Campaign Literature Project
An Analysis of Campaign Literature in U.S. Elections, started 1989
DEMOCRACY IN ACTION, Eric M. Appleman's nonpartisan effort to
about the political process, is best known for
its work on presidential campaigns (see www.p2012.org
and the links below). My longest
endeavor is the Campaign Literature Project, a
library of campaign literature from all U.S. Senate and
general election campaigns and
selected U.S. House races going back to 1989. The project grew
out of my studies at The George Washington University, where I
graduated from with a B.A. in Political Communication.
If I were to walk into your campaign headquarters, what would I find in the way of printed literature? I'm looking for your "best stuff," that is the standard brochures, leaflets, pamphlets, palm cards, plans, comparison pieces and even recipe cards and football schedules that your campaign distributes to voters in the general election campaign.
The goal of the Campaign
Project is to conduct an academic and historic analysis of
materials across election
looks at themes and
issues highlighted and key words (for example "independent" or
as well as the photographs, images and graphics used (everything from
family shots or formal head shots used, to do the images include flags
other symbols, to what colors are the
basic literature pieces. The project encompasses
materials from Democrats, Republicans, third party and independent
candidates; it is not a partisan endeavor. The ultimate
research goal is to see how campaign
literature is evolving and if there are differences from cycle to
And there are
differences. Since this project began
in 1989 much has changed in campaign communications; most obviously web
now provide an easy way for citizens to find out about
campaigns. The ascendence of the web has led to small and large
changes in campaign literature. For example, campaigns now
include the website address on lit. pieces, and tri-fold brochures have
given way more and more to palm cards. This cycle many campaigns
have added Facebook and Twitter logos to their lit. pieces. In
terms of major themes and issues, each cycle is different. For
example, immediately following 9/11, national security was a major
cycle jobs and the economy are key themes.
Even in this Internet era, the core pieces of campaign literature handed out to voters during canvasses and at events are still important, and they are the focus of this project.
If you have any questions
please call (202 462-0145) or e-mail (email@example.com).
DEMOCRACY IN ACTION
Thank you for your assistance and good luck on November 6!
Please send examples of your basic general election literature, your "best stuff"—brochures, flyers, palm cards—if possible two (2) of each, via U.S. Mail in a flat envelope. If you could include a couple of lapel stickers that would also be helpful, but the main focus is the literature.