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Brian Arbour

Candidate-Centered Campaigns

Political Messages, Winning Personalities, and Personal Appeals

Palgrave-McMillan 2014

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network November 3, 2014 Heath Brown

As campaign season ends, what can we make of all those ads? Brian Arbour is the author of Candidate-Centered Campaigns: Political Messages, Winning Personalities,...

As campaign season ends, what can we make of all those ads? Brian Arbour is the author of Candidate-Centered Campaigns: Political Messages, Winning Personalities, and Personal Appeals (Palgrave-MacMillan 2014). Arbour is assistant professor of political science at John Jay College, City University of New York.

Why do certain candidates focus on making campaign promises and extolling their legislative record, while others just talk about themselves? Arbour argues that scholars have underplayed the personal narratives that feature so prominently in much campaign advertising. As a result, candidate-centered appeals for votes have been largely ignored or misunderstood. Arbour aims to address this deficit with his new book that examines the way candidates talk about their own background and the background of opponents. He argues that candidate-centered campaigns build trust with voters as one would with neighbors or new co-workers.