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Voter disillusionment is commonplace in the United States, with many eligible voters either choosing not to or altogether unable to exercise their right to vote. To the former, in 2016 alone, nearly 40 percent of eligible voters did not vote. Although it is an issue that extends to the health of a democracy, voting itself is not one that is central to campaign platforms, with candidates running on more high-profile issues such as healthcare or the economy. A solution to voter disillusionment is for pragmatically minded candidates to organize their campaigns around voter expansion as a means to build winning coalitions. Once locating the rhetorical origins of efforts to disenfranchise the marginalized, we develop a pragmatic strategy for appealing to those previously disengaged constituencies by demonstrating how such a platform turned legislative agenda can improve the lives of more citizens as well as strengthen democratic values.


American Politics | Political Theory | Politics and Social Change


© 2019 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license, and was originally published in Cogent Social Sciences.