Elections have consequences. They decide who holds power and therefore the laws that we live under. But they also reflect principles of federalism and consent of the governed, as well as the complexity of the American system. They can be moments of high drama and low farce. Some candidates can inspire their fellow Americans while others make people wonder what could ever recommend them for public office. Shockingly, candidates in the latter category sometimes win. Because of the drama of electoral combat between two opponents, we tend to neglect factors that structure how campaigns are organized and operate.