All Alabama elections are colorful, but the 1986 gubernatorial contest may trump them all for its sheer strangeness
With the retirement of an aging and ill George Wallace, both the issues and candidates contending for the office were able to set the course of Alabama politics for generations to follow. Whereas the Wallace regimes were particular to Alabama, and the gubernatorial campaign was conducted in a partial vacuum with his absence, Alabama also experienced a wave of partisan realignment. A once solidly Democratic South was undergoing a tectonic political shift as white voters in large numbers abandoned their traditional Democratic political home for the revived Republicans, a party shaped in many respects by the Wallace presidential bids of 1968 and 1972 and the Reagan revolution of the 1980s.
Alabama's own Democratic Party contributed to this massive shift with self-destructive campaign behavior that disgusted many of its traditional voters who wound up staying home or voting for a little-known Republican. From the gubernatorial election of 1986 came the shaky balance between the two parties that exists today.
After Wallace recollects and analyzes how these shifts occurred, citing extensive newspaper coverage from the time as well as personal observations and poll data collected by the authors. This volume is certain to be a valuable work for any political scientist, especially those with an interest in Alabama or southern politics.
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 camps through a merger of statistics and election experience, The American Political Landscape presents a full-scale analysis of U.S. electoral politics over the last quarter-century. It explains how factors not usually considered hard data, such as personal attitudes and preferences, interact to produce an indisputably solid result: the final tally of votes.
While pundits boil down elections to a stark choice between Democrat and Republican, Byron Shafer and Richard Spady explore the further significance of not voting at all. Voters can and do form coalitions around specific issues, so that simple party identification does not determine voter turnout or ballot choices. Deploying a method that maps political attitudes from 1984 to 2008, the authors describe an electorate in flux. As an old order organized around economic values ceded ground to a new one in which cultural values enjoy equal prominence, persisting links between social backgrounds and political values have tended to empty the ideological center while increasing the clout of the ideologically committed.
The American Voter
Angus Campbell, Philip E. Converse, Warren E. Miller, and Donald E. Stokes University of Chicago Press, 2008 Library of Congress JK1976.M5 1976 | Dewey Decimal 324.2
Here is the unabridged version of the classic theoretical study of voting behavior, originally published in 1960. It is a standard reference in the field of electoral research, presenting formulations of the theoretical issues that have been the focus of scholarly publication. No single study matches the study of The American Voter.
The American Voter Revisited
Michael S. Lewis-Beck, William G. Jacoby, Helmut Norpoth, and Herbert F. Weisberg University of Michigan Press, 2008 Library of Congress JK1967.A834 2008 | Dewey Decimal 324.60973
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.
"Jones and McDermott restore meaning to democratic responsibility by finding that public evaluations affect Congress. In contrast to the popular depiction of the representatives controlling the represented
rampant in the political science literature, Jones and McDermott show that the people are in control, determining not only the direction of policy in Congress, but also who stays, who retires, and who faces difficult reelection efforts. This book makes an important correction to our understanding of how Congress operates."
---Sean M. Theriault, University of Texas at Austin
Voters may not know the details of specific policies, but they have a general sense of how well Congress serves their own interests; and astute politicians pay attention to public approval ratings. When the majority party is unpopular, as during the 2008 election, both voters and politicians take a hand in reconfiguring the House and the Senate. Voters throw hard-line party members out of office while candidates who continue to run under the party banner distance themselves from party ideology. In this way, public approval directly affects policy shifts as well as turnovers at election time. Contrary to the common view of Congress as an insulated institution, Jones and McDermott argue that Congress is indeed responsive to the people of the United States.
David R. Jones is Professor of Political Science at Baruch College, City University of New York.
Monika L. McDermott is Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University.
America's Inequality Trap
Nathan J. Kelly University of Chicago Press, 2020 Library of Congress HC110.I5K45 2019 | Dewey Decimal 339.220973
The gap between the rich and the poor has grown dramatically in the United States and is now at its widest since at least the early 1900s. While by most measures the economy has been improving, soaring cost of living and stagnant wages have done little to assuage economic anxieties. Conditions like these seem designed to produce a generation-defining intervention to balance the economic scales and enhance opportunities for those at the middle and bottom of the country’s economic ladder—but we have seen nothing of the sort.
Nathan J. Kelly argues that a key reason for this is that rising concentrations of wealth create a politics that makes reducing economic inequality more difficult. Kelly convincingly shows that, when a small fraction of the people control most of the economic resources, they also hold a disproportionate amount of political power, hurtling us toward a self-perpetuating plutocracy, or an “inequality trap.” Among other things, the rich support a broad political campaign that convinces voters that policies to reduce inequality are unwise and not in the average voter’s interest, regardless of the real economic impact. They also take advantage of interest groups they generously support to influence Congress and the president, as well as state governments, in ways that stop or slow down reform. One of the key implications of this book is that social policies designed to combat inequality should work hand-in-hand with political reforms that enhance democratic governance and efforts to fight racism, and a coordinated effort on all of these fronts will be needed to reverse the decades-long trend.
The election year of 1948 remains to this day one of the most astonishing in U.S. political history. During this first general election after World War II, Americans looked to their governments for change. As the battle for the nation’s highest office came to a head in Illinois, the state was embroiled in its own partisan showdowns—elections that would prove critical in the course of state and national history.
In Battleground 1948, Robert E. Hartley offers the first comprehensive chronicle of this historic election year and its consequences, which still resonate today. Focusing on the races that ushered Adlai Stevenson, Paul Douglas, and Harry Truman into office—the last by the slimmest of margins—Battleground 1948 details the pivotal events that played out in the state of Illinois, from the newspaper wars in Chicago to tragedy in the mine at Centralia.
In addition to in-depth revelations on the saga of the American election machine in 1948, Hartley probes the dark underbelly of Illinois politics in the 1930s and 1940s to set the stage, spotlight key party players, and expose the behind-the-scenes influences of media, money, corruption, and crime. In doing so, he draws powerful parallels between the politics of the past and those of the present. Above all, Battleground 1948 tells the story of grassroots change writ large on the American political landscape—change that helped a nation move past an era of conflict and depression, and forever transformed Illinois and the U.S. government.
Since 1896, Ohio voters have failed to favor the next president only twice (in 1944 and 1960). Time after time, Ohio has found itself in the thick of the presidential race, and 2016 is shaping up to be no different. What about the Buckeye State makes it so special? In The Bellwether, Kyle Kondik, managing editor for the nonpartisan political forecasting newsletter Sabato’s Crystal Ball, blends data-driven research and historical documentation to explain Ohio’s remarkable record as a predictor of presidential results and why the state is essential to the 2016 election and beyond.
Part history, part journalism, this entertaining and astute guide proposes that Ohio has been the key state in the Electoral College for more than a century and examines what the idea of the swing state has come to mean. In discussing the evidence, Kondik uses the state’s oft-mentioned status as a microcosm of the nation as a case study to trace the evolution of the American electorate, and identifies which places in Ohio have the most influence on the statewide result. Finally, he delves into the answer to the question voting Ohioans consider every four years: Will their state remain a bellwether, or is their ability to pick the president on its way out?
Berlusconi's Italy provides a fresh, thoroughly-informed account of how Italy's richest man came to be its political leader. Without dismissing the importance of personalities and political parties, it emphasizes the significance of changes in voting behaviors that led to the rise-and eventual fall-of Silvio Berlusconi, the millionaire media baron who became Prime Minister. Armed with new data and new analytic tools, Michael Shin and John Agnew use recently developed methods of spatial analysis, to offer a compelling new argument about contextual re-creation and mutation. They reveal that regional politics and shifting geographical voting patterns were far more important to Berlusconi's successes than the widely-credited role of the mass media, and conclude that Berlusconi's success (and later defeat) can be best understood in geographic terms.
The dramatic transition from military to civilian rule in Brazil between 1974 and 1985 raises critical questions about voters, competitive party politics, and democracy at the end of the twentieth century.
This book argues that whereas military government stifled democratic activity, public opinion quickly revived when the military liberalized electoral politics in 1974. Voters rapidly aligned themselves with parties for and against military government, acquired new views on major issues, judged leaders by their performance and policies, and grounded their beliefs in concepts of social justice. Kurt von Mettenheim examines how Brazilian voters make choices and cast their ballots runs counter to long-held liberal theories about how democracy works.
For many of us, the presidential election of 2000 was a wake-up call. The controversy following the vote count led to demands for election reform. But the new voting systems that were subsequently introduced to the market have serious security flaws, and many are confusing and difficult to use. Moreover, legislation has not kept up with the constantly evolving voting technology, leaving little to no legal recourse when votes are improperly counted. How did we come to acquire the complex technology we now depend on to count votes? Douglas Jones and Barbara Simons probe this question, along with public policy and regulatory issues raised by our voting technologies. Broken Ballots is a thorough and incisive analysis of the current voting climate that approaches American elections from technological, legal, and historical perspectives. The authors examine the ways in which Americans vote today, gauging how inaccurate, unreliable, and insecure our voting systems are. An important book for election administrators, political scientists, and students of government and technology policy, Broken Ballots is also a vital tool for any voting American.
What is wrong with American political campaigns? How could the campaign process be improved? This volume brings the expertise of leading political scientists to the public debate about campaign reform. These scholars probe the reality behind the conventional wisdom that nasty, vacuous campaigns dominated by big money and cynical media coverage are perverting our political process and alienating our citizenry.
Some of their conclusions will be startling to campaigners and critics alike. For example, "attack" advertisements prove to be no more effective than self-promotional advertisements, but are more substantive. Indeed, candidates in their advertisements and speeches focus more on policy and less on strategy and process than any major news outlet, including the New York Times. The volume suggests that, as a result, prospective voters in 1996 knew more about the candidates' issue positions than in any presidential election in decades, yet turnout and public faith in the electoral process continued to decline.
For aspiring reformers, Bartels and his colleagues provide a bracing reality check. For students and scholars of electoral politics, political communication, and voting behavior, they provide an authoritative summary and interpretation of what we know about the nature and impact of political campaigns. The insights and evidence contained in this volume should be of interest to anyone concerned about the present state and future prospects of American electoral process.
Larry M. Bartels is Professor of Politics and Public Affairs and Stuart Professor of Communications and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University. Lynn Vavreck is Assistant Professor of Government, Dartmouth College. Other contributors are Bruce Buchanan, Tami Buhr, Ann Crigler, John G. Geer, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Marion Just, Daron R. Shaw, and John Zaller.
