Interest Groups in American Campaigns The New Face of Electioneering

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-12-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In today's era of greatly divisive partisanship in Washington, interest groups have become increasingly powerful forces in U.S. politics. In races for the presidency, Congress, and state legislatures, these groups often help to elect--or reelect--candidates who support their causes and views. Now in its third edition,Interest Groups in American Campaigns: The New Face of Electioneeringfocuses on the key role that interest groups play in U.S. elections. Authors Mark J. Rozell, Clyde Wilcox, and Michael M. Franz present an extensive analysis based on interviews with interest group leaders, campaign finance filings, and election surveys. Opening with an introduction to the nature of our federal election system, they then examine how interest groups ally themselves with political parties and influence candidate nominations and party platforms. The authors also describe how interest groups interact with political candidates--by contributing money, goods, and services to campaigns--and with their own members and the broader electorate--through social networking, Tweeting, Internet advertising, television ads, direct mail, and phone calls. Throughout the book, diverse and compelling examples clearly illustrate how interest groups operate in the real world. Revised and updated, the third edition ofInterest Groups in American Campaignsdelves into the 2010 election campaign; recent reforms and campaign finance laws that have substantially changed the roles played by interest groups; and how these recent changes will affect the 2012 races for federal offices.

Author Biography

Mark J. Rozell is Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. Clyde Wilcox is Professor of Government at Georgetown University. Michael M. Franz is Associate Professor of Government at Bowdoin College.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introduction: Interest Groups and American Politicsp. 01
A Brief History of Interest Groups in Electionsp. 04
Diverse Groups, Diverse Goalsp. 06
The One, the Few, or the Many? Interest Groups and American Politicsp. 11
Interest Groups and the American Political Systemp. 13
Characteristics of American Governmentp. 13
Characteristics of American Partiesp. 15
Characteristics of American Electionsp. 17
Regulations, Goals, and Resourcesp. 19
Strategies and Tacticsp. 23
How this Book is Organizedp. 25
Interest Groups and Political Partiesp. 27
The Strategic Context: Regulations, Goals, and Resourcesp. 29
Recruiting and Training Candidatesp. 33
Approaches to Recruitmentp. 33
Training Methodsp. 36
The Presidential Nomination Processp. 39
Delegate Selectionp. 43
The National Conventionsp. 44
Influencing Party Platformsp. 46
State Party Conventionsp. 48
Financing Convention Activitiesp. 52
Summaryp. 56
Interest Groups and Candidatesp. 59
The Strategic Context: Regulations, Goals, and Resourcesp. 60
The Evolution of Campaign Finance Regulationp. 60
Goals and Resourcesp. 64
PACs: An Overviewp. 64
Who Forms PACs and Whyp. 68
PAC Resourcesp. 69
PAC Contribution Strategiesp. 71
Influences on Strategic Selectionp. 78
Influences on PAC Decision Makingp. 83
Giving Beyond the Limitp. 86
Bundling and Coordinated Contributingp. 86
Giving to Affiliated Organizationsp. 89
Contributions to Partiesp. 91
Contributions of Goods and Servicesp. 93
Summaryp. 94
Interest Groups and Votersp. 97
The Strategic Context: Regulations, Goals, and Resourcesp. 98
Endorsementsp. 105
The Endorsement Decisionp. 106
Contested Endorsementsp. 107
Endorsements and Voting Decisionsp. 109
Hit Listsp. 112
Ratings, Scorecards, and Voters Guidesp. 113
Voter Mobilizationp. 117
Candidate Advocacy Effortsp. 122
Independent Expendituresp. 122
Issue Advocacy and Electioneering Communicationsp. 125
The 2010 Elections in Contextp. 130
Referenda and Initiativesp. 132
Summaryp. 134
Evaluating the Role of Interest Groups in Electionsp. 137
Positive and Negative Aspects of Interest Group Involvementp. 137
Interest Groups and Political Partiesp. 138
Interest Groups and Candidatesp. 144
Interest Groups and Votersp. 149
Reforming the Systemp. 151
Interest Groups and Partiesp. 152
Interest Groups, Candidates, and Votersp. 155
Directions for Campaign Finance Reformp. 160
Underlying Assumptionsp. 160
Goals of Reformp. 161
Summaryp. 164
Keywords, Phrases, and Conceptsp. 166
Referencesp. 170
Indexp. 178
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