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Hendrik Hertzberg, celebrated political analyst for the "New
Yorker," watches the long presidential campaign of 2007 and 2008 as
it unfolds to reveal the transformation of the Democratic Party,
the meteoric rise of Barack Obama, and other seismic shifts in our
national political consciousness. Hertzberg wrote about the events
that culminated in the victory of Barack Obama in two venues, one
Olympian and one immediate: his "Comments" for "The Talk of the
Town" and the informal blog he began keeping on the magazine's Web
site fifteen months before the election. "Obamanos " is adapted
from both and framed by a new introductory essay.
How elections are reported has important implications for the health of democracy and informed citizenship. But, how informative are the news media during campaigns? What kind of logic do they follow? How well do they serve citizens?e Based on original research as well as the most comprehensive assessment of election studies to date, Cushion and Thomas examine how campaigns are reported in many advanced Western democracies. In doing so, they engage with debates about the mediatization of politics, media systems, information environments, media ownership, regulation, political news, horserace journalism, objectivity, impartiality, agenda-setting, and the relationship between media and democracy more generally. Focusing on the most recent US and UK election campaigns, they consider how the logic of election coverage could be rethought in ways that better serve the democratic needs of citizens. Above all, they argue that election reporting should be driven by a public logic, where the agenda of voters takes centre stage in the campaign and the policies of respective political parties receive more airtime and independent scrutiny. The book is essential reading for scholars and students in political communication and journalism studies, political science, media and communication studies.
Campaigns to win the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations are now longer, more complex, and more confusing to the observer than ever before. The maze of delegate-selection procedures includes state-run primaries and caucuses, while federal election laws govern campaign financing. In "Before the Convention", political scientist John H. Aldrich presents a systematic analysis of presidential nomination politics, based on application of rational-choice models to candidate behavior. Aldrich views the candidates as decision makers with limited resources in a highly competitive environment. From this perspective, he seeks to determine why and how candidates choose to run, why some succeed and others fail, and what consequences the nomination process has for the general election and, later, for the president in office. Now back in print, "Before the Convention" fills a significant gap in the literature on presidential politics and should be of particular importance to specialists in this area. It will be of interest also to everyone who is concerned with understanding the rules of the game for a complicated but vitally important exercise of American democracy.
The United States runs its elections unlike any other country in the world. Responsibility for elections is entrusted to local officials in approximately 8,000 different jurisdictions. In turn, they are subject to general oversight by officials most often chosen through a partisan appointment or election process. The point of contact for voters in the polling place is usually a temporary employee who has volunteered for one-day duty and has received only a few hours of training. These defining features of our electoral system, combined with the fact that Americans vote more frequently on more issues and offices than citizens anywhere else, present unique challenges for the effective administration of elections that voters throughout the country expect and deserve. This book discusses the American voting experience, recommendations of the Presidential Commission on election administration, and provides an overview of the Help America Vote Act.
Most theories of elections assume that voters and political actors are fully rational. While these formulations produce many insights, they also generate anomalies--most famously, about turnout. The rise of behavioral economics has posed new challenges to the premise of rationality. This groundbreaking book provides a behavioral theory of elections based on the notion that all actors--politicians as well as voters--are only boundedly rational. The theory posits learning via trial and error: actions that surpass an actor's aspiration level are more likely to be used in the future, while those that fall short are less likely to be tried later.
Based on this idea of adaptation, the authors construct formal models of party competition, turnout, and voters' choices of candidates. These models predict substantial turnout levels, voters sorting into parties, and winning parties adopting centrist platforms. In multiparty elections, voters are able to coordinate vote choices on majority-preferred candidates, while all candidates garner significant vote shares. Overall, the behavioral theory and its models produce macroimplications consistent with the data on elections, and they use plausible microassumptions about the cognitive capacities of politicians and voters. A computational model accompanies the book and can be used as a tool for further research.