Canada Votes, 1935-1989
Frank Feigert Duke University Press, 1989 Library of Congress JL193.A54 1989 | Dewey Decimal 324.97106021
This work updates and enhances Howard Scarrow’s Canada Votes (1962) with complete election data from the constituency level through the province, region, and nation for more than a half-century of Canadian political life since the benchmark election of 1935. Frank Feigert adds a description of the circumstances of all the elections since, and he gives background descriptions of the electoral systems in each province and territory. The result is a compendium of data and analysis that can be found nowhere else and which will be an invaluable sourcebook for students of Canadian political behavior.
Capturing Campaign Effects
Henry E. Brady and Richard Johnston, eds. University of Michigan Press, 2006 Library of Congress JK2281.C385 2006 | Dewey Decimal 324.70973
Capturing Campaign Effects is the definitive study to date of the influence of campaigns on political culture. Comprising a broad exploration of campaign factors (debates, news coverage, advertising, and polls) and their effects (priming, learning, and persuasion), as well as an impressive survey of techniques for the collection and analysis of campaign data, Capturing Campaign Effects examines different kinds of campaigns in the U.S. and abroad and presents strong evidence for significant campaign effects.
"Capturing Campaign Effects is an accessible and penetrating account of modern scholarship on electoral politics. It draws critical insights from a range of innovative analyses."
--Arthur Lupia, University of Michigan
"What a wonderful way to usher in the new era of election studies! This book spotlights fascinating paradoxes in the literature of voting behavior, highlights many promising approaches to resolving those paradoxes, and shows how these strategies can yield important findings with terrific payoffs for our understanding of contemporary democracy. Fasten your seatbelts, folks: scholarship on elections is about to speed up thanks to this collection of great essays."
--Jon Krosnick, Stanford University
"The past decade has seen a renewed interest in understanding campaign effects. How and when do voters learn? Does the election campaign even matter at all? Capturing Campaign Effects draws on leading political scientists to address these matters. The result is a collection that will become the major reference for the study of campaigns. The lesson that emerges is that campaigns do affect voter decision making, usually for the better."
--Robert S. Erikson, Columbia University
Henry E. Brady is Class of 1941 Monroe Deutsch Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, and Director of the Survey Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
Richard Johnston is Professor and Head of Political Science and Distinguished University Scholar at the University of British Columbia.
Once a keystone of the Democratic Party, American Catholics are today helping to put Republicans in office. This book traces changes in party allegiance and voting behavior of Catholics in national elections over the course of 150 years and explains why much of the voting bloc that supported John F. Kennedy has deserted the Democratic coalition.
William B. Prendergast analyzes the relationship between Catholics and the GOP from the 1840s to 1990s. He documents a developing attachment of Catholics to Republican candidates beginning early in this century and shows that, before Kennedy, Catholics helped elect Eisenhower, returned to the polls in support of Nixon and Reagan, and voted for a Republican Congress in 1994.
To account for this shifting allegiance, Prendergast analyzes transformations in the Catholic population, the parties, and the political environment. He attributes these changes to the Americanization of immigrants, the socioeconomic and educational advancement of Catholics, and the emergence of new issues. He also cites the growth of ecumenicism, the influence of Vatican II, the abatement of Catholic-Protestant hostility, and the decline of anti-Catholicism in the Republican party.
Clearly demonstrating a Catholic move toward political independence, Prendergast's work reveals both the realignment of voters and the influence of religious beliefs in the political arena. Provocative and informative, it confirms the opinion of pollsters that no candidate can take the vote of the largest and most diverse religious group in the nation for granted.
The 2008 election was an extraordinary event that represented change at many levels. The candidates’ innovative campaigns changed how funds were raised, how voters were mobilized, and how messages were communicated through advertising and the internet. Parties and interest groups played their own important role in this historic election. In The Change Election, David Magleby assembles a team of accomplished political scientists to provide an in-depth analysis of this groundbreaking presidential election. These scholars through a set of compelling case studies examine the competition for votes in a dozen competitive House and Senate contests and for the White House in five states: Ohio, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Backed by a wealth of data, and extensive interviews, the contributors offer an up-close look at the interactions of candidates' individual skills and personalities with the larger political forces at work in the election year. The book offers insights into the rapidly evolving organizational and technical aspects of campaigning. The dramatic success Obama and other candidates had in raising money—especially from small donors—is addressed along with how money was raised and spent by the candidates, party committees, and interest groups competing for votes.
Building on a tested methodology, The Change Election explores the interplay of money and electioneering. Magleby builds on more than a decade of prior studies to show the ways participants in our electoral process have adapted to statutory and judicial decisions and how the 2008 election has the potential to transform American electoral politics.
The longest continuous majority in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives came to a dramatic close with the 1994 midterm elections. The Democratic Party had controlled the House for forty years—two and a half times as long as any previous majority. In Cheap Seats, James E. Campbell considers the reasons why the Democrats dominated House elections for four decades and why they ultimately lost that control.
Examining the structural advantages that helped congressional Democrats, Campbell finds that their unprecedented success in the House was due in no small measure to a favorable election system, an advantage in the way in which votes are translated into House seats. His straightforward analysis indicates that Democrats consistently win most of the very-low-turnout districts, or “cheap seats.” In fact, because of the party's continued hold on such districts, the new Democratic minority is considerably larger than it would otherwise have been.
Cheap Seats is a thorough and innovative investigation into the electoral system's impact on partisan politics and representation in Congress. Campbell presents an impressive array of evidence, including both quantitative analysis of election returns from 1936 to 1994 and in-depth studies of several cheap-seat districts. He also explores the important theoretical issues of representation that cheap seats raise and offers several proposals to reform the system. This well-written and provocative volume is accessible to anyone interested in American politics, in addition to scholars especially interested in the areas of Congress, elections, electoral systems, and political parties.
This is a book about elections to the European Parliament, their failure to legitimate and control the exercise of power in the European Union, and the consequences of this failure for domestic politics in EU member states. It also sheds new light on why voters behave the way they do. The authors examine the 1989 Europe-wide elections with the aid of large-scale surveys fielded in all twelve member countries of the (then) European Community--placing European citizens within their institutional, political, economic, and social contexts. In particular, because three countries held national elections concurrently with the 1989 European elections, the study controls for the presence or absence of a national election context--permitting the authors to investigate electoral behavior in general, not just at European elections. Looking at such behavior while taking account of the strategic contexts within which elections are held has yielded new insights about turnout and party choice, while clarifying the crisis of legitimacy that faces the European Union. The more recent Europe-wide elections of 1994 are used to validate the findings.
This book will be of interest to political scientists interested in elections, the European Union, comparative politics, and political development.
Robert C. Post Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress KF4920.P67 2014 | Dewey Decimal 342.73078
First Amendment defenders greeted the Court's Citizens United ruling with enthusiasm, while electoral reformers recoiled in disbelief. Robert Post offers a constitutional theory that seeks to reconcile these sharply divided camps, and he explains how the case might have been decided in a way that would preserve free speech and electoral integrity.
This is the latest in the At the Polls series, in which Duke University Press has joined with the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research to publish studies on the electoral process as it functions around the world. Cited by Choice for its "high standard of scholarly analysis and objectivity," the series provides both a chronicle of events and a thorough analysis of the election results.
Many countries have experimented with different electoral rules in order either to increase involvement in the political system or make it easier to form stable governments. Barry Ames explores this important topic in one of the world's most populous and important democracies, Brazil. This book locates one of the sources of Brazil's "crisis of governance" in the nation's unique electoral system, a system that produces a multiplicity of weak parties and individualistic, pork-oriented politicians with little accountability to citizens. It explains the government's difficulties in adopting innovative policies by examining electoral rules, cabinet formation, executive-legislative conflict, party discipline and legislative negotiation.
The book combines extensive use of new sources of data, ranging from historical and demographic analysis in focused comparisons of individual states to unique sources of data for the exploration of legislative politics. The discussion of party discipline in the Chamber of Deputies is the first multivariate model of party cooperation or defection in Latin America that includes measures of such important phenomena as constituency effects, pork-barrel receipts, ideology, electoral insecurity, and intention to seek reelection. With a unique data set and a sophisticated application of rational choice theory, Barry Ames demonstrates the effect of different electoral rules for election to Brazil's legislature.
The readership of this book includes anyone wanting to understand the crisis of democratic politics in Brazil. The book will be especially useful to scholars and students in the areas of comparative politics, Latin American politics, electoral analysis, and legislative studies.
Barry Ames is the Andrew Mellon Professor of Comparative Politics and Chair, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh.
Referenda on important public policy questions have come to play a central role in policy making in many states. Referenda, or ballot propositions, have resulted in limits on taxation and limits on the number of terms of elected officials, and have dealt with bilingual education, campaign finances, and affirmative action, in states all over the country.
Shaun Bowler and Todd Donovan present a searching and original examination of how voters make decisions in direct referenda. The authors ask if voters have some information about the issue easily at their disposal and if they make choices that seem sensible given their interests and the information they have. Looking at the way voters respond to different kinds of questions, the authors suggest that while direct democracy has its failings, the flaws do not necessarily lie with citizens being "duped," nor with voters approving propositions they do not want or do not understand at some basic level.
As cynicism about government has increased many have sought to take policy questions out of the hands of elected officials and put the questions directly before the voters for decision. And yet many are skeptical about the ability of voters to make intelligent decisions about complex policy issues. This important book demonstrates that voters are capable of responding thoughtfully to referenda questions.
This book will appeal to students of contemporary American politics and electoral politics.
Shaun Bowler is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California at Irvine. Todd Donovan is Associate Professor of Political Science, Western Washington University.
Does a government’s fate at the ballot box hinge on the state of the economy? Is it inflation, unemployment, or income that makes the difference? What triggers economic voting for or against the incumbent – do voters look at their pocketbooks, or at the national accounts? Do economic voters “punish” rulers for bad times, but fail to “reward” them for the good times? Are voter’s judgments based on past economic performance or future policy promises? These are some of the questions considered by Michael Lewis-Beck in this major cross-national study of the effect of economic conditions on voting behavior in the Western European democracies and the United States.
Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez was the first anti-neoliberal presidential candidate to win in the region. Electing Chávez examines the circumstances that facilitated this pivotal election. By 1998, Venezuela had been rocked by two major scandals—the exchange rate incidents of the 1980s and the banking crisis of 1994—and had suffered rising social inequality. These events created a deep-seated distrust of establishment politicians. Chávez’s 1998 victory, however, was far from inevitable. Other presidential candidates also stood against corruption and promised a clean break from politics as usual. Moreover, business opposition to Chávez’s anti-neoliberal candidacy should have convinced voters that his victory would provoke a downward economic spiral.
In Electing Chávez, Leslie C. Gates examines how Chávez won over voters and even obtained the secret allegiance of a group of business “elite outliers,” with a reinterpretation of the relationship between business and the state during Venezuela’s era of two-party dominance (1959-1998). Through extensive research on corruption and the backgrounds of political leaders.
