Running for Office

Americans spend more than S3 billion 011 national, state, and local clcctions every four-year period. Former House Speaker Tip O'Neill once said, "There are four parts to any campaign. The candidate, the issues ,,,, the campaign organization, and the money. Without money you can forget the other three."

It takes a great deal of money to rim a successful campaign for a major office today. Once candidates are nominated, they spend weeks and even months campaigning for the election.

The purpose of campaigns is to convince the public to vote for a particular candidate. liach campaign has a campaign organization to help run the campaign. An organization for a local candidate may have only a few workers. Presidential campaigns, though, have thousands of workers. Campaign workers must acquaint voters with the candidate's name, face, and positions on issues, and convince voters to like and trust the candidate. Campaign workers use several techniques to accomplish their goals.


When candidates or campaign workers travel through neighborhoods asking for votes or taking public opinion polls, they are canvassing. At the local levek candidates often go door-to-door to solicit votes and hand out campaign literature. At the national level, campaign organizations conduct frequent polls to find out how their candidates are doing.


When a famous and popular person supports or campaigns for a candidate, it is an endorsement. The endorser may be a movie star, a famous athlete, a popular politician, or some other well-known individual. The idea behind endorsements is that if voters like the person making the endorsement, they may decide to vote for the candidate.

Endorsements arc a kind of propaganda technique. Propaganda is an attempt to promote a particular person or idea. Candidates use propaganda techniques to try to persuade or influence voters to choose them over another candidate.

Advertising and image Molding

Campaign workers spend much time and money to create the right image for a candidate. Much of that money goes for advertising. Political advertisements allow a party to present only its candidate's position or point of view. They also enable a candidate to attack an opponent without offering an opportunity to respond.

Candidates for a local election may use newspaper advertisements or posters, while state and national candidates spend a great deal of money advertising on television. Why? Television ads can present quick and dramatic images of a candidate and his or her ideas. Such television images tend to stav in the viewer's mind.

Campaign Expenses

Television commercials arc a very effective way to win votes, but they cost tens of thousands of dollars per minute. Other campaign costs include airfare and other transportation, salaries of campaign staff members, and fees to professional campaign consultants, such as public opinion pollsters. There are also computer, telephone > postage, and printing costs.

A small-town mayoral race may cost only a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. A state legislative or congressional race may-cost several hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars. In recent elections, spending for each scat in Congress has averaged out to about $1.5 million. Some congressional candidates spent $15 million or more. A presidential race can cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Describing What is the purpose of election propaganda?

Political TV Television commercials have become more popular than other advertising forms. TV ads help candidates create an image that appeals to the public. Why are television commercials an effective way to campaign?

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