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Praeger Handbook of Political Campaigning in the United States

by William L. Benoit, Editor


Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign staff worked in what they called the "War Room."

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Cover image for Praeger Handbook of Political Campaigning in the United States

February 2016


Pages 604
Volumes 2
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/General
  Current Events and Issues/Politics and Government

This work peels back the curtain on how political campaigns influence America, covering everything from social media to getting to the Oval Office.

This comprehensive handbook reveals essentially everything the American public wants to know about political campaigns. The two-volume set begins with a historical overview, then goes on to investigate campaigns from a variety of perspectives that shed light on how they work and why. Readers will discover how campaigns are run, how they're covered by the media, how they influence government, and how various interest groups and demographics play a part in the system.

The contributors—who include academics, elected officials, journalists, and campaign professionals—offer new data, interviews, and analysis in a style that will prove fresh, accessible, and engaging for everyone from college students to political junkies. They offer the inside scoop on types of campaign media—for example, TV spots, debates, and social media—and on message variables such as language, humor, and evidence. Groups of voters like women and youth are examined, and the work also discusses theories of campaigning such as agenda-setting, issue ownership, the Elaboration Likelihood Model, and the Theory of Reasoned Action. Scandal in American political campaigns, always a subject of interest, is addressed as well.


  • Covers a wide variety of topics related to American political campaigns
  • Investigates political campaigns and theories of campaigning from multiple perspectives
  • Discusses strategic use of messaging language and message forms, including debates, television ads, and social media
  • Features case studies to facilitate understanding
  • Includes maps, tables, and figures to illustrate key points
Author Info

William L. Benoit, PhD, is professor of communication studies at Ohio University. His published works include Praeger's The Primary Decision: A Functional Analysis of Debates in Presidential Primaries as well as A Functional Analysis of Presidential Television Advertisements and Political Election Debates: Informing Voters about Policy and Character.



"Many authors provide excellent literature reviews that students might find useful in their research. Some chapters contain original research; several were written by prominent scholars. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates."Choice

"A worthy addition to academic libraries."ARBA

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