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14.Campaign - The Campaign for Congress How it looks to the...

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The Campaign for Congress: How it looks to the Candidate This is political anthropology. Descriptive and impressionistic: story telling followed by some serious points Focus: What it looks like to the candidate Context, second district of Iowa 1 The Feel of the Congressional Campaign This is about retail politics, going out and meeting people where they live. Why not TV? Television markets are rarely a good fit to congressional districts. That makes them inefficient. The campaign is spending a lot of money to reach people who vote in another district. The Triangle TV market, for example, covers all or part of four congressional districts. Issues: national none Local Was JC a carpet-bagger? District about half between three small cities, Cedar Rapids, Clinton, and Dubuque—the other half small towns and rural areas around them. Our (Hollywood) image of campaigns: 1. Crowds of supporters and opponents 1
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2. Pack of reporters 3. Busy headquarters Reality of congressional campaign: 1. No political events. People will not attend them. Mark Shields 2. No press, none 3. No workers Few volunteer workers, and they are mainly high school age or retired. When does the campaign start? Election year -2, maybe the most important thing to know. What is candidates’ occupation? No income for one-two years! A huge “cost” of running for office. 1.1 My role: not exalted Drive car, van It’s better that a worker get a speeding ticket, not the candidate. Fix van—campaign vehicles break down! Company, why important—candidate always “on” in public. More often, outlet for candidate’s frustration! Cue candidate on names. going back, remembering names 2
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Hand out pamphlets, big name, warm gooey family, dog, etc. But the name is the important thing . Most contact is favorable contact, so you want voters to remember the name that went with that brief handshake. 1.2 Campaign Traumas 1. Trauma #1: Fund Raising “hat in hand” early money, i.e., before you can solicit contributions Who: friends, family, deep pockets 1. Candidates don’t usually have what it takes in their own funds, and, 2. it’s not good politics to spend your own money—“buying the election” Note Senate difference. Senators frequently do have personal wealth.
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