Gov: Primary Campaign



To prepare for caucuses and primaries, candidates must develop a campaign strategy. Key elements of a strategy include tone, theme, and targeting. Candidates must decide whether to adopt a positive or a negative tone for their campaigns. Every candidate needs a theme. A simple, appealing idea that helps distinguish a candidate from his or her opponents. Candidates must also decide whether to target specific groups of voters. Is there any group that is a likely target for specially designed appeals from a candidate.

Candidates try to reach voters in various ways. Three general approaches are retail politics, wholesale politics, and microtargeting. Retail politics relies on direct, personal contact with voters. Candidates take part in parades, dinners, and other local events. Wholesale politics can be reached by large-scale mail or media campaigns. Microtargeting uses databases to target narrow groups of voters and then reach them with carefully crafted messages.

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