Presidential Vs. Congressional Campaigns

Decent Essays
Presidential versus congressional campaigns
Two phases: getting nominated and getting elected
Getting nominated
Getting a name on the ballot
An individual effort (versus organizational effort in Europe)
Parties play a minor role (compared with Europe)
Parties used to play a major role
Major differences
Presidential races are more competitive.
House races have lately been one-sided for Democrats.
Presidential winner rarely gets more than 55 percent of vote
Most House incumbents are reelected (more than 90 percent)
Fewer people vote in congressional elections
Unless election coincides with presidential election
Gives greater importance to partisan voters (party regulars)
Congressional incumbents can service their
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Setting the tone (positive or negative)
Developing a theme: trust, confidence, and so on
Judging the timing
Choosing a target voter: who 's the audience?
Getting elected to Congress
Malapportionment and gerrymandering.
Establishing the size of the House
Winning the primary
Ballot procedures
Developing a personal following for the "party 's" nomination
Incumbent advantage
Sophomore surge
Using the perqs of office
Campaigning for / against Congress
Impact of the way we elect individuals to Congress
Legislators closely tied to local concerns
Weak party leadership
Primary versus general campaigns
Kinds of elections and primaries: general versus primary elections
Differences between primary and general campaigns
What works in a general election may not work in a primary
Different voters, workers, and media attention
Must mobilize activists with money and motivation to win nomination
Must play to the politics of activists
Iowa caucuses
Held in February of general election year
Candidates must do well
Winners tend to be "ideologically correct"
Most liberal Democrat, most conservative Republican
The caucus system: "musical chairs and fraternity pledge week"
The balancing act
Being conservative (or liberal) enough to get
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