For years, political scientists, historians, pundits, and casual observers have decried the degree to which campaigning politicians avoid discussions of "the issues." Elections for executive and legislative offices have devolved into "personality contests," in which candidates are concerned primarily with avoiding the alienation of constituencies, rather than with the forceful advocacy of ideas. Voters have reacted negatively to the substantive vacuum in modem campaigning and turnout at the polls has suffered accordingly.

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