Case studies and campaign fundraising and spending figures from the 2018 midterm elections Influence of the #MeToo movement and unprecedented numbers of female activists and donors. Analysis of the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives. The rise of super PACs and 501(c) organizations that exist for the sole purpose of advancing the career of an individual candidate and can raise money from sources and in amounts prohibited to the candidate The increased influence of wealthy individuals and groups on the conduct of congressional campaigns The use of social media and the Internet to raise money, communicate with voters, recruit volunteers, and pretest television ads Updated coverage of campaign strategy and communications includes the use of big data, microtargeting, and social media Introduction of new convenience voting methods in many states Introduction of other state reforms, such as redistricting commissions and California’s top-two primary system

Campaign Communications

Chapter 8 Campaign communications

Campaign communications range from attention-grabbing television advertisements to sophisticated social media platforms to old-fashioned knocking on doors. The funds a campaign has at its disposal, whether or not the candidate is an incumbent, and the competitiveness of the election are the key determinants of how campaigns reach voters. In this chapter we examine the techniques campaigns use to disseminate their messages and encourage their supporters to vote.

Campaign communications are meant to accomplish several objectives: improve a candidate’s name recognition, project a favorable image, set the campaign agenda, frame the choice for voters, exploit the issues, undermine an opponent’s credibility or support, and defend the candidate against attacks. Accomplishing these objectives advances the campaign’s broader goals of mobilizing its base, ...

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