Gates tracks the rise of business-related corruption scandals and documents how business became identified with Venezuela’s political establishment. These trends undermined the public’s trust in business and converted business opposition into an asset for Chávez. This long history of business-tied politicians and the scandals they often provoked also framed the decisions of elite outliers. As Gates reveals, elite outliers supported Chávez despite his anti-neoliberal stance because they feared that the success of Chávez’s main rival would deny them access to Venezuela’s powerful oil state.
The Single Transferable Vote, or STV, is often seen in very positive terms by electoral reformers, yet relatively little is known about its actual workings beyond one or two specific settings. This book gathers leading experts on STV from around the world to discuss the examples they know best, and represents the first systematic cross-national study of STV. Furthermore, the contributors collectively build an understanding of electoral systems as institutions embedded within a wider social and political context, and begins to explain the gap between analytical models and the actual practice of elections in Australia, Ireland, and Malta. Rather than seeing electoral institutions in purely mechanical terms, the collection of essays in this volume shows that the effects of electoral system may be contingent rather than automatic. On the basis of solid empirical evidence, the volume argues that the same political system can, in fact, have quite different effects under different conditions.
Contributors to the volume are Shaun Bowler, David Farrell, Michael Gallagher, Bernard Grofman, Wolfgang Hirczy, Colin Hughes, J. Paul Johnston, Michael Laver, Malcom Mackerras, Michael Maley, Michael Marsh, Ian McAllister, and Ben Reilly.
Shaun Bowler is Professor of Political Science, University of California, Riverside. Bernard Grofman is Professor of Political Science, University of California, Irvine.
In recent years there has been a marked resurgence of interest in the effects of electoral laws on important aspects of politics such as party competition. In this volume, a distinguished group of scholars looks at the impact of one set of electoral rules--the single non-transferable vote--on electoral competition in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Under this plan citizens are allowed one vote even though there is more than one seat to be filled. In comparative studies of the adoption and rejection of the single nontransferable vote and the consequences of its use across different settings, the contributors explore the differences in the operation and effects of the application of the same rule in different countries. Arguing that any single feature of a political system is embedded in a political structure and cannot be understood in isolation, the authors demonstrate how the same rule can have different consequences depending on the context in which it operates. The contributors offer fresh insights into the comparative study of political institutions as well as into the operation of particular electoral rules.
In addition to the editors, the contributors include Kathleen Bawn, John Boland, Jean-Marie Bouissou, Gary Cox, John Fu-Sheng Hsieh, Arend Lijphart, Emerson Niou, Steven R. Reed, and Frances Rosenbluth, among others.
Bernard Grofman is Professor of Political Science, University of California at Irvine. Edwin A. Winckler is at the East Asian Institute, Columbia University. Brian Woodall is Assistant Professor in the School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology. Sung-Chull Lee is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California at Irvine.
Michael B. MacKuen and George Rabinowitz, Editors University of Michigan Press, 2003 Library of Congress JK1976.E386 2003 | Dewey Decimal 324.973
Electoral Democracy pushes the boundaries of our current understanding of democratic politics and government. Some of the most distinguished scholars in the discipline were asked to write about a topic of continuing interest to their ongoing research programs. The fruit of their efforts incorporates the best of contemporary work on public opinion and democracy. Taking different perspectives, the authors assess the nature of citizens' political beliefs and values and then consider the ways that those views connect with elite policy-making. The combined set of essays provides the reader a good view of current research, suggests novel theoretical advances, and in the end invites a renewed interest in the quality and durability of electoral democracy.
Michael B. MacKuen is Burton Craige Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina. George Rabinowitz is Burton Craige Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina.
How do politicians win elected office in Indonesia? To find out, research teams fanned out across the country prior to Indonesia’s 2014 legislative election to record campaign events, interview candidates and canvassers, and observe their interactions with voters. They found that at the grassroots political parties are less important than personal campaign teams and vote brokers who reach out to voters through a wide range of networks associated with religion, ethnicity, kinship, micro enterprises, sports clubs and voluntary groups of all sorts. Above all, candidates distribute patronage—cash, goods and other material benefits—to individual voters and to communities. Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia brings to light the scale and complexity of vote buying and the many uncertainties involved in this style of politics, providing an unusually intimate portrait of politics in a patronage-based system.
Electoral Incentives in Congress
Jamie L. Carson and Joel Sievert University of Michigan Press, 2018 Library of Congress JK1021.C368 2018 | Dewey Decimal 324.97305
David Mayhew’s 1974 thesis on the “electoral connection” and its impact on legislative behavior is the theoretical foundation for research on the modern U.S. Congress. Mayhew contends that once in office, legislators pursue the actions that put them in the best position for reelection. Carson and Sievert examine how electoral incentives shaped legislative behavior throughout the nineteenth century by looking at patterns of turnover in Congress; the renomination of candidates; the roles of parties in recruiting candidates and their broader effects on candidate competition; and, finally by examining legislators’ accountability. The results have wide-ranging implications for the evolution of Congress and the development of legislative institutions over time.
When and why do democratic political actors change the electoral rules, particularly regarding who is included in a country’s political representation? The incidences of these major electoral reforms have been on the rise since 1980.
Electoral Reform and the Fate of New Democracies argues that elite inexperience may constrain self-interest and lead elites to undertake incremental approaches to reform, aiding the process of democratic consolidation. Using a multimethods approach, the book examines three consecutive periods of reform in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim majority country and third largest democracy, between 1999 and 2014. Each case study provides an in-depth process tracing of the negotiations leading to new reforms, including key actors in the legislature, domestic civil society, international experts, and government bureaucrats. A series of counterfactual analyses assess the impact the reforms had on actual election outcomes, versus the possible alternative outcomes of different reform options discussed during negotiations. With a comparative analysis of nine cases of iterated reform processes in other new democracies, the book confirms the lessons from the Indonesian case and highlights key lessons for scholars and electoral engineers.
Voters simultaneously choose among candidates running for different offices, with different terms, and occupying different places in the Constitutional order. Conventional wisdom holds that these overlapping institutional differences make comparative electoral research difficult, if not impossible. Paul Gronke's path-breaking study compares electoral contexts, campaigns, and voter decision-making in House and Senate elections. Gronke's book offers new insights into how differences--and similarities--across offices structure American elections.
Congressional elections research holds that Senate races are more competitive than House contests because states are more heterogeneous, or because candidates are more prominent and raise more money, or because voters have fundamentally different expectations. Because House and Senate contests are seldom compared, we have little empirical evidence to test the various hypotheses about how voters make choices for different offices. Gronke finds that the similarities between House and Senate elections are much greater than previously thought and that voters make their decisions in both races on the same bases.
Gronke first looks at differences in congressional districts and states, showing that context does not really help us understand why Senate elections feature better candidates, higher spending, and closer outcomes. Next, he turns to campaigns. Surprisingly, over a turbulent twenty-year period, House and Senate candidacies have retained the same competitive dynamics.
Gronke also considers voting behavior in House and Senate elections. Focusing on the 1988 and 1990 elections, he argues that voters do not distinguish between institutions, applying fundamentally the same decision rule, regardless of the office being contested. Gronke closes by considering the implications of his results for the way we relate settings, electoral dynamics, and institutional arrangements.
This book will appeal to those interested in Congress, political campaigning, and voting.
Paul Gronke is Associate Professor of Political Science at Reed College.
The advantage incumbent members of Congress hold over their opponents in campaigns for office has steadily grown over the past five decades. While students of congressional politics have analyzed the effect of this advantage on members' behavior in office, little is known of its effect on their opponents. Sitting members of the House frequently face underfinanced and obscure challengers. Conventional theories of electoral competition assume that the only hope those candidates have of even coming close to making such an election competitive is to align their policy positions as closely as possible to those of the median voter. Yet challengers to incumbents often run on quite extreme position platforms. In the majority of these uncompetitive races, Robert G. Boatright explains, a new type of politics is emerging—a politics of expressive campaigning, where challengers seek to use their campaigns as a platform for their own views and as a means of helping their party achieve goals other than winning the election at hand.
This research makes two types of contributions to existing political science literature. On a theoretical level, it argues for a reconceptualization of the motives of candidates and parties in rational choice analysis. On a practical level, it seeks to enrich our understanding of the role that challengers play in American elections and of the reason why different types of challengers emerge in different types of elections. Boatright argues that the role of challengers in the American electoral process can be understood only if we broaden our theories about rational candidate behavior.
In a democracy, we generally assume that voters know the policies they prefer and elect like-minded officials who are responsible for carrying them out. We also assume that voters consider candidates' competence, honesty, and other performance-related traits. But does this actually happen? Do voters consider candidates’ policy positions when deciding for whom to vote? And how do politicians’ performances in office factor into the voting decision?
In Follow the Leader?, Gabriel S. Lenz sheds light on these central questions of democratic thought. Lenz looks at citizens’ views of candidates both before and after periods of political upheaval, including campaigns, wars, natural disasters, and episodes of economic boom and bust. Noting important shifts in voters’ knowledge and preferences as a result of these events, he finds that, while citizens do assess politicians based on their performance, their policy positions actually matter much less. Even when a policy issue becomes highly prominent, voters rarely shift their votes to the politician whose position best agrees with their own. In fact, Lenz shows, the reverse often takes place: citizens first pick a politician and then adopt that politician’s policy views. In other words, they follow the leader.
Based on data drawn from multiple countries, Follow the Leader? is the most definitive treatment to date of when and why policy and performance matter at the voting booth, and it will break new ground in the debates about democracy.
At the Polls is a series of national election studies prepared by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy and Research. Books in the series include volumes on some thirty national democratic elections around the world. Distinguished foreign and American scholars have contributed to the studies.
This volume provides systematic information on the campaigns, political parties, and results of the Bundestag elections of 1980, 1983, and 1987. It explores the issues between elections in addition to providing an overview of the campaigns and an analysis of the three election results. The contributors examine the various parties involved—the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union, the Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party, and the Greens. They also analyze the role of the media in the 1980 and 1983 campaigns. Cerny concludes with a general assessment of the wider significance of the three elections for the West German political system.
Contributors. Kendall L. Baker, Karl H. Cerny, David P. Conradt, Arthur B. Gunlicks, Alice McGillivray, Peter H. Merkl, Ferdinand Muller-Rommel, Helmut Norpoth, Richard M. Scammon, Donald Schoonmaker, Christian Soe
Each of the past few election cycles has featured at least one instance of "primarying," a challenge to an incumbent on the grounds that he or she is not sufficiently partisan. For many observers, such races signify an increasingly polarized electorate and an increasing threat to moderates of both parties.
