On the Campaign Trail

The trail to elected office is long, expensive and grueling. Candidates are under a microscope, shaking hands, giving stump speeches and logging endless miles to meet, charm and persuade as many voters as possible. This assortment of photos and campaign ephemera from the Ohio Public Policy Archives document life on the campaign trail and the various tactics candidates employ to get out the vote.

Ralph Regula at a campaign event in front of one of his billboards, 1970s

It is hard to miss the signs of election season driving though Ohio. From billboards dotting the highways to yard signs adorning private lawns, campaigns employ catchy phrases and visually-striking designs to grab the attention of prospective voters.


Bumper sticker from John Glenn’s second primary election campaign for the U.S. Senate, 1970

Political bumper stickers, popularized in the late 1960s, are still a ubiquitous artifact of American political expression. There are a handful of bumper stickers in the John Glenn collection, however, none quite as striking as this simple and eye-catching statement.


Pamphlet from William McCulloch’s bid to represent Ohio’s 4th district in the U.S. Congress

In this pamphlet, William McCulloch’s campaign highlighted McCulloch’s life story and how that informed his outlook and work on behalf of Ohio’s 4th congressional district. The narrative structure is an effective campaign tactic. McCulloch won twelve succeeding elections and represented the 4th district from 1947 to 1972.


Deborah Pryce with family and supporters at the Grandview Heights, OH, July Fourth parade, 2006

While campaigning for elected office, candidates find unique ways to meet and engage with voters. This often involves meeting voters where they live and celebrate. The 4th of July parade in Grandview Heights, OH, was the perfect opportunity for Deborah Pryce to interact with prospective voters.


John Glenn aboard the campaign bus during his 1974 U.S. Senate campaign

Life on the campaign trail is not easy. The days are long and schedules often do not allow a lot of time for rest. Candidates must find rest where they can, like John Glenn pictured here in what appears to be an attempt at a brief nap. The phone next to him is a stark reminder there is still work to do.


For More Information

To learn more about the collection, visit: library.osu.edu/oppa.

Email: archives@osu.edu

Phone: 614-292-2409

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