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The American Political Landscape

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The American Political Landscape Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Social scientists and campaign strategists approach voting behavior from opposite poles. Reconciling these rival camps through a merger of precise statistics and hard-won election experience, The American Political Landscape presents a full-scale analysis of U.S. electoral politics over the past quarter-century. Byron Shafer and Richard Spady explain how factors not usually considered hard data, such as latent attitudes and personal preferences, interact to produce an indisputably solid result: the final tally of votes.

Pundits and pollsters usually boil down U.S. elections to a stark choice between Democrat and Republican. Shafer and Spady explore the significance of a third possibility: not voting at all. Voters can and do form coalitions based on specific issues, so that simple party identification does not determine voter turnout or ballot choices. Deploying a new method that quantifiably maps the distribution of political attitudes in the voting population, the authors describe an American electoral landscape in flux during the period from 1984 to 2008. The old order, organized by economic values, ceded ground to a new one in which cultural and economic values enjoy equal prominence.

This realignment yielded election outcomes that contradicted the prevailing wisdom about the importance of ideological centrism. Moderates have fared badly in recent contests as Republican and Democratic blocs have drifted further apart. Shafer and Spady find that persisting links between social backgrounds and political values tend to empty the ideological center while increasing the clout of the ideologically committed.

Synopsis:

While pundits boil down elections to a choice between Democrat and Republican, The American Political Landscape explains how factors not usually considered hard data, such as attitudes and preferences, interact to produce the final tally of votes. This comprehensive analysis covers the past quarter-century of U.S. electoral politics.

About the Author

Byron E. Shafer is Glenn B. and Cleone Orr Hawkins Chair of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Richard H. Spady is Research Professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins University and Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford.

John Hopkins University

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674045590
Author:
Shafer, Byron E.
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
Spady, Richard H.
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Elections
Subject:
Political Science-Political Ideologies - General
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20140225
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
299 color illustrations, 31 line illustr
Pages:
360
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The American Political Landscape New Hardcover
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Product details 360 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674045590 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , While pundits boil down elections to a choice between Democrat and Republican, The American Political Landscape explains how factors not usually considered hard data, such as attitudes and preferences, interact to produce the final tally of votes. This comprehensive analysis covers the past quarter-century of U.S. electoral politics.
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