For Better or Worse?

How Political Consultants are Changing Elections in the United States

By David A. Dulio

Subjects: Public Opinion, Political Communication, Electoral Politics
Paperback : 9780791460443, 306 pages, March 2004
Hardcover : 9780791460436, 306 pages, March 2004

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

List of Tables


1. Introduction

2. Consultants Enter the Electioneering Mix

3. Who are these Guys Anyway?

4. Electoral Connections: Consultants, Candidates, Voters, and the Press

5. Party Favors?: Have Consultants Replaced Political Parties?

6. Consultants' Effects on Candidate Fund-raising and Electoral Success

7. For Better or Worse--What Hath the Consultants Wrought?





Investigates the effects of political consultants on American democracy.


For Better or Worse? offers a fresh look at how professional campaign consultants have both positive and negative effects on democracy in the United States. Questioning much of the prevailing conventional wisdom, David A. Dulio employs a unique set of data that empirically examines consultants' own attitudes and beliefs to evaluate where they stand in modern democratic elections. Furthermore, he explores their relationships with candidates, voters, political parties, and the media, revealing that political consultants play an integral role in U.S. elections.

David A. Dulio is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Oakland University. He is the coeditor (with James A. Thurber and Candice J. Nelson) of Crowded Airwaves: Campaign Advertising in Elections and (with Candice J. Nelson and Stephen K. Medvic) of Shades of Gray: Perspectives on Campaign Ethics.