Getting the Nomination | Campaigning


Boxes of macaroni and cheese given as promotional souvenirs at the 1996 Republican and Democratic conventions.

Presidential elections are more than just contests to select officeholders; they are occasions when Americans can engage in a national dialogue. Candidates may choose pet topics and catch phrases to brandish in their speeches and interviews, but when voters respond with their concerns, the candidates must listen. And they may learn that what matters to those who vote in a particular year are a group of issues that have been generally ignored by the news media or political institutions, refocusing whole campaigns and elections.



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National Museum of American History