In the fall of 2002, Kansas voters found themselves in the middle of an electoral battle for their state’s executive post. The battle was being waged by the state’s insurance commissioner, a Democrat, and the state’s treasurer, a Republican. Early in the general election cycle, the race appeared to be a sure win for Kathleen Sebelius (D) based on statewide polling data, but in the final days her opponent, Tim Shallenburger (R), narrowed the margin considerably. Although the media later would say that Sebelius’ campaign followed a “winning formula” (Hanna 2002), the candidates’ televised advertising-and the self-presentation strategies contained therein-reveal important reasons for the success of one candidate and the failure of the other.