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Marketing and Politics

This paper is a comparative study of two contrasting marketing approaches with the same goal: to get one particular individual elected as president of the United States in 1996. This study focuses on the ways in which Bob Dole and Bill Clinton's respective campaign planners have decided to position their candidates to appeal to the average, middleoftheroad voter, especially the voter who is likely to be able to be influenced to vote for a particular candidate or issue, regardless of party affiliation. The campaign represents a rare opportunity to see marketing designs at work in a situation in which preconceived notions of "Democrat" and "Republican" are not as strongly at work as they usually are in American politics. It also demonstrates marketing responses to a situation in which most experts already agree that Clinton will win, regardless of the strategies employed.

In a recent Time magazine cover story, Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy contend that a primary focus of both campaigns is their perception of the crucial swing voter as "a suburban, conservative, Midwestern working mother, 35 years old, [who] earns her age, [has] finished high school, [and] maybe some college" (1996, October 14, 45). Each campaign views this profile as fitting an important segment of the target market that will be crucial to winning the election. Dole's campaign in particular need of influencing this market segment since he trails so far behind Clinton in the polls. As Gibbs and Duffy point out, this segment of the voting population "has swung more dramatically than any other voter; 20% of this group voted for Clinton last time; he's pulling 52% now" (1996, October 14, 45). Campaign analysts on both sides agree that this crucial voting segment is extremely receptive to marketing influences and is therefore most likely to be swayed by effective marketing.

Conservative columnist Dan Schnur admits, "Clinton's greatest strength . . . has be...

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Marketing and Politics. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:11, April 21, 2019, from