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Political Campaigns

Concepts, Context, and Consequences

Costas Panagopoulos

Publication Date - 02 August 2016

ISBN: 9780199341399

304 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Through a balance of theory and practice, this text emphasizes the concepts, context, and consequences of contemporary political campaigns


In Political Campaigns: Concepts, Context, and Consequences, Costas Panagopoulos provides students with insight into the inner workings of contemporary campaign structures by combining findings drawn from vast amounts of scholarly research with an astute insider's perspective. The text focuses on three key elements of contemporary campaigning-"Concepts, Context, and Consequences"-examining the significance of each element as it relates to the topics discussed. "Context" refers to the political, institutional, legal, and regulatory landscapes in which contemporary campaigns operate. These conditions impact a campaign's decision-making strategies. In turn, these choices yield important implications, or "Consequences," not only for the individual campaign but also for society at large. Topics discussed include parties, interest groups, and the media; money and the modern campaign; campaign strategy; getting out the vote; technology and contemporary campaigns; and much more.

Political Campaigns is part of the Oxford Series on Elections, Campaigns, and Democracy. Edited by Michael R. Alvarez (California Institute of Technology), this new series features comprehensive and accessible, as well as specialized, texts for courses in elections, public opinion, and voting behavior.


  • Provides an in-depth, insider's look into campaigns
  • Explains data-driven campaigning
  • Explores modern developments in technology and social media
  • Focuses on local, state, national, and international campaigns

About the Author(s)

Costas Panagopoulos is Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, where he currently serves as Director of the Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy and Director of the Graduate Program in Elections and Campaign Management. A leading expert on campaigns and elections, voting behavior, media and public opinion, political psychology, and campaign finance, Dr. Panagopoulos has co-authored or edited several books, including A Citizen's Guide to U.S. Elections (2015) and Public Financing in American Elections (2011). He is currently the editor of American Politics Research.


"Political Campaigns is a strong addition for a series on elections, opinion, and democracy. It will be the ideal resource for many classes on elections and political behavior."--Michael R. Alvarez, Editor of the Oxford Series on Elections, Campaigns, and Democracy

"Political Campaigns engages with the literature of political science, takes a social-scientific approach, and addresses normative concerns. It is up-to-date and well written."--Travis Ridout, Washington State University

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Modern Political Campaigns: Why and How They (May) Matter
    When (And How) Campaigns Matter
    Campaign Structure and Organization
    Transition from Party-Centered to Candidate-Centered Elections
    Growth and Professionalization of the Political Consulting Profession
    Organization of the Book
    Chapter 2. Layers of Democracy: Federal, State, and Local Campaigns
    Levels of American Elections: Variation across States
    The Implications of Structural and Legal Variations for Democratic Norms
    The Role of Competitive Elections
    Implications of Competitive Elections Across the United States for Democratic Norms
    Campaign Finance and Consequences
    The Nationalization of State and Local Campaigns
    Chapter 3. External Actors: Parties, Interest Groups, and the Media
    Political Parties: Changing Contexts
    Consequences for Norms
    Interest groups: Changing Contexts
    Consequences for Democracy
    Media: Changing Context
    Consequences for Democracy
    Chapter 4. Money and the Modern Campaign
    Contemporary Campaign Finance Regulations and Fundraising
    Campaign Finance Regulations, Budgeting, and Spending Resources
    Effects of Campaign Spending in Elections
    Outside Actors: Issue Advocacy, Independent Expenditure Groups and Super PACs
    Consequences for Democracy
    Chapter 5. Campaign Strategy
    Campaign Research: What's Important?
    Context Matters: Campaign Strategy in Presidential Elections
    Targeting Voters
    Polling to Develop Campaign Strategy
    Opposition Research
    Message Development and Timing
    Consequences for Democracy
    Chapter 6. Getting the Word Out
    Revisiting the Basics of Campaign Messaging
    Paid Media
    Earned Media
    Effective Management of Messaging
    Chapter 7. Getting Out the Vote
    Grassroots Mobilization: An Overview
    Advances in Field Experiments
    Consequences for Democracy
    Chapter 8. Vote Choice
    The Role of Cues and Candidate Traits
    The Role of Personality Traits, Genetic Predispositions, and Voter Psychology
    The Role of Affect and Emotions
    Implications of Personality, Genetics, and Emotion
    Consequences for Democracy
    Chapter 9. Technology and Contemporary Campaigns
    Campaign Software and Data Availability
    Online Presence and Social Media Platforms
    Consequences for Democracy
    Chapter 10. Contemporary Campaigns and the Evolving Electoral Process
    Electoral Reforms: Voter Registration & Voting Procedures
    Challenges for Campaigns
    Future Reforms?
    Consequences for Democracy
    Chapter 11. Political Campaigns in International Context
    Differences in Registration and Turnout
    Differences in Media and Political Communication
    Differences in Campaign Finance
    Developments in New Technologies
    Consequences for Democracy
    Chapter 12. Assessments and Reflections on the Future of Political Campaigns

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