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Tip Sheet on Campaign Strategies (Released: 8/15/96)

Story idea for journalists

by Luis Mocete, Office of University Communications.

As the GOP convention closes, it's clear Bob Dole must be aggressive in getting his agenda across if he is going to beat President Clinton, says Howard Reiter, a professor of political science.

"A large part of what campaigning is all about is controlling the agenda and getting the voters to think about the issues you want to address," Reiter says.

Democrats, long perceived as the party of common folks, the party that got the country out of the Great Depression, the party of labor and minority groups, tend to do better when economic issues are at the forefront, he points out.

Republicans, on the other hand, tend to do well when foreign policy, government spending and taxes are on the minds of the public, Reiter adds. Most Republican nominees emphasize their competence to deal with national security matters because it rekindles the more favorable perception which the electorate has of the Republican party's conduct of foreign and military policy.

Dole, who has been trailing Clinton in the polls for most of the year, is hoping to duplicate Harry Truman's efforts in 1948 when Truman scored a shocking upset by defeating New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey.

Reiter can be reached at (860) 486-2440. If you have any difficulty in contacting him or need other assistance, please call Luis Mocete at (860) 486-3530.

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