assignments that give them a chance to address large questions that may have no implication for their district.Primary Versus General CampaignsI.Each election attracts a different mix of voters, workers, and media attention. What works in the primaryelection may not work in the general one, and vice versa.II.To win the nomination, one must mobilize political activists who will give money, do volunteer work, andattend local caucuses. To motivate these activists one must be more liberal in tone and theme than normalDemocrats or more conservative than average Republicans.A.This means that politicians must sound more radical in areas where their party is in the minority toinspire activists, but then must sound more moderate to the state as a whole. This problem existsin any state where activists are more ideologically polarized than the average voter. To get activistsupport for the nomination, candidates move to the ideological extremes; to win the election, theytry to move back to the center.III.Occasionally even the voters in the primary elections will be more extreme ideologically than are thegeneral-election voters.A.Even when primary voters are not too different from general-election voters, the activists whocontribute the time, money, and effort to mount a campaign a very different from voters.Two Kinds of Campaign Issues
In election campaigns there are two different kinds of issues. A position issue is one in which the rivalcandidates have opposing views on a question that also divides the voters.
Sometimes voters are not divided on important issues. Instead the question is whether a candidatefully supports the public’s views on a matter about which nearly everyone agrees. These are calledvalence issues. What voters look for on valence issues is which candidate seems most closelylinked to a universally shared view. Valence issues are quite common.II.Campaigns have usually combined both position and valence questions, but the latter have increased inimportance in recent years. This has happened in part because presidential campaigns are now conductedlargely on television, where it is important to project popular symbols and manipulate widely admiredimages.Television, Debates, and Direct MailI.Increasingly presidential and senatorial candidates use broadcasting.II.There are two ways to use television—by running paid advertisements and by getting on nightly news broadcasts.A.The effect of television advertising on general elections is probably a good deal less than its effecton primaries. This is because in a general election, especially one for a high-visibility office, theaverage voter has many sources of information.B.Campaign managers will strive to have their candidate do something visually interesting everyday. Great pains are taken to schedule these visuals at times and in places that make it easy for photographers to be present.C.Televised debates are also very important.III.Commercials tend to have more information and generate a larger reaction than news appearances.IV.Though TV visuals and debates are free, they can also be risky. The risk is the slip of the tongue.A.Because of the fear of a slip, because the voters do not want to hear a long, fact-filled speechesabout complex issues, and because general-election campaigns are fights to attract the centristvoter, the candidates will rely on a stock speech that sets out the campaign theme as well as ontheir ability to string together memorable lines.V.Candidates make use of the internet for direct-mail campaigns, which can target specific groups of votersto whom specific views can be expressed with much less risk of offending someone.VI.Running campaigns has become divorced from the process of governing. Previously the party leaders whoran the campaigns would take part in the government once it was elected, and since they were partyleaders, they had to worry about getting their candidate reelected.A.Modern political consultants take no responsibility for governing, and by the time the nextelection arrives, they may be working for someone else.MoneyI.Money is important in politics, but it is not obvious that the candidates with the most money always win or that donors of the money buy big favors in exchange for their donations.