In Getting Primaried, Robert G. Boatright shows that primary challenges are not becoming more frequent; they wax and wane in accordance with partisan turnover in Congress. The recent rise of primarying corresponds to the rise of national fundraising bases and new types of partisan organizations supporting candidates around the country. National fundraising efforts and interest group–supported primary challenges have garnered media attention disproportionate to their success in winning elections. Such challenges can work only if groups focus on a small number of incumbents.
Getting Primaried makes several key contributions to congressional scholarship. It presents a history of congressional primary challenges over the past forty years, measuring the frequency of competitive challenges and distinguishing among types of challenges. It provides a correction to accounts of the link between primary competition and political polarization. Further, this study offers a new theoretical understanding of the role of interest groups in congressional elections.
During the first eight scorching days of August in 1932, U.S. Senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana campaigned in Arkansas for the election of Hattie Caraway to the U.S. Senate. Caraway easily defeated six well-known opponents in a race she was not expected to win and became the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate. This volume is a textbook of politics and a sweeping picture of the Great Depression, as if those perilous times had been compressed into a week and a day. It is a fascinating look at two extremely different people caught briefly in a common purpose.
Horses In Midstream
Andrew E Busch University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999 Library of Congress JK1976.B85 1999 | Dewey Decimal 324.973092
Horses in Midstream breaks the mold of midterm election literature by focusing on the consequences of midterm elections rather than on the causes of the anti-administration pattern of those elections. The book concludes that the midterm pattern has two primary consequences: it stymies the President and provides an opportunity for the revitalization of the opposition party—and that numerical losses by the President's party is really only a small part of the equation. Consequently, midterm elections can be considered an additional check in the U.S. political system, acting as a mechanism that helps to assure rough two party balance.
In examining the historical results from midterm elections dating back to 1894 and extending to the surprising result of 1994 and 1998, Busch has uncovered seven consistent ways in which the president and his party are harmed by midterm elections. These elections unfavorably alter the composition of congress, both between the parties and within the President's own party; they deprive the President of the plebiscitary power derived from his original electoral mandate; they give an intangible sense of momentum to the opposition party, leading to renewed opportunities for the opposition to put forward new leaders and to develop winning issues; they exacerbate splits within the President's own party; and they provide the opposition party with expanded party-building opportunities at the state level. Busch also places the midterm elections into four categories: "preparatory" midterms, which contribute to a subsequent change in party control of the Presidency; "calibrating" midterms in which voters slow but do not reverse extraordinary periods of Presidentially-driven change; "normal" midterms when midterm elections stymie the President without contributing to a White House takeover; and the rare "creative exceptions" when an administration escapes the midterm curse at the polls and find themselves invigorated rather than weakened. Busch's new approach to midterm elections, his well supported conclusions, and his clear, consistent style will certainly be of interest to political scientists and will translate well to the classroom.
The United States routinely has one of the lowest voter turnout rates of any developed democracy in the world. That rate is also among the most internally diverse, since the federal structure allows state-level variations in voting institutions that have had—and continue to have—sizable local effects. But are expansive institutional efforts like mail-in registration, longer poll hours, and “no-excuse” absentee voting uniformly effective in improving voter turnout across states?
With How the States Shaped the Nation, Melanie Jean Springer places contemporary reforms in historical context and systematically explores how state electoral institutions have been instrumental in shaping voting behavior throughout the twentieth century. Although reformers often assume that more convenient voting procedures will produce equivalent effects wherever they are implemented, Springer reveals that this is not the case. In fact, convenience-voting methods have had almost no effect in the southern states where turnout rates are lowest. In contrast, the adverse effects associated with restrictive institutions like poll taxes and literacy tests have been persistent and dramatic. Ultimately, Springer argues, no single institutional fix will uniformly resolve problems of low or unequal participation. If we want to reliably increase national voter turnout rates, we must explore how states’ voting histories differ and better understand the role of political and geographical context in shaping institutional effects.
There is no unified theory that can explain both voter choice and where choices come from. Hinich and Munger fill that gap with their model of political communication based on ideology.
Rather than beginning with voters and diffuse, atomistic preferences, Hinich and Munger explore why large groups of voters share preference profiles, why they consider themselves "liberals" or "conservatives." The reasons, they argue, lie in the twin problems of communication and commitment that politicians face. Voters, overloaded with information, ignore specific platform positions. Parties and candidates therefore communicate through simple statements of goals, analogies, and by invoking political symbols. But politicians must also commit to pursuing the actions implied by these analogies and symbols. Commitment requires that ideologies be used consistently, particularly when it is not in the party's short-run interest.
The model Hinich and Munger develop accounts for the choices of voters, the goals of politicians, and the interests of contributors. It is an important addition to political science and essential reading for all in that discipline.
"Hinich and Munger's study of ideology and the theory of political choice is a pioneering effort to integrate ideology into formal political theory. It is a major step in directing attention toward the way in which ideology influences the nature of political choices." --Douglass C. North
". . . represents a significant contribution to the literature on elections, voting behavior, and social choice." --Policy Currents
Melvin Hinich is Professor of Government, University of Texas. Michael C. Munger is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina.
The golden democratic tradition
of an informed and involved electorate freely and rationally choosing its public
officials seems to be at odds with American political reality. Thus the questions:
On what basis do people vote and form opinions? How does the lack of information
at the individual level affect system performance? In this collection twenty-six
distinguished political scientists discuss, debate, and define the relationship
between information and the democracy it supposedly serves. The contributors
address both the empirical and normative aspects of governing in the United
States, employing psychological, sociological, and economic perspectives.
Information and Elections
R. Michael Alvarez University of Michigan Press, 1998 Library of Congress JK528.A64 1998 | Dewey Decimal 324.973092
R. Michael Alvarez examines how voters make their decisions in presidential elections. He begins with the assumption that voters have neither the incentive nor the inclination to be well-informed about politics and presidential candidates. Candidates themselves have incentives to provide ambiguous information about themselves, their records and their issue positions. Yet the author shows that a tremendous amount of information is made available about presidential candidates. And he uncovers clear and striking evidence that people are not likely to vote for candidates about whom they know very little. Alvarez explores how voters learn about candidates through the course of a campaign. He provides a detailed analysis of the media coverage of presidential campaigns and shows that there is a tremendous amount of media coverage of these campaigns, that much of this coverage is about issues and is informative, and that voters learn from this coverage.
The paperback edition of this work has been updated to include information on the 1996 Presidential election.
Information and Elections is a book that will be read by all who are interested in campaigns and electoral behavior in presidential and other elections.
"Thoughtfully conceptualized, painstakingly analyzed, with empirically significant conclusions on presidential election voting behavior, this book is recommended for both upper-division undergraduate and graduate collections." --Choice
R. Michael Alvarez is Associate Professor of Political Science, California Institute of Technology.
As Democrats and Republicans continue to vie for political advantage, Congress remains paralyzed by partisan conflict. That the last two decades have seen some of the least productive Congresses in recent history is usually explained by the growing ideological gulf between the parties, but this explanation misses another fundamental factor influencing the dynamic. In contrast to politics through most of the twentieth century, the contemporary Democratic and Republican parties compete for control of Congress at relative parity, and this has dramatically changed the parties’ incentives and strategies in ways that have driven the contentious partisanship characteristic of contemporary American politics.
With Insecure Majorities, Frances E. Lee offers a controversial new perspective on the rise of congressional party conflict, showing how the shift in competitive circumstances has had a profound impact on how Democrats and Republicans interact. For nearly half a century, Democrats were the majority party, usually maintaining control of the presidency, the House, and the Senate. Republicans did not stand much chance of winning majority status, and Democrats could not conceive of losing it. Under such uncompetitive conditions, scant collective action was exerted by either party toward building or preserving a majority. Beginning in the 1980s, that changed, and most elections since have offered the prospect of a change of party control. Lee shows, through an impressive range of interviews and analysis, how competition for control of the government drives members of both parties to participate in actions that promote their own party’s image and undercut that of the opposition, including the perpetual hunt for issues that can score political points by putting the opposing party on the wrong side of public opinion. More often than not, this strategy stands in the way of productive bipartisan cooperation—and it is also unlikely to change as long as control of the government remains within reach for both parties.
Ireland at the Polls, 1981, 1982, and 1987: A Study of four General Elections is another in the series of national election studies prepared by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI). Books in the series include volumes on some thirty national democratic elections around the world. Distinguished foreign and American scholars have contributed to the studies.
In this book of the At the Polls series, Duke University Press has joined with the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research to publish studies on the electoral process as it functions around the world. Cited by Choice for it's "high standards of scholarly analysis and objectivity", At the Polls provides both a chronicle of events and a thorough analysis of the elections results.
The 2000 election showed that the mechanics of voting such as ballot design, can make a critical difference in the accuracy and fairness of our elections. But as Dennis F. Thompson shows, even more fundamental issues must be addressed to insure that our electoral system is just.
Thompson argues that three central democratic principles—equal respect, free choice, and popular sovereignty—underlie our electoral institutions, and should inform any assessment of the justice of elections. Although we may all endorse these principles in theory, Thompson shows that in practice we disagree about their meaning and application. He shows how they create conflicts among basic values across a broad spectrum of electoral controversies, from disagreements about term limits and primaries to disputes about recounts and presidential electors.
To create a fair electoral system, Thompson argues, we must deliberate together about these principles and take greater control of the procedures that govern our elections. He demonstrates how applying the principles of justice to electoral practices can help us answer questions that our electoral system poses: Should race count in redistricting? Should the media call elections before the polls close? How should we limit the power of money in elections?
Accessible and wide ranging, Just Elections masterfully weaves together the philosophical, legal, and political aspects of the electoral process. Anyone who wants to understand the deeper issues at stake in American elections and the consequences that follow them will need to read it.
In answering these and other questions, Thompson examines the arguments that citizens and their representatives actually use in political forums, congressional debates and hearings, state legislative proceedings, and meetings of commissions and local councils. In addition, the book draws on a broad range of literature: democratic theory, including writings by Madison, Hamilton, and Tocqueville, and contemporary philosophers, as well as recent studies in political science, and work in election law.
Latin American Elections: Choice and Change
Richard Nadeau, Éric Bélanger, Michael S. Lewis-Beck, Mathieu Turgeon, and François Gélineau University of Michigan Press, 2017 Library of Congress JL968.N34 2017 | Dewey Decimal 324.98
The Michigan model, named after the institution where it was first articulated, has been used to explain voting behavior in North American and Western European democracies. In Latin American Elections, experts on Latin America join with experts on electoral studies to evaluate the model’s applicability in this region. Analyzing data from the AmericasBarometer, a scientific public opinion survey carried out in 18 Latin American nations from 2008 to 2012, the authors find that, like democratic voters elsewhere, Latin Americans respond to long-term forces, such as social class, political party ties, and political ideology while also paying attention to short-term issues, such as the economy, crime, corruption. Of course, Latin Americans differ from other Americans, and among themselves. Voters who have experienced left-wing populism may favor government curbs on freedom of expression, for example, while voters enduring high levels of economic deprivation or instability tend to vote against the party in power.
