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

The Parties Campaign

Chapter 4 The parties campaign

Political parties in the United States have one overriding goal: to elect their candidates to public office. Policy goals are secondary to winning control of the government. The parties’ influence has waxed and waned as the result of legal, demographic, and technological changes in U.S. society and reforms instituted by the parties themselves. During the golden age of political parties, local party organizations dominated elections in many parts of the country. They picked the candidates, gauged public opinion, raised money, disseminated campaign communications, and mobilized voters, most of whom had strong partisan allegiances. “The parties were, in short, the medium through which the campaign was waged.”1

By the 1950s most state and local party organizations had been relegated ...

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