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 Interests Campaign

Chapter 5 The interests campaign

Organized interests, pejoratively referred to as “special interests,” have always been involved in American elections. During the earliest days of the Republic, leaders of agricultural and commercial groups influenced who was on the ballot, the coverage those candidates received in the press, and the voting patterns that determined election outcomes. As the electorate grew and parties and candidates began to spend more money to reach voters, steel magnates, railroad barons, and other captains of industry increased their roles in political campaigns. Labor unions counter-organized with workers and dollars. Religious and ethnic groups also influenced elections, but their financial and organizational efforts paled next to those of business and labor.

Interest groups continue to flourish, and several developments have ...

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