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Tuesday, February 9, 2010


In our chapter on campaigns and elections, we discuss the dynamics of presidential races. A candidate may gather momentum, getting stronger and stronger as the opponent gets weaker and weaker. In an article in Polity, R. Lawrence Butler writes:
Money could also lead to increased capacity for momentum to be a factor in future general elections. Before 2008, both major party candidates accepted public funding and had an equal amount to spend. One of the important mechanisms of momentum involves the ability of the candidate perceived to be winning to increase his fund-raising, whereas the loser’s money dries up. Public financing eliminated this possibility. Momentum would, therefore, have to be created by free media coverage and the energizing of volunteer networks. Now, as future candidates are unlikely to accept public financing, momentum could become a greater factor in the general election.