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Campaigns on the Cutting Edge

Campaigns on the Cutting Edge

Fourth Edition
Edited by:

April 2020 | 296 pages | CQ Press
Campaigns on the Cutting Edge evaluates the current trends of today’s campaigns and assesses the innovative changes these well-tuned organizations are making on the presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial levels.  As technology now allows candidates to announce their candidacies online, raise money through web fundraising, and mobilize supporters via smartphones, these increasingly mobile and integrated campaigns face the growing influence of outside interests. 

The thoroughly updated Fourth Edition looks at the 2018 midterm election and focuses on the rise of fake news, women's activism in the #MeToo movement, voter ballot access measures, and the ways in which technology increases the volume of information that campaigns use.
PART I - The New Political Campaign
Richard J. Semiatin
1. Introduction - Campaigns on the Cutting Edge
The New Political Campaign

The Evolving Campaign: Adaptation by Political Institutions and Groups

Robert G. Boatright
2. Fundraising: Toward Donor-Centered Politics?
The Old Model of Campaign Fundraising

Mixing Old and New Models of Fundraising

Large Unregulated Contributions and the Rise of Candidate Super PACs

Super PAC Surrogate Fundraising Committees for Presidential Candidates in 2016 and 2020

Does Candidate Fundraising Still Matter?

From Candidate-Centered to Donor-Centered Politics?

Thomas A. (Tad) Devine
3. Paid Media in Campaigns: Now and in the Future
The Importance of Audio and Video

Research-Based Message Development

Case Study: Bernie Sanders's 2016 Campaign for President

Cutting-Edge Changes in Advertising

Independent Expenditures


Michael Turk
4. Social and New Media Campaigns: Advantage or Source of Disinformation?
“Traditional” Online Media in Campaigns

Disinformation as a New Confounding Variable

Social Media Influencers

Reddit, Instagram, 9GAG, and More

The Mobile Voter

Conclusion: The Future of Online Media

Candice J. Nelson
5. Survey Research and Campaigns: Challenges and Opportunities
The 2016 Presidential Election

Challenges Facing Survey Research in Campaigns

Opportunities for Survey Research in Campaigns

Conclusion: The Future of Survey Research in Campaigns

Richard J. Semiatin
6. Voter Mobilization: An Unexpected Future
The Tradition of Parties Delivering Votes

Traditional Model of Targeting Voters

Voter Mobilization in the Twenty-First Century: Customer-Driven Campaigns

The Cutting Edge of Change: Into the Future With Voter Mobilization

PART II - The Evolving Campaign: Adaptation by Political Institutions and Groups
Tari Renner
7. Political Parties: In the Age of Populism and Reform
National Party Organizations: Structure and Reform

The Emergence and Institutionalization of the Service Party Model

Party Leadership and Strategies

The World Today: Parties Compete With Outside Groups for Resources

National Party Organizations: Traditional and New Technologies

GOTV: The Latest Voter Mobilization

New Media, Partnerships, and Populism

Future Challenges: Demographic Change and Realignment?

Nina Therese Kasniunas, Mark J. Rozell, and Charles N. W. Keckler
8. Interest Groups, Super PACs and Independent Expenditures: Driven by Ideology
Traditional Approaches by Interest Groups in Campaigns

Modern Techniques Employed by Traditional Interest Groups in Campaigns

The Emergence of Super PACs

501(c)(4) Groups and “Dark Money”

The Cutting Edge of Super PACs and 501(c)(4) Organizations

Interest Group Pursuit of Ballot Measures

New Technologies Enhance the Power of Interest Groups in Campaigns

Conclusion: Looking Ahead to Group-Centered Politics

Richard J. Semiatin and Jeremy D. Mayer
9. Campaign Press Coverage: Fake News Versus Traditional News
Origins and Development of U.S. Press Coverage

An Era of Transformation: The Decline of Mainstream Media

Mistakes and Lessons Learned in the Twenty-First Century

Citizen Groups as Campaign Reporters

Debates and Campaign Rallies

Fake News—Here to Stay?

Conclusion: Future Challenges

Peter L. Francia, Wesley Joe, and Clyde Wilcox
10. Campaign Finance: The Rise of Dark Money in the Roberts Court Era
The Evolution and Framework of Campaign Finance Reform

Rulings from the Roberts Court on BCRA

The Impact of the Roberts Court’s Decisions

Super PACS and Wealthy Donors

The Rise of Dark Money

Prospects for Legislative Reform: An Overview


Jeffrey Crouch
11. Voter Identification Laws and Ballot Access Measures
What Is the Bigger Picture?

What Are Voter Identification Laws?

Which States Have Them?

How Did the Laws Emerge?

Why Are They Controversial?

Other Ballot Access Measures

A Future of Change?

Conclusion: A Bifurcated Future?

Susan A. MacManus and Amy N. Benner
12. Women and Candidates: Generational Change, Growing Activism
A Generational Look at Female Voters

Activism on the Rise: The #MeToo Movement

2018 Midterm Election: New Year of the Democratic Woman

Campaign 2020 Challenges: Mobilizing Women Voters

Techniques for Microtargeting Women Voters

Looking Ahead

Atiya Kai Stokes Brown
13. Minority Candidates and the New Landscape of Campaigns in the Twenty-First Century
The Changing Face of America and Its Impact on American Politics

Minority Campaigns and Candidate Behavior

Campaign Activities of Minority Candidates

Voter Mobilization of Minorities, Part I: Microtargeting

Voter Mobilization of Minorities, Part II: Getting-Out-the-Vote

Challenges for Minority Candidates in 2018 and Beyond


Dick Simpson
14. Political Campaigns and Democracy
Money in Campaigns

The Selling of the Candidate

Paid Ads and Social Media

Media Coverage

Personal Voter Contact Still Matters

From Candidate-Centered to Donor-Centered Campaigns

Leave No Group Behind

Winning Elections and the Democratic Process


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Fundraising