The authors thus conclude that, to a surprising extent, the Michigan model offers a powerful explanatory model for voting behavior in Latin America.
In this volume, experts on Latin American public opinion and political behavior employ region-wide public opinion studies, elite surveys, experiments, and advanced statistical methods to reach several key conclusions about voting behavior in the region’s emerging democracies. In Latin America, to varying degrees the average voter grounds his or her decision in factors identified in classic models of voter choice. Individuals are motivated to go to the polls and select elected officials on the basis of class, religion, gender, ethnicity and other demographic factors; substantive political connections including partisanship, left-right stances, and policy preferences; and politician performance in areas like the economy, corruption, and crime.
Yet evidence from Latin America shows that the determinants of voter choice cannot be properly understood without reference to context—the substance (specific cleavages, campaigns, performance) and the structure (fragmentation and polarization) that characterize the political environment. Voting behavior reflects the relative youth and fluidity of the region’s party systems, as parties emerge and splinter to a far greater degree than in long-standing party systems. Consequently, explanations of voter choice centered around country differences stand on equal footing to explanations focused on individual-level factors.
Historically, Nicaragua has been mired in poverty and political conflict, yet the country has become a model for the successful emergence of democracy in a developing nation. Learning Democracy tells the story of how Nicaragua overcame an authoritarian government and American interventionism by engaging in an electoral revolution that solidified its democratic self-governance.
By analyzing nationwide surveys conducted during the 1990, 1996, and 2001 Nicaraguan presidential elections, Leslie E. Anderson and Lawrence C. Dodd provide insight into one of the most unexpected and intriguing recent advancements in third world politics. They offer a balanced account of the voting patterns and forward-thinking decisions that led Nicaraguans to first support the reformist Sandinista revolutionaries only to replace them with a conservative democratic regime a few years later. Addressing issues largely unexamined in Latin American studies, Learning Democracy is a unique and probing look at how the country's mass electorate moved beyond revolutionary struggle to establish a more stable democratic government by realizing the vital role of citizens in democratization processes.
Most research on two-party elections has considered the outcome as a single, dichotomous event: either one or the other party wins. In this groundbreaking book, James Fowler and Oleg Smirnov investigate not just who wins, but by how much, and they marshal compelling evidence that mandates-in the form of margin of victory-matter. Using theoretical models, computer simulation, carefully designed experiments, and empirical data, the authors show that after an election the policy positions of both parties move in the direction preferred by the winning party-and they move even more if the victory is large. In addition, Fowler and Smirnov not only show that the divergence between the policy positions of the parties is greatest when the previous election was close, but also that policy positions are further influenced by electoral volatility and ideological polarization.
This pioneering book will be of particular interest to political scientists, game theoreticians, and other scholars who study voting behavior and its short-term and long-range effects on public policy.
Voters do not always choose their preferred candidate on election day. Often they cast their ballots to prevent a particular outcome, as when their own preferred candidate has no hope of winning and they want to prevent another, undesirable candidate’s victory; or, they vote to promote a single-party majority in parliamentary systems, when their own candidate is from a party that has no hope of winning. In their thought-provoking book The Many Faces of Strategic Voting, Laura B. Stephenson, John H. Aldrich, and André Blais first provide a conceptual framework for understanding why people vote strategically, and what the differences are between sincere and strategic voting behaviors. Expert contributors then explore the many facets of strategic voting through case studies in Great Britain, Spain, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and the European Union.
Reformers have promoted mixed-member electoral systems as the “best of both worlds.” In this volume, internationally recognized political scientists evaluate the ways in which the introduction of a mixed-member electoral system affects the configuration of political parties. The contributors examine several political phenomena, including cabinet post allocation, nominations, preelectoral coalitions, split-ticket voting, and the size of party systems and faction systems. Significantly, they also consider various ways in which the constitutional system—especially whether the head of government is elected directly or indirectly—can modify the incentives created by the electoral system.
The findings presented here demonstrate that the success of electoral reform depends not only on the specification of new electoral rules per se but also on the political context—and especially the constitutional framework—within which such rules are embedded.
This book uses the Kenyan political system to address issues relevant to recent political developments throughout Africa.
The authors analyze the construction of the Moi state since 1978. They show the marginalization of Kikuyu interests as the political economy of Kenya has been reconstructed to benefit President Moi’s Kalenjin people and their allies. Mounting Kikuyu dissatisfaction led to the growth of demands for multi-party democracy.
The book places contemporary Kenyan politics and the 1992 election in their historical context, contrasting the present multi-party era with the previous one during the sixties.
The authors question the hopes for a “second independence” in Africa by demonstrating the problems faced by fledgling opposition parties in weak civil societies.
How important are local newspapers for disseminating information during election campaigns? A large body of literature theorizes that they should have very little effect on political behavior since the electorate is largely immune to any media influence. To what lengths would the average citizen go to obtain information about candidates should a media source suddenly be suspended during an election? Most of the literature argues that the average citizen would not seek out any additional information to supplement what they passively acquire. A newspaper strike in Pittsburgh during the 1992 elections afforded Jeffery J. Mondak an unparalleled opportunity to test these assumptions--and to prove them both wrong.
Nothing to Read compares the information gathering and voting behavior of residents in Pittsburgh and Cleveland during the 1992 campaign season. Comparable in demographics and political behavior, the only significant difference between the two cities was the availability of local newspapers. Using a research design that combines elements of the opinion survey and the laboratory experiment, the author exploited this situation to produce an unusually sound and thorough examination of media effects on voters.
The results are startling. First and foremost, Nothing to Read reasserts the role of the newspaper in the dissemination of information acquisition. It is the only media source that can rival television in the electoral arena, and it is often more important to voters as a source for local information, including information about U.S. House races. Nothing to Read also shows that voters are more active in seeking out information than typically postulated. Indeed, many voters even differentiate between media sources for information about Senate and House contests and sources for the presidential campaign. Within limits, the electorate is clearly not a passive news audience. Nothing to Read provides a wealth of information on such related topics as the relationship between partisanship and media influence, the interplay between media exposure and interpersonal political conversations and other social interaction, and newspapers' effect on coattail voting. A unique book, Mondak's important study lays a solid foundation for all future work on the relationship between American media and politics.
Jeffery J. Mondak is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh.
Out and Running is the first systematic analysis of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) political representation that explores the dynamics of state legislative campaigns and the influence of lesbian and gay legislators in the state policymaking process. By examining state legislative elections from 1992 to 2006 and state policymaking from 1992 to 2009, Donald Haider-Markel suggests that the LGBT community can overcome hurdles and win elections; and, once in office, these officials can play a critical role in the policy representation of the community.
However, he also discovers that there are limits to where and when LGBT candidates can run for office and that, while their presence in office often enhances policy representation, it can also create backlash. But even with some of these negative consequences, Out and Running provides compelling evidence that gays and lesbians are more likely to see beneficial legislation pass by increasing the number of LGBT state legislators. Indeed, grassroots politics in the states may allow the LGBT community its best opportunity for achieving its policy goals.
Although Greece acquired the formal institutions of liberal constitutional democracy early in her independent history, her politics have been characterized by clientelism, instability and frequent military intervention. The most blatant instance of 'praetorianism' was the military dictatorship of 1967-74. Yet in the years since the Colonels' downfall, the political system appears to have acquired a new legitimacy. Although many features of the 'old' politics remain, recent years have seen the collapse of the traditional centre and the emergence of new political formations, reflecting the rapid pace of post-war socio-economic change. And 1981 saw the election by a convincing majority of a socialist government, the first ever in Greece, committed to radical domestic transformation and to a major reorientation of external relations.
The unprecedented geographic and socioeconomic mobility of twentieth-century America was accompanied by a major reshuffling of political support in many parts of the country. Yet at the dawn of the new century these local and regional movements are still poorly understood. How can we account for persistent political regionalism and the sectional changes that have radically altered the nation's political landscape, from the Sun Belt to the Rust Belt? Patchwork Nation retrieves this lost knowledge, restoring geography to its central role in our nation's political behavior.
"A primer on the importance of regional identity in the electoral system. ... [A]nyone interested in learning more about how America's diversity drives its political systems would do well to take a spin through Patchwork Nation."
---Meg Kinnard, NationalJournal.com
"Location, location, location. What matters in politics is not just who the voters are, but where they are. Just ask Al Gore. Or read this book, a compelling demonstration that geography is often destiny."
---Bill Schneider, Senior Political Analyst, CNN
"This accessible and well-written book challenges us to reflect on the role that political context plays in shaping the vote. By tracing how regional politics evolves over time within and across states, Gimpel and Schuknecht have revived the important but often neglected field of political geography."
---Donald Green, Yale University
"In the spirit of V. O. Key, Gimpel and Schuknecht make a fundamental contribution. They demonstrate that states and regions are not simply important as units of aggregation, but rather as complex political arenas with profound consequences for processes of democratic politics both within and beyond their boundaries."
---Robert Huckfeldt, University of California, Davis
Should the surprisingly successful outcomes achieved by outsider candidates in Philadelphia elections be interpreted as representing fundamental changes in the local political environment, or simply as one-off victories, based largely on serendipitous circumstances that advanced individual political careers? John Kromer’s insightful Philadelphia Battlefields considers key local campaigns undertaken from 1951 to 2019 that were extraordinarily successful despite the opposition of the city’s political establishment.
Kromer draws on election data and data-mapping tools that explain these upset elections as well as the social, economic, and demographic trends that influenced them to tell the story of why these campaign strategies were successful. He deftly analyzes urban political dynamics through case studies of newcomer Rebecca Rhynhart’s landslide victory over a veteran incumbent for Philadelphia City Controller; activist Chaka Fattah’s effective use of grassroots organizing skills to win a seat in Congress; and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez’s hard-fought struggle to become the first Hispanic woman to win a City Council seat, among others.
Philadelphia Battlefields shows how these candidates’ efforts to increase civic engagement, improve municipal governance, and become part of a new generation of political leadership at the local and state level were critical to their successes.
Campaign consultants are arguably now as famous in the United States as the politicians themselves. During the past decade, those who know the names Bill Clinton, George Bush, Newt Gingrich, and Christine Todd Whitman also recognize the names James Carville, Mary Matalin, Frank Luntz, and Ed Rollins. Professional consultants, once part of the privileged inner circle of presidential and gubernatorial candidates, are increasingly found at all levels of politics. Indeed, more than half of congressional candidates hire campaign consultants. These professional have become as important to a candidate's success as money. In this innovative study, Stephen K. Medvic explores all aspects of political consultancy and develops an empirically based theory that ensures the impact consultants have on elections.
