Why do they talk about the issues at all?
Norris, Justin Jay
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The role of policy issues in presidential primaries has long been a topic of debate in political science. Much of the discussion is related to the role policy issues play in individual vote choice. Though worthy of discussion, this often neglects the intentions of the candidates as it relates to messaging strategies; rather it does not address the question: Why do some campaigns discuss issues more than others? To address this question, I build and test a model of monthly candidate issue messaging using a dataset compiled from the 1999, 2003, and 2007 invisible primaries. I find that candidate statements about the issues of concern to the nation appear to be primarily driven by the quest for resources, a candidate's competitive standing, and the intervention of the horse race, as driven by the media.