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There are a few words which collocate with the word "campaign". Could you please explain the difference between them? Is it possible to change "lead" to "run" in this context: "The politicians who led the Leave campaign did not seem to expect to win".

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In your example

The politicians who led the Leave campaign did not seem to expect to win.
The politicians who ran the Leave campaign did not seem to expect to win.

both have equivalent meaning, however

Many politicians ran the Leave campaign, but Nigel Farage led the Leave campaign

Many politicians led different aspects of the campaign while collectively running it.

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