To Our Readers: Nov. 18, 1996

The 1996 presidential campaign--the 19th TIME has covered--was not your typical race for the White House. There was no overarching issue, no sharp ideological division. The outcome, it seemed, was determined less by what Bill Clinton and Bob Dole said than by how they said it, and when.

So this year, rather than reconstruct the entire campaign from New Hampshire to the polling booth, we took a focused look at it through the eyes of the men and women who shaped each candidate's message: the political consultants and pollsters who tested and retested every word, every nuance before it passed either...

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