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WORKING PAPER
Why Study Only Presidential Campaigns? Statewide Races as a Laboratory for Campaign Analysis
Alvarez, R. Michael

Abstract
Political campaigns play a central role in democratic politics since they are an important source of contact between citizens and voters. But the literature has been quite pessimistic about whether political campaigns can influence the preferences and behavior of voters. In this paper I argue that one of the primary reasons for this pessimism stems from the consistent and lasting focus on presidential campaigns. While presidential campaigns are an important aspect of the American political process, they make poor laboratories for the study of campaigns. Instead I argue that statewide political campaigns provide a much better laboratory for the study of campaigns. The paper presents a series of empirical analyses of statewide campaigns and concludes with a discussion of different designs for the study of statewide campaigns.

Keywords
campaign dynamics
case studies
presidential campaigns
statewide campaigns
study design
voter learning


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icnPdfMini alvar97b.pdf


Uploaded
06-19-1997

Document ID Number
437


   
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