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The evolution of the modern political campaign has taken us from television sets in the living room to wireless new media in the hands of voters. Reaching voters with targeted messages, candidates increasingly rely on consumer-driven techniques. What works at the national level can be tailored to work even more effectively at the individual level. Future campaigns will continue to make use of recent innovations like meet-ups, blogs and Internet polling. Newer tactics such as fundraising on the web and get-out-the vote drives with micro-targeting via Blackberrys and PDAs are changing the way candidates advertise, ask for money, interact with the media, co-ordinate with their party organizations and make the most of interest group support. What, then, are the implications for the democratic process and governance? To help students make sense of how and why campaigns are changing, well-respected scholars and practitioners keep their focus on the horizon of campaigning and offer a cutting-edge look at what to expect in the 2008 elections and beyond.

Interest Groups and the Future of Campaigns
Interest groups and the future of campaigns
Nina ThereseKasniunas and Mark J.Rozell

Candidates for public office in the United States may differ in their rhetoric on many issues, but they all seem to agree on this point: Interest groups are entirely too powerful. In truth, candidates need interest groups more than ever—not only as easy targets of attack to win public approval, but also to facilitate campaigns. Interest groups have become the potent intervening force in political campaigns by influencing the choices of voters. In recent years, interest groups have often resembled political parties in their ability to inform, influence, and mobilize hundreds of thousands or even millions of voters to get to the polls.1

As we prepare for the 2012 ...

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