Campaigns and Elections

Students in POSC 31113 learn about running for political office.

US capitol

The U.S. Capitol, workplace of people who run successful political campaigns. (photo © Uschools/Getty Images)

Campaigns and Elections

Students in POSC 31113 learn about running for political office.

About the Course:

Students learn the process of nominating and electing candidates for U.S. public office before discussing how recent rule changes affect campaign strategy and, ultimately, governance. Using that framework, students analyze political campaigns, mainly those of congressional candidates. Students also examine how current demands for reform might affect future elections.


Instructor: Joanne Connor Green, professor of political science

Joanne Connor Green

Joanne Connor Green, professor of political science.


Class times: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2-3:20 p.m. Course is offered in the fall semester every other year.


Class size: 36 students


Credit: Satisfies the citizenship and social values core requirement and counts as a social science credit



The Politics of Congressional Elections, 9th edition, Gary C. Jacobson and Jamie L. Carson (Pearson)

Congressional Elections: Campaigning at Home and in Washington, 7th edition, Paul S. Herrnson (CQ Press)


Class work:

Students take two exams to demonstrate an understanding of the rules and processes of elections. Students must explain how recent changes alter campaign strategies and describe the multiple factors successful politicians have to balance. Each student writes a paper on one of three topics: controversies in the election process; the role of big money in politics; or the way campaigns have adapted to the 21st century. Students also divide into groups and act as consultants to design a campaign plan for a candidate who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Each group presents the proposal in a paper and produces a 30-second commercial.