Nothing is more integral to democracy than voting. Most people believe that every citizen has the civic duty or moral obligation to vote, that any sincere vote is morally acceptable, and that buying, selling, or trading votes is inherently wrong. In this provocative book, Jason Brennan challenges our fundamental assumptions about voting, revealing why it is not a duty for most citizens--in fact, he argues, many people owe it to the rest of us not to vote.
Bad choices at the polls can result in unjust laws, needless wars, and calamitous economic policies. Brennan shows why voters have duties to make informed decisions in the voting booth, to base their decisions on sound evidence for what will create the best possible policies, and to promote the common good rather than their own self-interest. They must vote well--or not vote at all. Brennan explains why voting is not necessarily the best way for citizens to exercise their civic duty, and why some citizens need to stay away from the polls to protect the democratic process from their uninformed, irrational, or immoral votes.
In a democracy, every citizen has the right to vote. This book reveals why sometimes it's best if they don't. In a new afterword, "How to Vote Well," Brennan provides a practical guidebook for making well-informed, well-reasoned choices at the polls.
On the night of the 2000 presidential election, Americans watched on television as polling results divided the nation's map into red and blue states. Since then the color divide has become symbolic of a culture war that thrives on stereotypes--pickup-driving red-state Republicans who vote based on God, guns, and gays; and elitist blue-state Democrats woefully out of touch with heartland values. With wit and prodigious number crunching, Andrew Gelman debunks these and other political myths.
This expanded edition includes new data and easy-to-read graphics explaining the 2008 election. "Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State" is a must-read for anyone seeking to make sense of today's fractured political landscape.
A Choice Highly Recommended Title-January 2017 This book is an interpretive analysis of political campaigns in America: instead of focusing on how campaigns are designed and run, it investigates the role campaigns play in our American politics, and the close symbiosis between campaigns and those politics. The text examines how campaigns are an important manifestation of how we "do" politics in this country. Hallmarks of this text include: showing how campaigns can undermine our democracy and asking how democratic they-and by extension, our politics--really are; demonstrating that the ability of the media to accurately, fairly, and deeply report on campaigns has been severely compromised, both because of the growing "distance" between campaigns and media outlets and because of the structure of "Big Media" corporate ownership and its tight relationship to "Big Money." It asks important questions about the media including: How do the media, reporters in particular, cover campaigns? What pressures and forces shape what and how they present campaigns? What is the impact of the ever-increasing chasm separating campaigns and the media? How does the close tie between corporate mainstream media and Super PAC money affect campaign coverage? How does the ability of campaigns and media to segment voters into ever-smaller slices influence how campaigns are covered? tracking the continuing growth of unregulated, private, unaccountable "dark money" in campaigns as a threat to our democratic elections and politics. Democracy rests fundamentally on transparency and accountability - sunlight - and our campaign laws and norms now allow and encourage exactly the opposite, largely because of decisions by the United States Supreme Court.
This encyclopedia provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of Hispanic American engagement in U.S. politics, from their increased visibility as governors and other lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels to their growing importance as a voting constituency. * Features two dozen primary documents, including illuminating sources provided both in the original Spanish and in English translations * Contains approximately 300 encyclopedia entries * Gives special attention to the significant diversity of the Latino population in the United States, with a focus on growing communities of Central American and Dominican origin as well as groups of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban origin * Provides context in historical overview essays that focus specifically on Latino population in their roles as voters and citizens, candidates, and lawmakers in American life * Includes a chronology of events concerning the evolution of Latino American involvement in U.S. politics
This book examines the history and role of election posters as one of the most crucial forms of political communication, especially in electoral campaigns, in a number of countries around the globe. The contributing authors present comparative research on electoral posters from countries from all five continents, summarizing international similarities and national differences. The book also discusses theoretical aspects and different methodological approaches that are used for studying the design, content and reception of election posters as a means of political communication.
