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Background

Back in April, Bill Weld expressed his decision to run for President on the Republican Ticket. However, since the announcement on April 15th, he has not had any public moments of import. In addition, the RNC is not interested in holding any primary debates for the 2020 Republican Presidential primary. This does not seem to bode well for Bill Weld since debates do impact what people think about candidates:

The findings indicate that people do learn from debates and that learning is affected by the context in which the information is encountered. Specifically, early debates generate more learning than do subsequent debates, and the public tends to learn more about candidates with whom they are relatively unfamiliar than about better-known candidates.

Question

Given that early debates help the publicity of lesser known candidates, and the Republican party has signaled a refusal for debates, how will lesser known major candidates like Bill Weld find an outlet for publicity?

2 Answers 2

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Generally speaking, they have to do so either through advertising or earned media coverage. At the end of the day, political parties - while closely regulated in many respects - are entirely responsible for their own conduct and internal policies.

In the scholarship, it's not even entirely clear where the line between party-as-social-identity, and party-as-legal-entity is and/or should be. This means that folks like Weld don't have a lot of option for recourse if the party they ostensibly are running as a member of isn't interested in helping them have a fighting chance.

Nothing stops Weld from hosting his own debates, of course. But he can't call them a 'Republican' debate without the endorsement of the RNC on the event.

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It's called "campaigning".

It is the main activity involved in running for public office.

It is essentially like any other marketing campaign, but for a political candidate asking for a vote, instead of for a good or service, urging you to purchase it.

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