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Nominations

The official endorsement of a candidate for office by a political party. Generally success in nomination game requires momentum, money, and media.

Campaign Strategy

The master game plan candidates lay out to guide their electoral campaign.

To Run, or Not to run?

Are "skeletons" worth running against? Campaigns have become more physically and emotionally taxing than ever, which is why fewer politicans run for president.

National Party Convention

The supreme power within each of the parties. The convention meets every 4 years to nominate the party's presidential and vice-presidential candidates and to write party's platforms.

Caucus

A meeting of all state party leaders for selecting delegates to the national party convention.

Presidential Primaries

Elections in which voters in a state vote for a candidate (or delegates pledge to him or her). Candidates are narrowed down to one nominee.

"The Big Mo"

Momentum! George Bush Sr. referred to momentum in campaign ($)

Evaluating the Primary & Caucus System

Problems with the primary and caucus system. Political scientists aren't happy with system because too much attention is paid to Iowa and New Hampshire in primaries.

Attention to Early Primaries and Caucuses

Disproportionate attention goes to early caucuses & primaries; they play a key role in building momentum, generating money, and generating media attention.

Money

Personal and campaign money is needed to run; money plays a big role.

Low Participation

Only 20% of Americans vote in primaries; low participation is unrepresentative.

Exaggeration

The press exaggerates the polls by deciding who has the momentum at any given moment by readily labeling candidates as winners or losers. Example: "Dewey defeats Truman"

Power to Media

Gives wrong impression to people.

Organizing the Campaign

Campaign organizing requires alot of work, with only a little time to do it.

Manager

Keeps candidate from getting bogged down in organizational details; this person bears the day-to-day responsibility for keeping the campaign square on its message and setting its tone.

Fund-raiser

Money is an important key to election victory.

Counsel

With all the current federal regulation of campaign financing, legal assistance is essential to endure compliance of the laws.

Consultants

Professional consultants get politicians the most exposure for their money. Example: buying TV time, buttons, signs, etc.

Staff

Besides hired staff, volunteers who do other small, but essential, tasks such as doorbell ringing, envelope licking, etc. These people are competing for patronage jobs.

Logistics

Good advanced people handle the complicated details of candidate scheduling and see to it that events are well publicized and well attended.

Research and Policy Advisors

Policy advisors feed complex issue reporters the info they need to keep up with events.

Pollster

Dozens of polling firms conduct opinion research to tell candidates how voters feel.

Press Secretary

Helps reporters and press make their deadlines with stories that the campaign would like to see reported; reports to press core.

Money

Campaigning is very expensive! "Money is the mother's milk of politics"

Federal Election Campaign Act (1974)

A law passed for reforming campaign finances. Created the Federal Election Commission, Presidential Election Campaign fund, and attempted to limit contributions.

Helen Thomas

Member of White House press core (one of longest members)

Political Action Committees (PAC)

committee formed by a special interest group, corporation or union to raise money for their favorite political candidate. The FEC meticulously monitors the PACs expenditure.

Buckley v Valeo

Extended the right of free speech to PACs, because money is extension of freedom of speech. PACs can now spend unlimited amounts indirectly, as long as such activities are not coordinated with campaign.

Superdelegate

Democratic leaders who automatically get a delegate shot.

McGovern Frasier Commission

Led to selection of delegates through primary elections.

Matching Funds

Contributions of up to $250 are matched for candidates.

Soft Money

Political contributions (not subject to contribution limits) earmarked for party building expenses or generic party advertising.

McCain Feingold Act

Banned soft money, increased amount of individual contributions and limited issue ads.

527's

Independent groups that seek to influence political process but aren't subject to contribution restrictions because they don't seek election of particular candidate. Example: Swift boat members for McCain

Selective Perception

Pay more attention to what we agree with.

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