GOVT 2301 Unit 7
Up Activity #4 Resources


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Unit 7: Political Parties



A.  Read the following selections from the Margin Notes by clicking on each link.

Political Parties Part I

Political Parties Part II

[There may be some repetition of content.]


B.  Watch these presentations. When you click on one of the links below, a new screen will pop up. Use the scrollbar on the side of the new screen to navigate. You need Adobe Reader to view PDF files.HELP MESSAGE


C.  (Optional) Read the following chapters from the textbooks.

Greenberg: Chapter 09

Tannahill: Chapter 06


D.  The following Optional Link is designed to help you do better in your course but it is not required.


E.  Activity #4: Third Party Time (10 points)To Do Note

Campaign '96: Third-Party Time? is based on a case study for PAL 201, the course on Elective and Advocacy Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Politics. The case was developed by the Kennedy School's Case Program.

The case study asks you to become the chief political strategist for a prospective third party or independent presidential candidate and contains a wide range of information on a variety of themes for you to use. Using the information, it's your job to lay out a basic strategy that details how your candidate will succeed.

So here's the situation ... You've just come on board the campaign at the end of March 1996. Bob Dole's seven-week sprint to win his party's nomination has recently succeeded with primary victories in California, Nevada and Washington. Rumblings of potential third party candidates -- right, left and center -- are growing louder as polls show many voters are dissatisfied with a choice between Clinton and Dole. Click on this Third Party Time link for the full details of the assignment.

Follow all directions in the case study. Once you've finished mapping out your candidate's campaign strategy, you must write a memo to him/her laying out that strategy. By then you'll have enough expertise to complete the task. The memo, written to your candidate, is a summary of his/her campaign, which clearly explains what your candidate and party consider to be success and addresses the three major components of campaign strategy: (1) candidate positioning or your message, (2) voter segmentation or your market, and (3) the means you employ to implement your campaign or the mechanics. The case study explains everything you need to know, including the full details of the memo.

Your memo should address all of the following if only briefly.

1.  Basics

a. Briefly profile the candidate or party for whom you are working.

b. Describe the goals of your campaign.

2.  Message

a. Describe your candidate's positions on the important issues you identified.

b. How do your candidate's choice of issues and positions on the issues relate to those of other candidates?

c. What led you to believe that the "issue space" you have created for your candidate isn't already taken?

3.  Market

a. Identify the segments of the population most likely to respond to the issues of importance to your candidate.

b. Determine the states likely to have an effect on the outcome of your candidate's campaign.

c. Pinpoint those states that will form the core of your campaign - your targeted states.

4.  Mechanics

a. Describe your strategy for getting your candidate and/or party on the ballot in your targeted states.

b. Describe your methods of making your candidate known in your targeted states.

c. Identify potential allies (e.g., officeholders, groups, celebrities, etc) you will recruit to support your campaign.

d. Describe how you intend to raise funds for your campaign.

e. Estimate the impact of your campaign ... how much of the popular vote & how many electoral votes do you think you can you win?

Be careful to address all of the topics you are asked to cover in your memo. Your memo should be thorough, specific, include relevant concepts from the course material and be free of spelling and grammar errors. Make specific and detailed connections to course content.

Since you are giving advice to someone who may know little about the mechanics of politics, you need to be careful to use a direct and easily understandable style with a minimum of jargon and buzz words.

Since you are giving advice to someone who may be the next president, you need to be careful to include an introduction and a conclusion that summarizes the most important points you want the candidate to remember. Your memo should be written to the candidate -- not to me -- and your writing should reflect an awareness of your audience.


Activity Submission Instructions

By the deadline shown in the Course Schedule on the main page of the syllabus:

  • Send your memo addressing the four areas given above in the body of a new email to

  • Put only your name and Activity #4 at the beginning of your email.

  • Be careful to use the correct subject line.

  • Late memos will lose one point per day late, including weekends and holidays.



Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn   
Last updated:   05/20/2017   0430

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