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Presidential Nomination Campaigns and Party Mobilization: An Assessment of Spillover Effects
James A. McCann, Randall W. Partin, Ronald B. Rapoport and Walter J. Stone
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 40, No. 3 (Aug., 1996), pp. 756-767
Published by: Midwest Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111793
Page Count: 12
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Contrary to scholars who criticize the openness of the contemporary system of selecting presidential nominees, we theorize that citizen participation in presidential nomination campaigns can have beneficial effects for a political party's subsequent mobilization efforts. Presidential-level campaign mobilization before the summer nominating conventions increases the activist's work on behalf of United States House candidates during the general election (this relationship is labeled the spillover effect). Path analysis is used (estimated via LISREL), based on a panel survey of presidential nomination participants in 1988 and 1992. Activity in congressional campaigns conforms to expectations. In no instance does involvement in losing presidential nomination campaigns cause individuals to defect from fall campaign work at the House-level; rather, preconvention mobilization into presidential politics tends to increase participation on behalf of House candidates. Furthermore, such spillover effects are long-term; involvement in a nomination campaign in 1988 is found to increase participation in congressional campaigns four years later.
American Journal of Political Science © 1996 Midwest Political Science Association