2002 Election Project North Carolina's 2002-2003 senator election between democrat, Erskine Bowles and republican candidate Elizabeth Dole, was not only close, but it also was extremely expensive. In fact in was the most expensive race this year, both candidates pulling in a total of 19.1 million into their treasuries. Though, Bowles was able to connect with much of the black population in North Carolina, and receive glowing reviews during his previous tours, in the end, he wasn't able to out-do Dole. Elizabeth Dole is a very strong woman full of ambition and high achievement, and she was able to gain many votes. Her great fundraising talent, and the combination of tactics, knowledge, and enthusiasm during her many weeks of campaigning throughout the state, played a major role in obtaining the support of many; even her gender, has helped her break through the boundaries.
Since this race was so expensive, and both candidates used a lot of money to make their campaigns, money is obviously a very important reason behind Dole's win.
Though Bowles was already a very wealthy Charlotte investment banker, and his wealth was being contributed to his campaigns, Dole had no problem proving her-self a master fund-raiser. She was not only able to talk one on one with her supporters but she also, though she spent slightly less on her campaign then Bowles, has spent absolutely none of her own money. This is very impressive, and earned her the respect of not only many citizens but also of important republican leaders such as the retired senator Jesse Helms and President, George W. Bush. It takes a lot of work to raise that much money, but because of her determination and confidence; two very essential leadership qualities, she has easily proven her-self worthy of this office position. Dyer, Eric, and Raleigh Bureau. " Dole-Bowles campaign costs soar." News and Records. 16 October 2002, < http://www.news-record.com>.
Her tactics and strategies exhibit a commendable example for many candidates to come. Since the beginning she was very involved with the people and further benefited the Republican Party. One of the main, and most common strategies used was television-ads. Instead of using these ads to put down her opponent, Elizabeth used the ads to portray a strong image of her-self and her campaign. The aggressive moves by the Democratic Party are valid evidence that they were reaching the end of their rope and they wanted very much to try to turn this election around. Since the beginning Elizabeth had been ahead in the polls, and this was why the Democratic Party was starting to panic. This tactic definitely backfired and the Bowles lost many supporters because of it. Many people saw this behavior as childish and untrusting. This strategy wasn't very popular among Dole's campaign and that is most likely a positive aspect, which cause people to believe and trust what her goals were for the state. Trust is very important because most people don't want someone that they cannot entrust with their wants. While speaking she constantly talked about her efforts to help improve North Carolina, this way she easily connected with a majority of the voters. Edwards, Chet. "TV stations reject ads panning Republicans; find Democrat Accusations ' to be false.'" Washington Times. 24 September 2002 A04. < http://proquest.umi.com>.
Our country has come so far when it comes to gender discrimination. Before this election it was obvious that men were thought of to be superior and stronger than women. Dole, the former Cabinet secretary and American Red Cross president, worked hard to make it into high-level offices. In this election gender was definitely an underlying issue to why Dole won. For once being female may have worked to a candidate's advantage instead of a disadvantage. Since there are nearly half-million more registered female voters than male voters and studies show that women are more likely to go to the polls, many of them are now looking for a woman candidate that they can relate to and identify with. Christensen, Rob. " Women in the Senate Race." News observer, 16 April 2002, < http://www.news-observer.com>. This upper hand gave Dole more of an advantage over her opponent. She had great power and influence on the voters and the turn out it general. Dole's efforts have proven to work and she has gotten respect from her follow politicians. Woman can relate to her and were motivated by her speeches. Her gender is working to her benefit and unfortunately Bowles had no way of beating her at this area of the game.
It was a combination of tactics, supporters, and Dole's individual leadership qualities, which lead her to her victory. Bowles didn't start this election on the right foot and this might have been a reason for his loss. Since he lost so much momentum in the beginning it became almost impossible for him to catch up with Doles in the polls. All her hard work paid off and now she has overcome many obstacles, becoming the first woman in the Carolinas to ever win a major-party nomination for U.S. Senate.