Minnesota’s 8th District
Write a campaign strategy for Chip Cravaack of Minnesota’s 8th district assuming the role of his campaign strategist. Assume the strategist’s voice and speak as if you are that strategist.
Political Science 3325: Campaign Strategy Memorandum Assignment
Due at the beginning of class on October 9
**Be sure to keep a copy for your files**
Select one of the House or Senate races that CQ Politics/Roll Call rates as “tossup.” This includes 27 House races and 7 Senate races.
Assume the role of a key strategist for either the Republican or Democratic candidate. Write a four page double spaced campaign strategy memorandum to your candidate and his or her staff (12 point font, 1 inch margins). You must cite your academic sources and sources re. the candidates and districts (using parenthetical references – author last name, date, page no. – follow the Chicago Manual of Style instructions on moodle) and include a bibliography on an additional page. Provide detailed information in your memo, including information that the candidate should already know.
Drawing on what you have learned in class from lectures and readings and your research on the context of the race, the candidates, and the campaigns, your memo should:
1) Explain in detail why this race is competitive.
2) Recommend a campaign strategy for your candidate that includes advice on campaign themes, issues, what attributes of the candidate to promote, mobilizing voters, raising money, and how to attack the opponent.
The advice you give should be supported by actual information about the district and candidates and what you have learned about congressional elections. Include information about:
• The congressional district. What are the demographics of the district and its major industries, political history, and voting history? Was there a competitive primary? What issues are particularly important to the district? What was the presidential vote in 2008? The congressional vote in the last election? Has the district been significantly redrawn after the 2010 Census, and if so, what are the implications of the changes?
• Your candidate’s background and the opponent’s background. Is one of the candidates an incumbent? Do the candidates have electoral experience or other relevant experience? How do their records affect the race? What are the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses?
• The campaign. How much money have the candidates raised, and how much are parties and groups spending? What are the major issues (national and local)?
Given the page limit and the information required for a thorough analysis, you must be concise.
cite at least two articles from a newspaper in the district/state.
• CQ Voting and Elections Data Set (through library http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/cqvoting)
• The National Journal Group’s Policy Central through the library website (http://www.lib.umn.edu/articles/naj) has access to Almanac of American Politics, hotline, House Race Hotline)
• www.opensecrets.org (campaign finance data)