Political Consultants in U.S. Congressional Elections answers two simple questions: What do professional political consultants do? and How successful are they? Medvic analyzes the way consultants shape political dialogue and uses empirical data to show the benefits—and limits—of a consultant's involvement in a campaign. He focuses on issues as diverse as vote shares, outcomes, and fundraising. Finally, the author demonstrates how the adversarial nature of campaigns fosters the kind of electioneering advocated by most political consultants and argues that this process may not be as harmful for the country as is often suggested.
Of the many groundbreaking developments in the 2008 presidential election, the most important may well be the use of the Internet. In Politicking Online contributors explorethe impact of technology for electioneering purposes, from running campaigns andincreasing representation to ultimately strengthening democracy. The book reveals how social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are used in campaigns along withe-mail, SMS text messaging, and mobile phones to help inform, target, mobilize, and communicate with voters.
While the Internet may have transformed the landscape of modern political campaigns throughout the world, Costas Panagopoulos reminds readers that officials and campaign workers need to adapt to changing circumstances, know the limits of their methods, and combine new technologies with more traditional techniques to achieve an overall balance.
In describing the intensity of political life in ancient Pompeii, Cicero remarks, "at Pompeii it's difficult" (Pompeis difficile est). Drawing on thousands of fragmentary writings--campaign posters, graffiti, inscriptions, and business receipts--recovered in the excavations of lava- and mud-covered Pompeii, James L. Franklin assembles evidence from the eras of emperors Augustus through Vespasian to prove the validity of Cicero's statement.
By collecting, sifting, and cross-referencing these varied documents, Franklin proves it possible to trace the major political alliances of the times, explore the remains of their houses, and find traces of their personalities. A few families, like the powerful Holconii, developers of the region's most famous grape vine, prove to have been steady players throughout Pompeii's history; but most families rose and fell within two generations at most. Chapters examine the men and families most prominent in each imperial period, including an analysis of their houses, and concludes with family trees. The documents themselves, elsewhere difficult to access, are prominently featured and translated in the text, making these discussions available and vivid to all readers.
This book is the first such attempt to cross-reference and animate all kinds of writing found at this legendary site. Outside of the city of Rome itself, this is the largest collection of writing from Roman antiquity, and it has lain mostly unexamined in the course of three centuries of excavations at Pompeii. This volume will interest not only students of Pompeii and classical scholars, but also historians, political scientists, sociologists, and enthusiasts of human behavior of all eras.
James L. Franklin is Professor of Classical Studies, Indiana University.
“ A major piece of work . . . a classic. There is no
other book like it.”
— Norman Schofield, Washington University
“ The authors succeed brilliantly in tackling a large
number of important questions concerning the
interaction among voters and elected representatives
in the political arena, using a common, rigorous
— Antonio Merlo, University of Pennsylvania
Positive Political Theory II: Strategy and Structure
is the second volume in Jeffrey Banks and David
Austen-Smith’ s monumental study of the links
between individual preferences and collective choice.
The book focuses on representative systems, including
both elections and legislative decision-making
processes, clearly connecting individual preferences to
collective outcomes. This book is not a survey. Rather,
it is the coherent, cumulative result of the authors’
brilliant efforts to indirectly connect preferences to
collective choice through strategic behaviors such as
agenda-selection and voting.
The book will be an invaluable reference and teaching
tool for economists and political scientists, and an
essential companion to any scholar interested in the
latest theoretical advances in positive political theory.
"Hanes Walton, Donald Deskins, and Sherman Puckett have produced a highly impressive collection and valuable contribution to the literature on American electoral politics. This work is indispensable for academic libraries, political scientists, historians, and serious students of American government."
---Immanuel Ness, Professor, Department of Political Science, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
"Massive amounts of information about presidential elections which are not readily available elsewhere. Unprecedented coverage in one volume of every single American presidential election."
---James Gimpel, Professor of Government, University of Maryland
"This is an extraordinary research endeavor; the most comprehensive set of aggregate election data ever assembled. Painstakingly researched, this color-coded volume presents data for every presidential election from 1789 to 2008. Unlike most, the wide ranging narrative for this atlas identifies racial patterns in the vote. Everyone who studies or is interested in presidential elections should have this impressive collection of statistical data in their libraries. A visual gem for the digital age."
---Robert Smith, Professor of Political Science, San Francisco State University
"Presidential Elections, 1789–2008 is a genuine tour de force that captures in an extremely accessible and comprehensive way the electoral geography of America's presidential elections, from Washington to Obama. An invaluable addition to the library of all those interested in presidential elections and U.S. politics."
---Marion Orr, Frederick Lippitt Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science, Brown University
"This volume sets an extraordinarily high standard in scholarship, completeness, description, and explanation of our political process. It has been said that all politics are local, but never before has this been demonstrated with such clarity and panache, using the simple method of standardized tables summarizing voting, then showing state and county breakdowns of the numbers, greatly strengthened by beautiful full-color maps and cartograms. Every scholar of politics and democracy will benefit from the work laid out in this volume."
---Keith Clarke, Professor of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara
Presidential Elections is an almanac of the popular vote in every presidential election in American history, analyzed at the county level with histories of each campaign, graphs, and stunning four-color maps. Most Americans are familiar with the crude red state/blue state maps used by commentators and campaign strategists---and even, for want of an alternative, by many academics. In providing a higher-resolution view of voting behavior the authors of this new volume enable examination of local and regional political trends that are invisible in state-level aggregations.
Presidential Elections will enable scholars to more subtly analyze voting behavior, campaigns, and presidential politics; commentators will use it to analyze trends and trace the historical evolution of new coalitions and voting blocs; strategists will use it to plan campaigns and mobilize constituencies. Presidential Elections will become the standard almanac on the subject: a required resource for academic and public libraries, as well as for scholars, consultants, and pundits nationwide.
Donald R. Deskins, Jr., is a political geographer and Emeritus Professor of Sociology and a former Associate Dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan.
Hanes Walton, Jr., is Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He also holds positions as Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Political Studies and as a faculty member in the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies.
Sherman C. Puckett is a Ph.D. graduate of the University of Michigan in urban and regional planning. He was a mayoral appointee in the data processing department of the Coleman A. Young administration in the City of Detroit and recently retired from Wayne County government as manager of technology, geographic information systems, and development of maintenance management systems.
Reflecting on 2016, it might seem that the national parties have little control over how the presidential nominations unfold and who becomes their presidential candidate. Yet the parties wield more influence than voters in determining who prevails at the National Conventions. Although the reforms of the late 1960s and 1970s gave rank-and-file party members a clear voice in the selection of presidential candidates, the parties retain influence through their ability to set the electoral rules. Despite this capability, party elites do not always fully understand the consequences of the rules and therefore often promote a system that undermines their goals. The Primary Rules illuminates the balance of power that the parties, states, and voters assert on the process. By utilizing an original, comprehensive data set that details the electoral rules each party employed in each state during every nomination from 1976 to 2016, Caitlin E. Jewitt uncovers the effects of the rules on the competitiveness of the nomination, the number of voters who participate, and the nomination outcomes. This reveals how the parties exert influence over their members and limit the impact of voters. The Primary Rules builds on prior analyses and extends work highlighting the role of the parties in the invisible primary stage, as it investigates the parties’ influence once the nominations begin. The Primary Rules provides readers with a clearer sense of what the rules are, how they have changed, their consequences, and practical guidance on how to modify the rules of the nomination system to achieve their desired outcomes in future elections.
Reformers argue that public financing of campaigns will help rescue American democracy from the corruptive influence of money in elections. Public Financing in American Elections evaluates this claim and aims to remove much of the guesswork from the discussion about public finance.
Featuring some of the most senior scholars in political science and electoral studies, this book provides an up-to-date treatment of campaign finance research and thinking about public campaign financing reforms. Exploring proposals at the local, state, and federal levels, the contributors provide a comprehensive overview of public financing initiatives in the United States and discuss their impact. Focused analyses of several current public programs are also presented.
In our evolving American political culture, whites and blacks continue to respond very differently to race-based messages and the candidates who use them. Race Appeal examines the use and influence such appeals have on voters in elections for federal office in which one candidate is a member of a minority group.
Charlton McIlwain and Stephen Caliendo use various analysis methods to examine candidates who play the race card in political advertisements. They offer a compelling analysis of the construction of verbal and visual racial appeals and how the news media covers campaigns involving candidates of color.
Combining rigorous analyses with in-depth case studies-including an examination of race-based appeals in the historic 2008 presidential election—Race Appeal is a groundbreaking work that represents the most extensive and thorough treatment of race-based appeals in American political campaigns to date.
Until recently, Austin, the progressive, politically liberal capital of Texas, elected its city council using a not-so-progressive system. Candidates competed citywide for seats, and voters could cast ballots for as many candidates as there were seats up for election. However, this approach disadvantages the representation of geographically-concentrated minority groups, thereby—among other things—preventing the benefits of growth from reaching all of the city’s communities.
Reinventing the Austin City Council explores the puzzle that was Austin’s reluctance to alter its at-large system and establish a geographically-based, single-member district system. Ann Bowman chronicles the repeated attempts to change the system, the eventual decision to do so, and the consequences of that change. In the process, she explores the many twists and turns that occurred in Austin as it struggled to design a fair system of representation. Reinventing the Austin City Council assesses the impact of the new district system since its inception in 2014.
Austin’s experience ultimately offers a political lesson for creating institutional change.
The American West is a region unique in the United States, not only for its natural landscapes and climate, but also its dynamic economy, rich culture and history, and regional identity. Each of these characteristics creates distinctive interests and issues that impact public policy in the West. Consistently, though, the West has been largely ignored by presidential candidates who remain uninterested in the few electoral votes to be won in the region. The 2008 presidential election, however, demonstrated that such an attitude towards western states appears to be shifting, as are the dynamics of the presidential primary system as a whole. As western populations have increased, so too has the political clout of the region.
The Rise of the West in Presidential Elections explores the changing role of the region in national elections. The prominence of Nevada as an early caucus state and Denver acting as the host city of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, as well as increased candidate visitation and media expenditure, point to the rising importance of the region, an importance that political candidates will increasingly need to recognize. The book examines the political advantages and barriers to the creation of a regional primary for western states, a move that could further change the influence of the West on the national agenda and highlight western issues and values.
The contributors to The Rise of the West in Presidential Elections analyze the process of nominating presidential candidates, review the issues that make western states a united region unique in the political process, and explore the changing political dynamics in the nation that enable these changes. The book will be of interest to every citizen looking to learn more about the primary process, as well as to the political junkie more focused on the nuances of political maneuvering between states jockeying for position at the front of the election process.
