Running Against the Political Winds: How Gubernatorial Campaign Strategies Contribute to Mixed Partisan Outcomes in Simultaneous Gubernatorial and Presidential Elections
Document Type Honors Paper
This study analyzes mixed partisan outcomes in simultaneous gubernatorial and presidential elections. It examines the twentieth century State Reorganization Movement that separated most gubernatorial elections from presidential elections, and evaluates the electoral consequences of these reforms against their stated aims. This study also attempts to provide an explanation for the occurrence of mixed partisan outcomes in simultaneous gubernatorial and presidential elections. It tests the thesis that campaign strategies of gubernatorial candidates and their state party organizations are the primary factors affecting state voter choice of gubernatorial and presidential candidates of different parties in the same election year. The methodology for testing this thesis incorporates data interpretation, media analysis, and case studies of two 2004 gubernatorial elections featuring personal interviews with campaign participants and observers. The data thus collected indicate the validity of this study’s thesis, albeit with minor qualifications. Yet conclusive quantitative data are not available to test the thesis further. As a result, this study is indicative but not conclusive.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.