The division of labor in congressional campaigns




Miller, Kenneth Merrill

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This dissertation explains how candidates, parties, and independent groups have adjusted to the post-Citizens United campaign environment by dividing the labor of campaign communications. Using an original dataset of spending in Senate campaigns and data on advertising content in congressional campaigns merged with television ratings data, this project demonstrates that most campaign actors will harmonize their efforts through compensatory cooperative activity to benefit from each others' advantages and compensate for each others' constraints. The quality of this cooperation is not always uniform however, and sometimes varies based on the objectives of the campaign actors. The degree and complexity of cooperation suggests that the parties have reasserted control in a new system of network-based campaigning that is displacing the candidate-centered campaigns that characterized U.S. elections for the past several decades. This new system has significant effects on democratic discourse, resulting in advertising that advances more nationalized issue agendas, and campaigns that are more attack-oriented but with attacks that are more informative for voters.



LCSH Subject Headings