Campaigns and Elections American Style


James A. Thurber, Candice J. Nelson

Fourth Edition • July 30, 2013 • 352 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813348353 • $42.00 USD$54.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813348360 • $25.99 USD$25.99 CAN

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With new and revised essays throughout, Campaigns and Elections American Style provides a real education in practical campaign politics. In the fourth edition, academics and campaign professionals explain how campaign themes and strategies are developed and communicated, the changes in campaign tactics as a result of changing technology, new techniques to target and mobilize voters, the evolving landscape of campaign finance and election laws, and the increasing diversity of the role of media in elections. Offering  a unique and careful mix of Democrat and Republican, academic and practitioner, and male and female campaign perspectives, this volume scrutinizes national- and local-level campaigns with special focus on the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.

Students, citizens, candidates, and campaign managers will learn not only how to win elections but also why it is imperative to do so in an ethical way. Perfect for a variety of courses in American government, this book is essential reading for political junkies of any stripe and serious students of campaigns and elections.


James A. Thurber is a Distinguished University Professor of Government and the Founder and Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington, DC. Dr. Thurber is the author, coauthor, and editor of Obama In Office, Rivals for Power: Presidential-Congressional Relations, Campaign Warriors: Political Consultants in Elections, Crowded Airways: Campaign Advertising in Elections, The Battle for Congress: Consultants, Candidates, and Voters, Congress and the Internet, as well as numerous articles on Congress, campaigns and elections, and interest groups and lobbying.

Candice J. Nelson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Government, and academic director of the Campaign Management Institute at American University. She is the author of Grant Park: The Democratization of Presidential Elections: 1968-2008, coauthor of Vital Signs: Perspective on the Health of American Campaigning, The Money Chase: Congressional Campaign Finance Reform, and The Myth of the Independent Voter.

Campaigns and Election American Style, 4th Edition
1. The Transformation and Dynamics of American Campaigns and Elections, James A. Thurber
2. Creating a Winning Campaign Strategy, David Winston
3. The Use of Survey Research in Campaigns, Glen Bolger
4. Money, Politics, and Policy: Campaign Finance Before and After Citizens United, R. Sam Garrett
5. Fundraising Strategies in the 2012 Presidential Campaign, Anthony Corrado
6. Differences of Degree: Issue Agendas in a Polarized Media Environment, Danny Hayes
7. How the Media Covered the 2012 Election: The Role of Earned Media, Dotty Lynch
8. Dimensions of Campaigns in the Age of Digital Networks, Alan Rosenblatt
9. The Ground Game: Field Work in Political Campaigns, Alicia Kolar Prevost
10. The Evolution of Micro-Targeting, Bob Blaemire
11. Voter Turnout in the 2012 Election, Pamela Bachilla, Jan Leighley and Jonathan Nagler
12. Election Law Is Still the New Rock & Roll, Chris Sautter
13. Republican Strategies and Tactics in the 2012 Primary and General Elections, David Dulio and John Klemanski
14. Campaigns Matter, Candice J. Nelson

Praise for the 3rd Edition:
“Campaigns are big business, and this book tells candidates, students, and citizens how they are run in the twenty-first century. Two of the premier experts in American politics, James Thurber and Candice Nelson, have brought together a top-notch group of specialists in strategy, polling, advertising, new media, fieldwork, and fund-raising. This up-to-date volume is perfect for college courses in parties and elections.”—Larry J. Sabato, University of Virginia, author of The Year of Obama

“Thurber and Nelson and their team of experienced consultants and respected academic collaborators help us understand the strategy and outcome of the 2008 elections. [This book] is state of the art in its coverage of topics such as blogs, social networks, polling, Internet fund-raising, messaging, and mobilization, among others, [and it] demonstrates that consultants and academics can complement each other in informing a broader audience.”—David B. Magleby, Brigham Young University

“Informative, comprehensive, and, most importantly, accessible, the third edition…provides an up-to-date, realistic view on the evolution of American electoral politics. Students will like this book and benefit from it.”—Stephen J. Wayne, Georgetown University

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