Most information about the role of political consultants in elections has been limited to analyses of the few major firms that manage presidential and major congressional contenders. Political Empiricism shifts the focus of research to state and regional races, examining the strategies and variables unique to the smaller political campaigns. Rita Kirk Whillock describes how severe budgetary constraints, inexperienced campaign staffs, and extremely limited voter research change the face of political campaigns on the state and local levels. Each chapter of this volume presents a mixture of the theoretical and the practical, providing a link between current scholarship and real campaign strategies. The volume's case study approach explores key issues and concerns of political communication, including incumbency, image, gender, fundraising, advertising, and message strategies. Political Empiricism stands as a significant scholarly account that balances the existing bias toward analyses of national campaign strategies, and helps close the gap between communications practice and theory. Highly recommended for scholars and students of political communication and political science.
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