Chapter seven talked about campaigns, elections, and the media. The legal qualifications for holding political office are minimal at both the state and local levels, but holders of political office still are predominantly white and male are likely to be from the professional class. American political campaigns are lengthy and extremely expensive. In the last decade, they have become more candidate centered rather than party centered in response to technological innovations and decreasing party identification. Candidates have begun to rely on paid professional consultants to perform the various tasks necessary to wage a political campaign. The crucial task if professional political consultants is image building. The campaign organization devises a campaign strategy to maximize the candidate’s chances of winning. Candidates use public opinion polls and focus groups to gauge their popularity and to test the mood of the country. 3.
Interest groups are major sources of campaign funds. The contributions are often made through political action committees, or PACs. Other methods of contributing include issue advocacy advertising and setting up independent 527 organizations to register voters and run ads. The amount of money spent in financing campaigns is increasing steadily. A variety of corrupt practices acts have been passed to regulate campaign finance. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 limited advertising by interest groups. The United States Supreme Court has chipped away at the limits imposed by the 2002 act, however. In 2010, the Court ruled that the government could not limit corporate political expenditures that were not coordinated with campaigns. After the Democratic convention of, 1968, the McGovern-Fraser Commission formulated new rules for primaries which were adopted by all Democrats and Republicans in most states. These reforms opened up the nomination process for the presidency to all voters. A presidential...
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