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With new and revised essays throughout, this book provides a real education in practical campaign politics. Academics and campaign professionals describe the innovation and reality of election campaigns as they have evolved over time to culminate in the phenomena of the new town meetings, bus tours, talk radio, infomercials, focus groups, and the Internet. The third edition explains how campaign themes and strategies are set and communicated; how advanced campaign tactics are used; why mobilizing volunteers is essential; why early campaign money is worth more; how to get the media to cover a campaign without paying for it; and how to use focus groups, survey research, and media to win elections. Offering a unique and careful mix of Democrat and Republican, academic and practitioner, and male and female campaign perspectives, this volume scrutinizes national- and local-level campaigns through the 2000 and 2008 election cycles. Students, citizens, candidates, and campaign managers will learn not only how to win elections but also why it has become imperative to do so in an ethical way. Perfect for a variety of courses in American government, this book is essential reading for political junkies of any stripe and serious students of campaigns and elections.
James A. Thurber is professor of government and director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University. Candice J. Nelson is an assistant professor of government at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at The American University and is director of the university's Campaign Management Institute.