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retail politics

noun, (used with a singular or plural verb)
a political strategy or campaign style of meeting and speaking directly to as many voters as possible: New Hampshire is a state where retail politics are decisive.
Not every candidate is good at retail politics.
Origin of retail politics
First recorded in 1900-05; in the sense of “politics in which votes are for sale” Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for retail politics

retail politics

(functioning as pl) (informal) the practice of a politician soliciting in person for votes from the public
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for retail politics

a type of political campaigning in which the candidate focuses on local events and meeting individual voters


Retail politics is the old-fashioned shaking hands and kissing babies.

Word Origin

orig referred to buying votes

Usage Note

informal; sing. or pl.'s 21st Century Lexicon
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