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Elections and Voting
Guide: Political Campaigns

These resources provide a look at the political campaign system in the United States. Including images of campaign posters, documents, reference entries, and additional content, these resources will support students' understanding of how political campaigns work as well as the issues surrounding them. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • A government's structure determines how political parties will form and operate
  • Political parties strongly influence the operation of democratic governments
  • Media, public opinion, and policy are interrelated in a democracy
  • The type of media a public consumes influences their understanding of policy and government action
  • Interest groups can be both an effective citizen tool for expression and, if too powerful, a threat to democracy
  • Voting rules and regulations affect election outcomes
  • Interpreting campaign contributions as free speech allows those with money greater access to lawmakers

Key Questions

  • What are the common characteristics of successful political campaigns?
  • How do presidential campaigns differ from congressional campaigns?


  1. Overview: Political Campaigns
  2. Outline: Outline
  3. Transcript: Transcript
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Lesson: 1-Campaign Organization
  6. Lesson: 2-Campaign Messaging
  7. Lesson: 3-Presidential vs. Congressional Campaigns
  8. Lesson: 4-Negative Campaigning
  9. Lesson: 5-Famous Ads and Slogans
  10. Lesson: Closing
  11. Key Question: Vice Presidential Picks
  12. Background Essay: Vice Presidential Picks (Background)
  13. Dilemma Perspective: Vice Presidential Picks (Perspective 1)
  14. Dilemma Perspective: Vice Presidential Picks (Perspective 2)
  15. Dilemma Perspective: Vice Presidential Picks (Perspective 3)
  16. Doing More: Doing More
  17. Photos & Illustrations: Election of 2016: Republican primary debate
  18. Reference Articles: Campaign Debates
  19. Reference Articles: campaign themes
  20. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Election of 1964: Barry Goldwater campaign ad
  21. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Fairey, Shepard: Barack Obama "Hope" poster (2008)
  22. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Kennedy, John F.: campaign poster (1960)
  23. Political Cartoons, Posters & Document Images: Mckinley, William campaign poster
  24. Political, Government & Court Documents: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010)
  25. Speeches: Kennedy-Nixon: Presidential Campaign Debates (1960)

MLA Citation

Lang, Nita. "Political Campaigns." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2156170. Accessed 23 Aug. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2156170

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