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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.

Representational Style: How Congressman Rehberg and Senator Tester Govern
Representational style: How congressman rehberg and senator tester govern

How do representatives cultivate trust? They engage in the process of representation, a series of complex negotiations with constituents. In Chapter 2, I discussed one important aspect of building trust: Richard Fenno's presentation of self. Presentation of self is a particular representational style members of Congress display to build constituent trust. In the American West (and Montana especially), presentation of self often centers on linkages to the land and a common set of shared historical experiences. And this is true of representation elsewhere: constituents want to know if their elected officials truly understand them and their shared stories—if they are “one of us.” To understand how a ...

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