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The Cash Ceiling$
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Nicholas Carnes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182001

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182001.001.0001

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What’s Stopping Them?

What’s Stopping Them?

(p.120) 4 What’s Stopping Them?
The Cash Ceiling

Nicholas Carnes

Princeton University Press

This chapter aims to shed light on the gates that keep workers out of office in the United States. Elections themselves appear to be the root cause. The analysis focuses on the two features of elections that seem to be behind the micro-level inequalities documented in Chapter 3, namely, the high and rising burdens associated with campaigning and the insular world of candidate recruitment. The practical anxieties that keep individual workers from running appear to stem from the very nature of elections in a representative democracy. The encouragement gaps that workers experience seem to arise from the basic logic of the candidate recruitment process, the fundamental challenges that lead many recruiters to simply look for new recruits within their own mostly white-collar personal networks.

Keywords:   working-class Americans, American workers, elections, public office, political campaigns, candidate recruitment

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