand representation and congressional campaigns elsewhere? There are three important lessons for political scientists and professional campaign practitioners. First, campaigning in a new resource environment post-Citizens United changes the way candidates, interest groups, and political parties use these new sources of revenue for electioneering. Second, as media environments become increasingly saturated—as was the case in Montana—the message matters as much, if not more, than the message's timing. It also suggests the value of employing other strategies to reach voters. Finally, reputational relationships crafted by members of Congress with constituents may matter more than ever before in an era of decreasing institutional trust in Congress and ...

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