You are here

Congressional Elections

Congressional Elections
Campaigning at Home and in Washington

Eighth Edition

Other Titles in:
Congress | Elections

400 pages | CQ Press
“It is the gold standard for texts on congressional campaigns and elections.”

— Bruce A. Larson, Gettysburg College

In Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington authors Paul Herrnson and Costas Panagopoulos combine top-notch research with real-world politics as they argues that successful candidates run two campaigns: one for votes, the other for resources. Using campaign finance data, original survey research, and hundreds of interviews with candidates and political insiders, Herrnson and Panagopoulos look at how this dual strategy affects who wins and how it ultimately shapes the entire electoral system. The Eighth Edition considers the impact of the Internet and social media on campaigning in the 2018 elections; the growing influence of interest groups; and the influence of new voting methods on candidate, party, and voter mobilization tactics.
Tables and Figures
1.The Strategic Context
The Candidate-Centered Campaign

The Institutional Framework

Political Culture

Campaign Technology

The Political Setting

Recent Congressional Elections


2.Candidates and Nominations
Strategic Ambition

Passing the Primary Test

Nominations, Elections, and Representation

The Senate


3.The Anatomy of a Campaign
Campaign Organizations

Campaign Budgets

Senate Campaigns


4.The Parties Campaign
National Agenda Setting

The National, Congressional, and Senatorial Campaign Committees

Strategy, Decision Making, and Targeting

Campaign Contributions and Coordinated Expenditures

Campaign Services

Outside Campaigns

The Impact of Party Campaigning


5.The Interests Campaign
Organizing for Electoral Influence

Strategy, Decision Making, and Targeting

PAC Contributions

Campaign Services

Outside Campaigns

The Impact of Interest Group Activity


6.The Campaign for Resources
Inequalities in Resources

House Incumbents

House Challengers

Candidates for House Open Seats

Senate Campaigns

Single-Candidate Super PACs and 501(c) Organizations

Female candidates, Political Movements, and Campaign Fundraising


7.Campaign Strategy
Voting Behavior

Voters and Campaign Strategy

Gauging Public Opinion

Voter Targeting

The Message


8.Campaign Communications
Television Advertising

Radio Advertising

Newspaper Advertising

Direct Mail and Newsletters

Telephone Calls

Digital Advertising

Free Media

Field Work

The Importance of Different Communications Techniques

Outside Campaigns


9.Candidates, Campaigns, and Electoral Success
House Incumbent Campaigns

House Challenger Campaigns

House Open-Seat Campaigns

Senate Campaigns

Claiming Credit and Placing Blame


10.Elections and Governance
The Permanent Campaign

A Decentralized Congress

Political Parties as Centralizing Agents

Responsiveness, Responsibility, and Public Policy


11.Campaign Reform
The Case for Reform

Obstacles to Reform

Some Ideas for Reform


Notes Name Index

"It is, in my view, the best of the congressional elections texts."

John Dinan
Wake Forest University

"In a few words: comprehensive, well-written, and timely. Herrnson was among the first to detect the role of the party-in-the-campaign centered in Washington, D.C., and the intervening years have proved him right."

John White
Catholic University of America

"This book is an excellent, engaging read in which students can learn a lot about the myths and realities of how congressional elections operate."

Ken Moffett
Southern Illinois University Evansville

Preview this book

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.