Definition of retail politics in English:

retail politics

plural noun

  • [treated as singular or plural] A style of political campaigning in which the candidate attends local events in order to target voters on a small-scale or individual basis.

    • ‘The state's brand of retail politics brings its most powerful leaders into frequent contact with voters.’
    • ‘The candidate and his manager were also careful not to underestimate the importance of old-fashioned retail politics.’
    • ‘We are the state of retail politics, of face to face discussions, of believing we personally can see and touch all our elected officials.’
    • ‘For states so vast and populations so large, the old-fashioned art of retail politics, meeting voters individually, has diminished in importance.’
    • ‘The retail politics required to do well in Iowa requires a ton of planning, and he's just too late to get in the game.’


Early 20th century: first referring to the practice of paying for votes.