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Elections: The Politics of the Permanent Campaign: Presidential Travel and the Electoral College, 1977-2004

Authors

  • BRENDAN J. DOHERTY

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    1. United States Naval Academy
      Brendan J. Doherty is an assistant professor of political science at the United States Naval Academy.
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  • AUTHOR'S NOTE: I would like to thank Nelson Polsby, Bruce Cain, Gordon Silverstein, John Ellwood, David Hopkins, Jessica Gerrity, and Robyn Altman for their comments on this article.

Brendan J. Doherty is an assistant professor of political science at the United States Naval Academy.

Abstract

This article undertakes an empirical assessment of a key element of the permanent campaign for the presidency by systematically examining presidential travel from 1977 through 2004. I find that presidential travel does target large, competitive states, and that such strategic targeting has increased over time, supporting the notion that the permanent campaign is on the rise. However, substantial differences between reelection and other years, as well as measures of the breadth of presidential travel and proportional attention to the states, indicate that electoral concerns do not thoroughly permeate patterns of presidential activity throughout a president's years in office, as the logic of the permanent campaign would suggest.

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