The Nomination Game
The official endorsement of a candidate for office by a political party.
Generally, success requires momentum, money, and media attention.
The master plan candidates lay out to guide their electoral campaign.
Competing for Delegates
The Caucus Road
Caucus: Meetings of state party leaders. Used to select delegates.
Now organized like a pyramid from local precincts to the state’s convention.
Not used by many states.
The Iowa caucus is first and considered the most important.
The Primary Road
Primary: Elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election.
Primaries are common in the United States.
Most states use one of the forms of a primary (open or closed).
Frontloading is the tendency of states to hold primaries early - New Hampshire is first.
Generally primaries serve as elimination contests.
Evaluating the Primary and Caucus System
Disproportionate attention to the early ones.
Prominent politicians find it difficult to make time to run.
Money plays too big a role.
Participation in primaries and caucuses is low and unrepresentative.
The system gives too much power to the media.
The Convention Send-off
Once provided great drama, but now they are a basic formality - which means less TV time.
Are still important to the party to get organized and motivated.
Party platform: Statement of its goals and policies and general beliefs.
Official nominations and candidate speeches.
The Campaign Game
The High-Tech Media CampaignDirect mail used to generate support and money for the candidate
Get media attention through ad budget and “free” coverage
Emphasis on “marketing” a candidate
News focuses on strategies and events, not on policies
Organizing the Campaign
Get a campaign manager
Get a fund-raiser & counsel
Hire media and campaign consultants
Assemble staff / plan the logistics
Get research staff, policy advisors & pollsters
Get a good press secretary
Establish a website
Money and Campaigning
The Maze of Campaign Finance Reforms
Federal Election Campaign Act (1974)
Created the FEC to administer campaign finance laws for federal elections.
Created the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.
Provided partial public financing for presidential primaries (matching funds).
Provided full public financing for major party candidates in the general election.
Required full disclosure.