In Ambition, Competition, and Electoral Reform, Jamie L. Carson and Jason M. Roberts present an original study of U.S. congressional elections and electoral institutions for 1872-1944 from a contemporary political science perspective. Using data on late nineteenth and early twentieth century congressional elections, the authors test the applicability in a historical context of modern political science theories, assess the effects of institutional reforms, and identify the factors that shape the competitiveness of elections. They present several key findings: the strategic politicians theory is applicable in an era without candidate-centered campaigns; there was an incumbency advantage prior to the full development of candidate-centered campaigns; institutional reforms have had a significant effect on elections; and the degree of electoral competition frequently correlates with elected officials' responsiveness to citizens.
Social scientists and campaign strategists approach voting behavior from opposite poles. Reconciling these rival camps through a merger of precise statistics and hard-won election experience, The American Political Landscape presents a full-scale analysis of U.S. electoral politics over the past quarter-century. Byron Shafer and Richard Spady explain how factors not usually considered hard data, such as latent attitudes and personal preferences, interact to produce an indisputably solid result: the final tally of votes.Pundits and pollsters usually boil down U.S. elections to a stark choice between Democrat and Republican. Shafer and Spady explore the significance of a third possibility: not voting at all. Voters can and do form coalitions based on specific issues, so that simple party identification does not determine voter turnout or ballot choices. Deploying a new method that quantifiably maps the distribution of political attitudes in the voting population, the authors describe an American electoral landscape in flux during the period from 1984 to 2008. The old order, organized by economic values, ceded ground to a new one in which cultural and economic values enjoy equal prominence.This realignment yielded election outcomes that contradicted the prevailing wisdom about the importance of ideological centrism. Moderates have fared badly in recent contests as Republican and Democratic blocs have drifted further apart. Shafer and Spady find that persisting links between social backgrounds and political values tend to empty the ideological center while increasing the clout of the ideologically committed.
Today we are politically polarized as never before. The presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 will be remembered as two of the most contentious political events in American history. Yet despite the recent election upheaval, The American Voter Revisited discovers that voter behavior has been remarkably consistent over the last half century. And if the authors are correct in their predictions, 2008 will show just how reliably the American voter weighs in, election after election.
The American Voter Revisited re-creates the outstanding 1960 classic The American Voter---which was based on the presidential elections of 1952 and 1956---following the same format, theory, and mode of analysis as the original. In this new volume, the authors test the ideas and methods of the original against presidential election surveys from 2000 and 2004. Surprisingly, the contemporary American voter is found to behave politically much like voters of the 1950s.
"Simply essential. For generations, serious students of American politics have kept The American Voter right on their desk. Now, everyone will keep The American Voter Revisited right next to it."
---Larry J. Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and author of A More Perfect Constitution
"The American Voter Revisited is destined to be the definitive volume on American electoral behavior for decades. It is a timely book for 2008, with in-depth analyses of the 2000 and 2004 elections updating and extending the findings of the original The American Voter. It is also quite accessible, making it ideal for graduate students as well as advanced undergrads."
---Andrew E. Smith, Director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center
"A theoretically faithful, empirically innovative, comprehensive update of the original classic."
---Sam Popkin, Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego
Michael S. Lewis-Beck is F. Wendell Miller Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. William G. Jacoby is Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University. Helmut Norpoth is Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University. Herbert F. Weisberg is Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University.
Given the news media’s focus on national issues and debates, voters might be expected to make decisions about state and local candidates based on their views of the national parties and presidential candidates. However, nationalization as a concept, and the process by which politics becomes nationalized, are not fully understood. Are All Politics Nationalized? addresses this knowledge gap by looking at the behavior of candidates and the factors that influence voters’ electoral choices.
The editors and contributors examine the 2020 elections in six Pennsylvania districts to explore the level of nationalization in campaigns for Congress and state legislature. They also question if politicians are encouraging nationalized behavior and straight ticket voting—especially with down-ballot races.
Are All Politics Nationalized? concludes that issues specific to particular districts—such as fracking and local union politics—still matter, and candidates are eager to connect with voters by highlighting their ties to the local community. National politics do trickle down to local races, but races up and down the ballot are still heavily localized.
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