No city in the world has seen more intense political battles between bosses and reformers than New York, which is home to America's original party machine, Tammany Hall, and its most spectacular urban corruption scandals. In these battles, reformers have always presented themselves as white knights, gallantly crusading for good government against the petty and corrupt hacks who are driven by self-interest. So it remains today. But, as The Scandal of Reform makes clear, this good versus evil storyline is mostly mythù an urban legend perpetuated by a reform community that has always been more selfrighteous than right and more interested in power than in democracy.
The Scandal of Reform pulls the curtain back on New York's reformers past and present, revealing the bonds they have always shared with the bosses they disdain, the policy failures they still refuse to recognize, and the transition they have made from nonpartisan outsiders to ideological insiders.
Francis S. Barry examines the evolution of political reform from the frontlines of New York City's recent reform wars. He offers an insider's account and analysis of the controversial 2003 referendum debate on nonpartisan elections, and he challenges reformersùand members of both partiesùto reconsider their faith in reforms that are no longer serving the public interest.
Second Verse, Same as the First is a volume of essays covering the 2012 election as it played out in the eleven former states of the Confederacy. The essays are organized by state and emphasize the presidential campaign, but each state chapter also includes analysis on notable congressional races and important patterns at the state level. Interesting patterns in the South and their implications for the balance of power between the two major parties are analyzed. Additional chapters cover the issues that dominated voter decision making and the nomination process. Second Verse, Same as the First is a necessity for academics, journalists, and political enthusiasts seeking a deeper understanding of contemporary changes in southern electoral politics.
Are our elections for sale? Americans have long asked this question in the face of skyrocketing campaign spending by candidates and parties. Then, in the 1990s, came a wave of wealthy individuals whose deep pockets seemed to be buying political offices across the country. Our worst suspicions were confirmed. Or were they? What effect do self-financers really have on electoral outcomes? Jennifer Steen's authoritative empirical study of self-financed candidates is a landmark in American politics. Steen thoroughly dispels the notion that self-funded candidates can buy legislative seats, proving that the vast majority of self-financers do not win their elections. Her book gives us a truer understanding of self-financers' actual influence on campaign competition and rhetoric.
Jennifer A. Steen is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College and a former political consultant. She is one of the nation's leading authorities on self-financed candidates.
Natives who change residence do not settle in the same places as immigrants. Separate Destinations argues that these distinct mobility patterns, coupled with record levels of immigration from impoverished third world nations, are balkanizing the American electorate. James G. Gimpel examines the consequences of different patterns of movement and settlement on the politics of the communities in which these different groups settle.
Newer immigrants are con-strained by a lack of education, money, English literacy, and information--and frequently by discrimination--to live in areas of coethnic settlement. Domestic, native-born migrants--predominantly Caucasian--free of discrimination and possessing more money and information, move where they wish, often to communities where immigrants are not welcome or cannot afford to live. Strong evidence suggests that spatially isolated immigrants are slower to naturalize and get involved in politics than domestic migrants.
Gimpel looks closely at states with very different patterns of migration and immigration: California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York. In these states, Gimpel shows the impact of population mobility on party registration, party votes, and voter turnout and asks whether population changes have changed the dominant party in a state or produced a political reaction from natives.
Separate Destinations contains a number of thematic maps detailing the settlement patterns of internal migrants and immigrants for both counties and census tracts. Blending insights from a number of social science disciplines, including economics, demography, sociology, political science, and anthropology, this book will be of interest to a wide and diverse readership of scholars, students, and policymakers.
James G. Gimpel is Associate Professor of Government, University of Maryland.
This fresh look at southern politics clarifies the recent and dramatic development of party competition in the South.
Southern politics has changed dramatically during the past half century. While new developments have touched virtually every aspect of the region's politics, change has been especially marked in the South's political party and electoral systems. Southern Parties and Elections explores the contemporary developments in party realignment and examines the relationship between regional party change and electoral behavior and the larger patterns in national politics.
The collection's first group of essays examines some of the key legal issues in contemporary southern politics: the legal battle over majority-minority districting, the electoral consequences of such districting, the practice-fairly widespread in the South-of separating presidential elections from state and local elections, and the connections between the electorate and party change.
The second section of essays focuses on nominations, elections, and partisan developments in the South, including the recent surge of voter participation in southern Republican primaries, the comparative importance of the South and selected states with large blocks of electoral votes in presidential election outcomes, and the southern contribution to patterns of voting in Congress. The final two chapters examine changes in southern state legislatures-one a case study of the Virginia General Assembly and the other an analysis of state legislatures in the region as a whole.
Collectively these essays add important pieces to the enduring puzzle of "southern politics."
Because of the long dominance of Mexico’s leading political party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, the campaigns of its presidential candidates were never considered relevant in determining the victor. This book offers an ethnography of the Mexican political system under PRI hegemony, focusing on the relationship between the formal democratic structure of the state and the unofficial practices of the underlying political culture, and addressing the question of what purpose campaigns serve when the outcome is predetermined.
Discussing Mexican presidential politics from the perspectives of anthropology, political science, and communications science, the authors analyze the 1988 presidential campaign of Carlos Salinas de Gortari—the last great campaign of the PRI to display the characteristics traditionally found in the twentieth century. These detailed descriptions of campaign events show that their ritualistic nature expressed both a national culture and an aura of domination.
The authors describe the political and cultural context in which this campaign took place—an authoritarian presidential system that dated from the 1920s—and explain how the constitutional provisions of the state interacted with the informal practices of the party to produce highly scripted symbolic rituals. Their analysis probes such topics as the meanings behind the candidate’s behavior, the effects of public opinion polling, and the role of the press, then goes on to show how the system has begun to change since 2000.
By dealing with the campaign from multiple perspectives, the authors reveal it as a rite of passage that sheds light on the political culture of the country. Their study expands our understanding of authoritarianism during the years of PRI dominance and facilitates comparison of current practices with those of the past.
Public policy in the United States is the product of decisions made by more than 500,000 elected officials, and the vast majority of those officials are elected on days other than Election Day. And because far fewer voters turn out for off-cycle elections, that means the majority of officials in America are elected by a politically motivated minority of Americans. Sarah F. Anzia is the first to systemically address the effects of election timing on political outcomes, and her findings are eye-opening.
The low turnout for off-cycle elections, Anzia argues, increases the influence of organized interest groups like teachers’ unions and municipal workers. While such groups tend to vote at high rates regardless of when the election is held, the low turnout in off-cycle years enhances the effectiveness of their mobilization efforts and makes them a proportionately larger bloc. Throughout American history, the issue of election timing has been a contentious one. Anzia’s book traces efforts by interest groups and political parties to change the timing of elections to their advantage, resulting in the electoral structures we have today. Ultimately, what might seem at first glance to be mundane matters of scheduling are better understood as tactics designed to distribute political power, determining who has an advantage in the electoral process and who will control government at the municipal, county, and state levels.
The 2010 Pennsylvania Senate election provided high drama from the earliest days of its primary campaigns right through Election Day. After long-time incumbent Arlen Specter was eliminated, the race boiled down to two fresh faces—Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak. Their battle constitutes a microcosm of the political divide that characterizes contemporary American politics.
Veteran writer Hal Gullan obtained special access to the Toomey campaign early on. Toomey's Triumph offers both that inside look and a Philadelphian's reflections of a riveting election. Gullan's astute month-by-month narrative distills the events of the year-long battles through the high drama and the day-to-day of grassroots organizing and campaigning. He describes how the candidates appear, what they say, and how the media pundits respond to their various gambits. He provides wry observations on the efficacy of each candidate's campaign ads and strategies, and he analyzes the up-and-down polls.
Toomey's Triumph provides an engaging chronicle of a critical campaign.
Can democratization be promoted by “getting the institutions right?” In Unexpected Outcomes, Robert G. Moser offers a compelling analysis of the extent to which institutions can be engineered to promote desired political outcomes. The introduction of democracy in Eastern Europe and the former USSR has enabled scholars to bring new perspectives to the debate about electoral systems. Russia is arguably the most important of the postcommunist states and its mixed electoral system provides an interesting controlled experiment for testing the impact of different electoral systems.
Moser examines the effects of electoral systems on political parties and representation in Russia during the 1990s. Moser’s study is not only a highly original contribution to our understanding of contemporary Russian politics, but also a significant step forward in the comparative study of electoral systems. Through his comprehensive empirical analysis of Russian elections, Moser provides the most detailed examination of a mixed electoral system to date. This system was introduced in Russia to encourage party formation and benefit reformist parties allied with President Yeltsin. However, the effects were contrary to what the creators of the system expected and also defied the most well-established hypotheses in electoral studies. Parties proliferated under both the PR and plurality halves of the election and patterns of women and minority representation ran counter to prevailing theory and international experience.
With an epilogue that updates the study through the December 1999 elections, Unexpected Outcomes makes an important and timely contribution to the ongoing debate over the ability and inability of elites to fashion preferred political outcomes through institutional design.
Provides the first major effort to test the rules and regulations that underlie current practices in union elections and, at the same time, explores the role played by the National Labor Relations Board in regulating these elections. The book reports the findings of an empirical field study of thirty-one union representation elections involving over 1,000 employees to determine their pre-campaign attitudes, voting intent, actual vote, and the effect of the campaign on voting. It focuses on campaign issues, unlawful campaigning, working conditions, demographic factors, job-related variables, and other topics.
Karen Kaufmann's groundbreaking study shows that perceptions of interracial conflict can cause voters in local elections to focus on race, rather than party attachments or political ideologies. Using public opinion data to examine mayoral elections in New York and Los Angeles over the past 35 years, Kaufmann develops a contextual theory of local voting behavior that accounts for the Republican victories of the 1990s in these overwhelmingly Democratic cities and the "liberal revivals" that followed. Her conclusions cast new light on the interactions between government institutions, local economies, and social diversity. The Urban Voter offers a critical analysis of urban America's changing demographics and the ramifications of these changes for the future of American politics.
This book will interest scholars and students of urban politics, racial politics, and voting behavior; the author's interdisciplinary approach also incorporates theoretical insights from sociology and social psychology. The Urban Voter is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate level courses.
Karen Kaufmann is Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The Christian Right never ceases to surprise professional observers of American politics. With the Christian coalition in disarray, many expected that the movement would play less of a role in the 2004 elections. But when exit polls reported that "moral values" were the most commonly cited reason for presidential vote choice, pundits immediately proclaimed the importance of the "values vote." Yet the role of the Christian Right, of statewide referenda on same-sex marriage, and of religious mobilization remained the subject of debate. The Values Campaign? The Christian Right and the 2004 Elections reaches well beyond the instant analyses of the post-election period to provide an assessment of the role of the religious right in 2004. The contributors to this volume are among the leading scholars of religion and politics in the United States, and many have contributed for over a decade to ongoing discussions of the role played by the religious right in national elections.