The 2011 general election in the Republic of Ireland, which took place against a backdrop of economic collapse, was one of the most dramatic ever witnessed. The most notable outcome was the collapse of Fianna Fail, one of the world's most enduring and successful parties. In comparative terms Fianna Fail's defeat was among the largest experienced by a major party in the history of parliamentary democracy. It went from being the largest party in the state (a position it had held since 1932) to being a bit player in Irish political life. And yet ultimately, there was much that remained the same, perhaps most distinctly of all the fact that no new parties emerged. It was, if anything, a 'conservative revolution'. A Conservative Revolution? examines underlying voter attitudes in the period 2002-11. Drawing on three national election studies the book follows party system evolution and voter behaviour from boom to bust. These data permits an unprecedented insight into a party system and its voters at a time of great change, as the country went through a period of rapid growth to become one of Europe's wealthiest states in the early twenty-first century to economic meltdown in the midst of the international Great Recession, all of this in the space of a single decade. In the process, this study explores many of the well-established norms and conventional wisdoms of Irish electoral behaviour that make it such an interesting case study for comparison with other industrialized democracies.
The first edition of this book offered one of the first social science analyses of Barack Obama's historic electoral campaigns and early presidency. In this second edition the authors extend that analysis to Obama's service in the presidency and to his second campaign to hold that presidency. Elaborating on the concept of the white racial frame, Harvey Wingfield and Feagin assess in detail the ways white racial framing was deployed by the principal characters in the electoral campaigns and during Obama's presidency. With much relevant data, this book counters many commonsense assumptions about U.S. racial matters, politics, and institutions, particularly the notion that Obama's presidency ushered in a major post-racial era. Readers will find this fully revised and updated book distinctively valuable because it relies on sound social science analysis to assess numerous events and aspects of this historic campaign.
The increased use of direct democracy measures across the United States has brought attention to the individual petitioner however their motivations and goals continue to be an enigma. Drawing on behavioral, historical and legal analysis to provide a more concrete depiction of these individuals, expert contributors examine the true personalities, motivations and expectations, successes and failures of petitioners in the direct democracy process and how they culminate in policy formation across the United States. Six typologies; the zealot, the victim, the amateur, the lawyer, the professional, and the politician are identified and later applied to four key policy areas, taxation, health, the environment and education. A lucid contribution to the existing literature on direct democracy and an excellent resource for studying how petitioners are able to influence their communities beyond the ballot box.
Alan I. Abramowitz has emerged as a leading spokesman for the view that our current political divide is not confined to a small group of elites and activists but a key feature of the American social and cultural landscape. The polarization of the political and media elites, he argues, arose and persists because it accurately reflects the state of American society. Here, he goes further: the polarization is unique in modern U.S. history. Today's party divide reflects an unprecedented alignment of many different divides: racial and ethnic, religious, ideological, and geographic. Abramowitz shows how the partisan alignment arose out of the breakup of the old New Deal coalition; introduces the most important difference between our current era and past eras, the rise of "negative partisanship"; explains how this phenomenon paved the way for the Trump presidency; and examines why our polarization could even grow deeper. This statistically based analysis shows that racial anxiety is by far a better predictor of support for Donald Trump than any other factor, including economic discontent.
