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The Last Hurrah?

Soft Money and Issue Advocacy in the 2002 Congressional Elections

The Last Hurrah? by David B. Magleby
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The Last Hurrah presents a comprehensive analysis of the role soft money and issue advocacy play in congressional elections. It also documents the extent of campaigning done through the mail, on the telephone, and in person in competitive races. David Magleby and J. Quin Monson provide detailed coverage of the overall trends of the historic 2002 midterm election in which the president�s party leveraged its strengths to retake the Senate and make gains in the House. They pay particular attention to the role of President Bush and his political operation in candidate recruitment, fundraising, and campaign visits to key battleground districts and states.

This election was the last before the implementation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) and was seen by political parties and interest groups as the possible �last hurrah� of soft money. As such it constitutes an important window into their behavior before the playing field changes in 2004. The election also represents a notable shift to �ground war� voter mobilization techniques by the Republicans, who imitated the success tactics of the labor unions in 1998 and 2000.

The seven case studies presented in this book include the closely contested South Dakota Senate and Colorado Seventh Congressional District races. In addition, Magleby and Monson discuss a previously overlooked question�how do voters cope with being caught in the middle of a hotly contested race with high volumes of television, radio, mail, phone calls, and other campaign communications? Finally, the book concludes with a look to the future, using trends in 2002 to understand just how candidates, political parties, and interest groups might respond to the new campaign environment of the BCRA

Brookings Institution Press; Read online
Title: The Last Hurrah?
Author: David B. Magleby; J. Quin Monson

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