The Demise of Grassroots Political Activity under the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act


Presidential campaigns focus the attention of the entire nation on the election of a single public official. It is therefore important not to lose sight of the fact that these campaigns constitute a unique forum for more than just the narrow decision as to which individual will occupy the office for four years. The presidential campaigns also serve as multifaceted opportunities for consideration of a wide range of national issues. Campaigns for the presidency have traditionally drawn much of their verve and tenor from the fact that they are conducted not merely by a handful of insiders close to a candidate, but also by numerous grassroots and state-level organizers. At the heart of this process is the local organization network, which operates at the county, congressional district, city, and precinct levels. In considering the impact of the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act on grassroots political organizations in presidential elections, it is important first to briefly recall how presidential election campaigns were conducted before the Act went into effect.

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