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The Impact of Presidential Campaigning on Midterm U.S. Senate Elections

Jeffrey E. Cohen, Michael A. Krassa and John A. Hamman
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 85, No. 1 (Mar., 1991), pp. 165-178
DOI: 10.2307/1962883
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1962883
Page Count: 14
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The Impact of Presidential Campaigning on Midterm U.S. Senate Elections
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Abstract

The conventional wisdom about presidential campaigning in midterm Senate elections is that presidential efforts lack impact or have negative impact. We discuss conceptual problems with the conventional view and offer an alternative that views presidential campaigning as strategic. We test this alternative and find support for it. Further, we find that presidential campaign efforts have a positive impact on the vote through the mobilization of nonvoters. Finally, in a significant number of cases, presidential campaigning may have been the margin of victory for candidates of the president's party. We discuss the implications of these findings on assessments of the president and relations with Congress during the second half of the term.

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