Newton Minow's long engagement with the world of television began nearly fifty years ago when President Kennedy appointed him chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. As its head, Minow would famously dub TV a vast wasteland, thus inaugurating a career dedicated to reforming television to better serve the public interest. Since then, he has been chairman of PBS and on the board of CBS and elsewhere, but his most lasting contribution remains his leadership on televised presidential debates. He was assistant counsel to Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson when Stevenson first proposed the idea of the debates in 1960; he served as cochair of the presidential debates in 1976 and 1980; and he helped create and is currently vice chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has organized the debates for the last two decades. Written with longtime collaborator Craig LaMay, this fascinating history offers readers for the first time a genuinely inside look into the origins of the presidential debates and the many battles both legal and personal that have determined who has been allowed to debate and under what circumstances. The authors do not dismiss the criticism of the presidential debates in recent years but do come down solidly in favor of them, arguing that they are one of the great accomplishments of modern American electoral politics. As they remind us, the debates were once unique in the democratic world, are now emulated across the globe, and they offer the public the only real chance to see the candidates speak in direct response to one another in a discussion of major social, economic, and foreign policy issues. Looking to the challenges posed by third-party candidates and the emergence of new media such as YouTube, Minow and LaMay ultimately make recommendations for the future, calling for the debates to become less formal, with candidates allowed to question each other and citizens allowed to question candidates directly. They also explore the many ways in which the Internet might serve to broaden the debates' appeal and informative power. Whether it's Clinton or Obama vs. McCain, Inside the Presidential Debates will be welcomed in 2008 by anyone interested in where this crucial part of our democracy is headed and how it got there.
The September 2014 Scottish independence referendum was an event of profound constitutional and political significance, not only for Scotland, but for the UK as a whole. Although Scottish voters chose to remain in the UK, the experience of the referendum and the subsequent political reaction to the 'No' vote that triggered significant reforms to the devolution settlement have fundamentally altered Scotland's position within the Union. The extraordinary success of the Scottish National Party at the 2015 General Election also indicates that the territorial dimension to UK constitutional politics is more prominent than ever, destabilising key assumptions about the location and exercise of constitutional authority within the UK. The political and constitutional implications of the referendum are still unfolding, and it is by no means certain that the Union will survive. Providing a systematic and academic analysis of the referendum and its aftermath, this interdisciplinary edited collection brings together public lawyers, political scientists, economists, and historians in an effort to look both backwards to, and forwards from, the referendum. The chapters evaluate the historical events leading up to the referendum, the referendum process, and the key issues arising from the referendum debate. They also explore the implications of the referendum both for the future governance of Scotland and for the UK's territorial constitution, drawing on comparative experience in order to understand how the constitution may evolve, and how the independence debate may play out in future.
Franklin Roosevelt was not only the first US president to be covered by public opinion polls, but his ratings have consistently exceeded those of all subsequent sitting presidents, save for John F. Kennedy. Moreover, Roosevelt also stands out with a popular appeal that is unsurpassed by any of his successors serving at least a full term. The key to his approval, as this book shows, was wartime leadership, not economic performance. It began with policies preparing the nation for war in the two years before formal entry. To use FDR's own coinage, it was making the United States the "arsenal of democracy" in the battle against tyranny. That pursuit, not the New Deal, earned him high marks with the American people and re-election to an unprecedented third term. World War II-and its heavy human toll-did nothing to diminish FDR's popularity. As such, the FDR experience defies major paradigms of presidential politics. Yet, Roosevelt has been relatively ignored by scholars of public opinion. What can FDR's experience teach us and his successors about rousing broad public support, particularly during wartime? What light does his success shed on the failures of Presidents Truman, Johnson, and George W. Bush in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq? On key issues, mainly with foreign policy, FDR had to contend with an American public that opposed his plans at the outset. Helmut Norpoth argues that Roosevelt had an unparalleled ability for leadership, especially through the fabled "fireside chats" and his appreciation of opinion polls, that enabled him to move the public to embrace his policies. In this book, Norpoth takes an in-depth look at how FDR's leadership swayed public opinion, comparing his experience to his successors to draw broad conclusions about what makes for successful presidential politics.
The 2022 presidential primaries are on the horizon and this third edition of Elaine Kamarck's Primary Politics will be there to help make sense of them. Updated to include the 2016 election, it will once again be the guide to understanding the modern nominating system that gave the American electorate a choice between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. In Primary Politics, political insider Elaine Kamarck explains how the presidential nomination process became the often baffling system we have today, including the "robot rule." Her focus is the largely untold story of how presidential candidates since the early 1970s have sought to alter the rules in their favor and how their failures and successes have led to even more change. She describes how candidates have sought to manipulate the sequencing of primaries to their advantage and how Iowa and New Hampshire came to dominate the system. She analyzes the rules that are used to translate votes into delegates, paying special attention to the Democrats' twenty-year fight over proportional representation and some of its arcana. Drawing on meticulous research, interviews with key figures in both parties, and years of experience, this book explores one of the most important questions in American politics-how we narrow the list of presidential candidates every four years.
