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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Summer 2004

GOV s370L • 1 - Election Campaigns

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
85460 MTWThF
10:00 AM-11:30 AM

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce you to American political campaigns and elections through lectures and readings. This course is not designed to serve as a "how to" manual for aspiring politicans or consultants. It is more theoretical than practical. Still, some nuts and bolts information is essential and will be part of the curriculum. My main focus is on federal elections, though references are made to state and local elections. We spend some time revisiting past campaigns elections in order to contrast and explicate contemporary American electoral politics. The lectures and readings pay particular attention to the presidential election of 2000. The race between George W. Bush and Al Gore is not only the most recent, but provides vivid details supplementing the theoretical and descriptive points raised in the course.

As with the lower-division version of this course, there are three primary objectives. The first is to provide basic information about American elections and electioneering by examining both the rules of the game and the players. The second is to develop analytical skills with which to analyze complex relationships and phenomena. The third is to introduce you to the work of the political scientist by concentrating on paradigms and techniques of the discipline. Unlike the lower-division course, the emphasis is on the latter two goals.

Grading Policy

Keep in mind that the lectures parallel, but do not repeat the readings. Because of this and the potential quizzes, not attending class is a particularly bad practice.

2 exams Campaign Simulation with written and oral reports


Herbert Asher. Polling and the Public, 5th ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2001. Paul Abramson, John Aldrich, and David Rohde. Change and Continuity in the 2000 and 2002 Elections. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2003. Daniel M. Shea and Michael John Burton. Campaign Craft. New York: Praeger, 2001. Dennis Johnson. No Place for Amateurs. New York: Routledge, 2001.


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