As the effectiveness of short-term campaigns is uncertain, politicians and campaigners are increasingly adopting permanent campaigns. In this process, midterm elections are a cost-effective vehicle for senior politicians to build relationships with local candidates while promoting their own candidacies. Previous research on celebrity endorsement and the coattail effect has primarily focused on the results of political endorsement, while overlooking the process of such activities. More importantly, few studies have addressed how local politicians perceive the embedment of their own campaign into their senior colleague’s permanent campaign.
The authors of this article conducted four in-depth interviews with local officials, the transcripts of which were analyzed using an interpretive approach. Our finding highlights magistrates and mayors’ worries about being marginalized by the president. Furthermore, they believe that local affairs should be dealt with locally, and that involving the president is a sign of weakness. Theoretical and managerial implications of this research are discussed in relationship to the literature on coattail effect, endorsement strategy, and permanent campaigning.