The unmissable inside story of the most dramatic general election campaign in modern history and Theresa May's battle for a Brexit deal, the greatest challenge for a prime minister since the Second World War. By the bestselling author of All Out War, shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2017. This is the unmissable inside story of the most dramatic general election campaign in modern history and Theresa May's battle for a Brexit deal - the greatest challenge for a prime minister since the Second World War. Fall Out tells of how a leader famed for her caution battled her bitterly divided cabinet at home while facing duplicitous Brussels bureaucrats abroad. Of how she then took the biggest gamble of her career to strengthen her position - and promptly blew it. It is also a tale of treachery where - in the hour of her greatest weakness - one by one, May's colleagues began to plot against her. Inside this book you will find all the strategy, comedy, tragedy and farce of modern politics - where principle, passion and vaulting ambition collide in the corridors of power. It chronicles a civil war at the heart of the Conservative Party and a Labour Party back from the dead, led by Jeremy Corbyn, who defied the experts and the critics on his own side to mount an unlikely tilt at the top job. With access to all the key players, Tim Shipman has written a political history that reads like a thriller, exploring how and why the EU referendum result pitched Britain into a year of political mayhem.
Exclusion by Elections develops a theory about the circumstances under which 'class identities' as opposed to 'ethnic identities' become salient in democratic politics, and links this theory to issues of inequality and the propensity of governments to address it. The book argues that in societies with even modest levels of ethnic diversity, inequality invites ethnic politics, and ethnic politics results in less redistribution than class politics. Thus, contrary to existing workhorse models in social science, where democracies are expected to respond to inequality by increasing redistribution, the argument here is that inequality interacts with ethnic diversity to discourage redistribution. As a result, inequality often becomes reinforced by inequality itself. The author explores the argument empirically by examining cross-national patterns of voting behaviour, redistribution and democratic transitions, and he discusses the argument's implications for identifying strategies that can be used to address rising inequality in the world today.
More than many areas of American politics research, studies of minor party competition and success are often overly driven by normative concerns that do not hold up to empirical scrutiny. This concise book presents a concerted effort to analyze the barriers in election law, such as ballot access restrictions and single member districts with a plurality rule, that prevent third parties from gaining a durable hold in American politics. Rather than trudge through yet another history of third parties in America or polemical arguments for minor party inclusion, Schraufnagel provides empirical grounding for the claims of third party backers. This thoughtful analysis demonstrates that the inclusion of third parties improves electoral participation rates and that third party involvement in the legislative process is linked to landmark legislative productivity. In the end, the work provides thoughtful suggestions on the types of reforms that would lead to greater third party success in American elections.
The 1964 campaign was a turning point in the nation's politics and one of the rare elections in American history marked by sharp ideological divisions. Differences over race relations, the Vietnam War, and federal power divided the parties, and racial issues dominated the campaign as candidates clashed over the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Racial factions disrupted the Democratic Convention and George Wallace openly courted white supremacists. The election took place amid national turmoil and great historic events such as Freedom Summer, the murder of three civil rights activists in Mississippi, and the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Seldom had the nation faced a starker choice. The election proved to be a watershed moment in American political history but not in the way most contemporaries viewed it. Democrat Lyndon Johnson trounced Republican Barry Goldwater in a huge landslide. To most observers at the time, liberalism rode triumphant and conservatism crumbled, with some even talking of the demise of the Republican Party. But it was not to be, as the liberal wave crashed almost immediately and conservatives came to dominate a resurgent Republican Party in the late twentieth century. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
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