Candidates occupy a leading role in the study of politics. Research on political candidates is in many ways at an apex, but it is also a conceptual muddle. Historically, "candidates" were those listed on the ballot, but other measures have quietly cropped up in recent years. This talk seeks to generate a new conversation around counting candidates. Thomsen replicates two recent studies and show how the samples change with different measures of a candidate. Researchers often use scope conditions, and there may be good reason to define candidates in various ways or focus on some rather than others. Nonetheless, different measures create implicit definitions of what counts as a candidacy, and they are rooted in distinct values about which campaign activities are important. The study of candidates is more exciting than ever, in part because of the data that are available. Yet with more data comes more choices, and we should give more attention to the implications of these choices as well.

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