Issue Strategies of Congressional Challengers
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: The Ohio State University Press
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Table of Contents
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Expressive politics : issue strategies of congressional challengers / RobertISBN 0-8142-0943-2 (cloth : alk. paper) ? ISBN 0-8142-9050-7 (cd-rom)1. Political campaigns?United States. 2. United States. Congress?The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of theAmerican National Standard for Information Sciences?Permanence of...
List of Tables and Figures
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This book began as a term paper in Jim Fearon?s ?Topic in Game The-ory? course in the spring of 1995. From that term paper, I embarkedupon the research that became this book because of my interest in devel-oping a research trajectory that went beyond the library, the classroom,and the computer lab. Apart from my academic interest in the subject ofcongressional campaigns, I undertook this project out of a desire to travel...
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When Americans awoke on the morning following Election Day 2000,the outcome of the previous day?s presidential contest had not yetbeen decided. When residents of New Jersey?s Twelfth Congressional Dis-trict awoke that morning, they also did not know who their congressmanwould be. In this race, incumbent Democrat Rush Holt had faced a stiffchallenge from the district?s former representative, Republican Dick Zim-...
1. Parallel Histories: The Incumbency Advantage and Electoral Competition
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Why is it that we know so little about congressional challengers, aboutwhat prompts them to run against seemingly insurmountable odds,or about what precisely they do during their campaigns? In part, we haveso little understanding of their campaigns because we have never devel-oped any particular expectations for them. In order to understand thepredicament of today?s congressional candidates, and the state of our...
2. The Rational Candidate and the Hopeless Cause
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Given the apparent incompatibility between theoretical treatments of?rational? candidate behavior and the reality of American congres-sional races, why should we turn to rational choice theory to provide guid-ance in understanding these races? One preliminary answer to thisquestion comes from political theorist James Johnson. Rational choice the-ory, argues Johnson (1991, 117), is, or at least should be, a reconstructive...
3. Incumbents and Challengers Compared
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In order to provide evidence for the expressive campaigning theory out-lined in chapter 2, it is necessary to demonstrate four things:1. Challengers and incumbents employ different strategies in choosingissue positions. Throughout chapter 2 I assume that incumbents seeka median position. Only in the median voter theory, however, do allchallengers seek a median position. In each of the others, challengers...
4. "It's Not Like Rocket Science": How Candidates Understand Public Opinion
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As I outlined in the previous chapter, the second condition in my argu-ment for the prevalence of expressive campaigning in congressionalraces is that challengers have, or at least are able to acquire, two differenttypes of information. First of all, probability of winning is presumed to bea quantity that can be estimated relatively accurately by candidates. If thelong-shot candidate does not know that he is a long shot, if he dramati-...
5. "Like Throwing Golf Balls against the Wall": The Candidates Talk about Campaign Issues and Ideology
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Students of American political behavior frequently (and perhaps cor-rectly) downplay the role of issue appeals in determining the outcomesof congressional campaigns. The candidates themselves, the very vehiclesthrough whom citizens are supposed to turn their preferences into policy,often deny that issues are a major determinant of their electoral fortunes.Even the most cursory list of criteria for voting decisions must take into...
6. "You Don't Know Me, But Here I Am": Candidate Perceptions of Party Strength
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In the previous two chapters, candidates made scant reference to parti-sanship or to their role as the standard bearer for a political party. Espe-cially for candidates with as low a profile as many congressionalchallengers, however, it is inevitable that a substantial percentage of voterswill know little about the candidates other than their party affiliation. De-spite the fact that we live in an age of decreasing partisanship and increas-...
7. Expressive Campaigning in 2000 and Beyond
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In a study such as this, in which the views of some candidates are pre-sented as a representative sample of all candidates? views, two potentialobjections to making general claims seem evident. First, insofar as thesecandidates do not represent a random sample, and are drawn from fourcontiguous states, one might ask whether these candidates do in fact shareimportant characteristics with candidates from other regions of the country....
8. Conclusions: Expressive Politics and Invisible Politics
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In the end, cynics might say, there is no getting around the fact that al-most all of the candidates profiled here lost. However we might wish fora political system that provides a place for people like Floyd Brenholt,Betty Hull, or Shapley Hunter, it is hard to move beyond their opponents?gracious words in their victory speeches. One might assume that on elec-tion night, Reps. James Sensenbrenner, Phil Crane, and Jerry Costello...
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...(All interviews are unpublished. They are arranged by year, state, and HouseNoel Naughton. Republican challenger to Representative Bobby Rush (IL-1). Ever-Jim Nalepa. Republican challenger to Representative William Lipinski (IL-3). La-Deanne Benos, press secretary to Representative Rod Blagojevich, Democraticchallenger to Representative Michael Flanagan (IL-5). Washington, DC. April...
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Page Count: 253
Publication Year: 2004