Explaining the Decision to Withdraw from a U.S.
Presidential Nomination Campaign
David F. Damore Æ Thomas G. Hansford Æ
A. J. Barghothi
Published online: 20 September 2009
Ó The Author(s) 2009. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
Abstract We contend that a candidate’s decision to exit from a U.S. presidential
nomination campaign is a function of three sets of considerations: the potential for
proﬁle elevation, party-related costs, and updated perceptions of competitiveness.
We analyze data from eleven post-reform presidential nomination campaigns and
ﬁnd support for all three considerations. Speciﬁcally, our results suggest that in
addition to candidates’ competitiveness, the decision to withdraw is a function of
candidates’ closeness to their party and ability to raise their proﬁle. At the same
time, some of our results contradict the conventional wisdom regarding presidential
nomination campaigns, as we ﬁnd no evidence that media coverage or cash on hand
directly affect the duration of a nomination candidacy.
Keywords Presidential nomination campaigns Á Candidate duration Á
A previous version of this paper was presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political
Science Association. We thank Steve Nicholson and participants at the Political Science Research
Workshop at the University of South Carolina for their helpful comments.
D. F. Damore (&)
Department of Political Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 South Maryland Parkway,
Box 455029, Las Vegas, NV 89154-5029, USA
T. G. Hansford
School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, University of California, Merced, Merced,
A. J. Barghothi
Department of Political Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA
Polit Behav (2010) 32:157–180