The authors consider national mobilization and issues, and also explore the role of the Christian Right in specific states. Their evaluations contend that the "values campaign" was not an aberration but a consistent pattern of national politics, and that moral traditionalism will likely continue to be a significant factor in future elections.
A timely study of the 2004 elections, this volume will appeal to scholars and observers of electoral politics, state politics, and religion and politics.
Though George W. Bush took office in January, the nation is still recovering from the prolonged and complex process by which he was elected. The Florida electoral controversy and the subsequent decisions by both the Florida courts and the U.S. Supreme Court left citizens and scholars alike divided over the role of the judiciary in the electoral arena. Now, after a few months of reflection, leading constitutional scholarsCass R. Sunstein, Richard A. Epstein, Pamela S. Karlan, Richard A. Posner, and John Yoo, among others—weigh in on the Supreme Court's actions, which remain sensible, legally legitimate, and pragmatically defensible to some and an egregious abuse of power to others. Representing the full spectrum of views and arguments, The Vote offers the most timely and considered guide to the ultimate consequences and significance of the Supreme Court's decision.
The contributors to this volume were highly visible in the national media while the controversy raged, and here they present fully fleshed-out arguments for the positions they promoted on the airwaves. Readers will find in The Vote equally impassioned defenses for and indictments of the Court's actions, and they will come to understand the practical and theoretical implications of the Court's ruling in the realms of both law and politics. No doubt a spate of books will appear on the 2000 presidential election, but none will claim as distinguished a roster of contributors better qualified to place these recent events in their appropriate historical, legal, and political contexts.
Leading constitutional scholars render their verdicts on the 2000 presidential election controversy
Richard A. Epstein
Pamela S. Karlan
Michael W. McConnell
Frank I. Michelman
Richard H. Pildes
Richard A. Posner
David A. Strauss
Cass R. Sunstein
An earlier electronic edition of The Vote was available on the University of Chicago Press Web site.
Waiting for the Cemetery Vote begins with an overview chapter of Arkansas election fraud since the nineteenth century and then moves on to more specific examples of fraudulent activities over a dozen or so years that coincide with the onset of the modern progressive era in Arkansas. Author Tom Glaze, who was a trial lawyer battling election fraud during this time, is the ideal chronicler for this topic, bringing a memoirist's intimate insight together with a wealth of historical knowledge. Glaze describes the manipulation of absentee ballots and poll-tax receipts; votes cast by the dead, children, and animals; forgeries of ballots from nursing homes; and threats to body or livelihood made to anyone who would dare question these activities or monitor elections. Deceptive practices used to control election results were disturbingly brazen in the gubernatorial elections in the 1960s and were especially egregious in Conway and Searcy Counties in the 1970s and in special elections for the state senate in Faulkner, Conway, and Van Buren Counties. A clean-election movement began in the early 1970s, led not by party or political leaders but by individual citizens. These vigilant and courageous Arkansans undertook to do what their public institutions persistently failed to: insure that elections for public office were honest and that the will of the people was scrupulously obliged. Prominent and colorful among these groups was a small band of women in Conway County who dubbed themselves the "Snoop Sisters" and took on the long-established corrupt machine of Sheriff Marlin Hawkins. Written with longtime Arkansas political writer Ernie Dumas and illustrated with cartoons from the inimitable George Fisher, Waiting for the Cemetery Vote will be an entertaining and informative read for any Arkansas history and politics buffs.
In this timely book, Martin Wattenberg confronts the question of what low participation rates mean for democracy. At the individual level, turnout decline has been highest among the types of people who most need to have electoral decisions simplified for them through a strong party system--those with the least education, political knowledge, and life experience.
The growing ideological gulf between Democrats and Republicans is one of the biggest issues in American politics today. Our legislatures, composed of members from two sharply disagreeing parties, are struggling to function as the founders intended them to. If we want to reduce the ideological gulf in our legislatures, we must first understand what has caused it to widen so much over the past forty years.
Andrew B. Hall argues that we have missed one of the most important reasons for this ideological gulf: the increasing reluctance of moderate citizens to run for office. While political scientists, journalists, and pundits have largely focused on voters, worried that they may be too partisan, too uninformed to vote for moderate candidates, or simply too extreme in their own political views, Hall argues that our political system discourages moderate candidates from seeking office in the first place. Running for office has rarely been harder than it is in America today, and the costs dissuade moderates more than extremists. Candidates have to wage ceaseless campaigns, dialing for dollars for most of their waking hours while enduring relentless news and social media coverage. When moderate candidates are unwilling to run, voters do not even have the opportunity to send them to office. To understand what is wrong with our legislatures, then, we need to ask ourselves the question: who wants to run? If we want more moderate legislators, we need to make them a better job offer.
Why do some voters split their ballots, selecting a Republican for one office and a Democrat for another? Why do voters often choose one party to control the White House while the other controls the Congress? Barry Burden and David Kimball address these fundamental puzzles of American elections by explaining the causes of divided government and debunking the myth that voters prefer the division of power over one-party control. Why Americans Split Their Tickets links recent declines in ticket-splitting to sharpening policy differences between parties and demonstrates why candidates' ideological positions still matter in American elections.
"Burden and Kimball have given us the most careful and thorough analysis of split-ticket voting yet. It won't settle all of the arguments about the origins of ticket splitting and divided government, but these arguments will now be much better informed. Why Americans Split Their Tickets is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the major trends in U.S. electoral politics of the past several decades."
-Gary Jacobson, University of California, San Diego
"When voters split their tickets or produce divided government, it is common to attribute the outcome as a strategic verdict or a demand for partisan balance. Burden and Kimball strongly challenge such claims. With a thorough and deft use of statistics, they portray ticket-splitting as a by-product of the separate circumstances that drive the outcomes of the different electoral contests. This will be the book to be reckoned with on the matter of ticket splitting."
-Robert Erikson, Columbia University
"[Burden and Kimball] offset the expansive statistical analysis by delving into the historical circumstances and results of recent campaigns and elections. ... [They] make a scholarly and informative contribution to the understanding of the voting habits of the American electorate-and the resulting composition of American government."
-Shant Mesrobian, NationalJournal.com
Since the founding of the American Republic, the North and South have followed remarkably different paths of political development. Among the factors that have led to their divergence throughout much of history are differences in the levels of competition among the political parties. While the North has generally enjoyed a well-defined two-party system, the South has tended to have only weakly developed political parties—and at times no system of parties to speak of.
With Why Parties Matter, John H. Aldrich and John D. Griffin make a compelling case that competition between political parties is an essential component of a democracy that is responsive to its citizens and thus able to address their concerns. Tracing the history of the parties through four eras—the Democratic-Whig party era that preceded the Civil War; the post-Reconstruction period; the Jim Crow era, when competition between the parties virtually disappeared; and the modern era—Aldrich and Griffin show how and when competition emerged between the parties and the conditions under which it succeeded and failed. In the modern era, as party competition in the South has come to be widely regarded as matching that of the North, the authors conclude by exploring the question of whether the South is poised to become a one-party system once again with the Republican party now dominant.
This is the first full history of voting in Wisconsin from statehood in 1848 to the present. Fowler both tells the story of voting in key elections across the years and investigates electoral trends and patterns over the course of Wisconsin’s history. He explores the ways that ethnic and religious groups in the state have voted historically and how they vote today, and he looks at the successes and failures of the two major parties over the years. Highlighting important historical movements, Fowler discusses the great struggle for women’s suffrage and the rich tales of many Wisconsin third parties—the Socialists, Progressives, the Prohibition Party, and others. Here, too, are the famous politicians in Wisconsin history, such as the La Follettes, William Proxmire, and Tommy Thompson.
Winner, Award of Merit for Leadership in History, American Association for State and Local History
In this first comprehensive examination of women candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Barbara Burrell argues that women are as successful at winning elections as men. Why, then, are there still so few women members of Congress? Compared to other democratically elected national parliaments, the U.S. Congress ranks very low in its proportion of women members. During the past decade, even though more and more women have participated in state and local governments, they have not made the same gains at the national level.
A Woman's Place Is in the House examines the experiences of the women who have run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1968 through 1992 and compares their presence and performance with that of male candidates. The longitudinal study examines both general and primary elections and refutes many myths associated with women candidates including their ability to raise money and garner support from both interest groups and political parties.
According to Burrell, election year 1992 was correctly dubbed the "Year of the Woman" in American politics--not so much because women overcame perceived barriers to being elected but because for the first time a significant number of women chose to run in primaries. Burrell's study examines the effects women are having on the congressional agenda and offers insight on how such issues as term limitations and campaign finance reform will impact on the election of women to Congress.
Barbara Burrell (Ph.D. University of Michigan) is professor and director of graduate studies in the Political Science Department at Northern Illinois University where she teaches courses in public opinion, political behavior and women and politics.
Those who do not have their heads buried too deeply in partisan sands will know that there is something awry with the American form of electoral democracy. Florida's continuing ability to misplace votes recently and in the 2000 Presidential election is only part of the iceberg we have been made privy to-and Steven Schier takes a good, hard, evaluative look not only at what is there in plain sight, but that which lurks below the surface (and not only in Florida and not only with the electoral college). He further proposes practical improvements that will make our surprisingly peculiar democratic processes healthy, whole, and responsive again.
Identifying four essential evaluative criteria for a democracy that genuinely works, Schier asks us to examine the degree to which our system promotes political stability, the degree to which our elected officials are held accountable, what the problems are with voter turnout and how to improve it, and asks for a meaningful scrutiny of governmental policy.
No look at our peculiar democracy would be complete without an examination of other established democracies, nor a look at how special interests warp political parties and the concept of majority rule. The solution to many of our electoral problems, Schier argues, lies in enhancing the roles and influence of political parties. Schier proposes reforms that include broadening voter registration; giving parties large blocks of free TV time; adopting one-punch partisan ballots, making it easier for voters to cast a straight-party vote; abandoning initiatives which clutter up the ballot; and utilizing party-based financing to boost voter turnout. With these proposals, he encourages the creative consideration of election reform, and shows how the Florida 2000 race may have played out had these suggestions been in place.
Schier's book appeals to any and every citizen interested in our electoral system and its role in governmental politics. It is invaluable for professionals in political science and ideal for students in American government, political parties, elections, and political behavior courses, as well for political scientists. Any citizens concerned about the conduct of American elections will discover here a fresh and focused analysis of our problems at the ballot box.