Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. vii-x

The Task Force on Campaign Reform was commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts to contribute the scholarly expertise of leading political scientists to the public debate on campaign reform. The task force gathered periodically over a fifteen-month period in Chicago, Washington, and...

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1. Campaign Quality: Standards for Evaluation, Benchmarks for Reform

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pp. 1-61

Political campaigns are at the center of American democracy and of the ordinary citizen's connection with the democratic process. They should be our primary occasions for political education, collective choice, elite accountability, and democratic legitimation. Instead, ...

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2. Assessing Attack Advertising: A Silver Lining

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pp. 62-78

When Americans are asked about the health of our electoral process, the response is quite discouraging. Citizens lack faith in how campaigns work and in the men and women who run in them. For example, more than three-quarters of the electorate in January 1996 thought that candidates...

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3. How Does It All "Turnout"? Exposure to Attack Advertising, Campaign Interest, and Participation in American Presidential Elections

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pp. 79-105

The keystone of American democracy is the political campaign-a critical link through which potential governors communicate with citizens about problems, solutions, and basic ideologies. Candidates sell their ideas, their histories, and even themselves while voters listen, evaluate, and eventually...

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4. Watching the Adwatches

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pp. 106-121

Adwatches have the potential to enhance the quality of campaigns by creating disincentives for candidates to make dubious claims and by inviting a backlash from the knowledgeable citizenry if the ads overstep the line. Adwatches can have undesirable consequences in both areas as well. When...

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5. Shifting the Balance: Journalist versus Candidate Communication in the 1996 Presidential Campaign

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pp. 122-144

Voters need enough information about the candidates, the parties, their records, and their proposals to make instrumental choices and carry out their democratic business. Several researchers using different methods have argued that the political information system is the key to effective...

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6. Is Reform Really Necessary? A Closer Look at News Media Coverage, Candidate Events, and Presidential Votes

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pp. 145-172

Despite the centrality of presidential election campaigns to the American political process, they are not held in high esteem by political scientists. There are two major reasons for this perception. First, presidential campaigns are thought to be too negative...

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7. Regime Support and Campaign Reform

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pp. 173-200

Political discontent with government and its leaders, institutions, and decision- making processes is arguably a latent threat to what David Easton (1975,444) calls "diffuse regime support," which he defines as "a reservoir...

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8. Campaign Reform: Insights and Evidence Report of the Task Force on Campaign Reform

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pp. 201-248

This report presents the views of fourteen scholars in the fields of electoral politics, voting behavior, and political communication about what is wrong with the American campaign process and how to fix it. We write both as scholars and as citizens. As citizens, we share many of the same...

Task Force Members

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pp. 249-251

Index

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pp. 253-259