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Political Behavior of the American Electorate
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Political Behavior of the American Electorate

Fourteenth Edition


January 2018 | 344 pages | CQ Press

The 2016 elections took place under intense political polarization and uncertain economic conditions, to widely unexpected results. How did Trump pull off his victory?

Political Behavior of the American Electorate, Fourteenth Edition, attempts to answer this question by interpreting data from the most recent American National Election Study to provide a thorough analysis of the 2016 elections and the current American political behavior. Authors Elizabeth Theiss-Morse and Michael Wagner continue the tradition of Flanigan and Zingale to illustrate and document trends in American political behavior with the best longitudinal data available. The authors also put these trends in context by focusing on the major concepts and characteristics that shape Americans’ responses to politics.

In the completely revised Fourteenth Edition, readers will explore get-out-the-vote efforts and the reasons people voted the way they did, as well as the nature and impact of partisanship, news media coverage, and other issues in 2016—all with an eye toward understanding the trends that led up to the historic decision. 


 
Tables and Figures
 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction
 
Chapter 1. Democratic Beliefs and American Democracy
Trust in Government

 
Attitudes toward Democracy

 
What Leads to Democratic Beliefs and Values?

 
Maintaining a Democracy

 
Notes

 
Suggested Readings

 
Internet Resources

 
 
Chapter 2. Electoral Context and Strategy
The Fundamentals

 
The Rules of the Game

 
Strategy

 
The Unexpected

 
Understanding Fundamentals and Winning Elections

 
Notes

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 3. Turnout and Participation in Elections
Turnout in American Elections

 
Voters and Nonvoters

 
Institutional Impediments to Turnout

 
Psychological Motivation, Genetics, and Turnout

 
Campaign Activity and Mobilization in American Elections

 
Participation in Campaigns

 
Notes

 
Suggested Readings

 
Internet Resources

 
 
Chapter 4. Partisanship and Party Change
Party Loyalty

 
Party Identification

 
Voting Behavior

 
Are Independents Apolitical?

 
Partisans and Electoral Change

 
Party Systems and Realignments

 
Are Conditions Right for a Realignment?

 
Partisan Change

 
Affective Partisanship

 
The Future of Parties and Partisanship

 
Notes

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Chapter 5. Group Characteristics and Social Networks
Primary Groups and Social Networks

 
Group Identity and Partisanship

 
Social Cross-Pressures

 
Notes

 
Suggested Readings

 
Internet Resources

 
 
Chapter 6. Public Opinion and Ideology
The Measurement of Public Opinion

 
Domestic Economic Issues

 
Racial Issues

 
Social Issues

 
Homeland Security and Terrorism

 
International Affairs

 
Nationalism and the 2016 Election

 
Issues and Partisanship

 
Political Ideology

 
Public Opinion and Political Leadership

 
Notes

 
Suggested Readings

 
Internet Resources

 
 
Chapter 7. Political Communication and the Mass Media
Functions of the News Media

 
Types of Media and Their Users

 
Media Bias and Audience Bias

 
Media Coverage and the Public Agenda

 
Political Communication and Polarization

 
Social Media and Contemporary Politics

 
Political Communication and Attitude Change

 
Campaigns and Political Communication

 
Presidential Primary Campaigns

 
Conclusion

 
Notes

 
Suggested Readings

 
Internet Resources

 
 
Chapter 8. Vote Choice and Electoral Decisions
Social Characteristics and Presidential Vote Choice

 
Partisanship and Ideology

 
Short-Term Forces

 
Determinants of Vote Choice

 
The Popular Vote and the Electoral College

 
Vote Choice in Other Types of Elections

 
The Meaning of an Election

 
Notes

 
Suggested Readings

 
Internet Resources

 
 
Appendix: Survey Research Methods
Survey Data Collection

 
Validity of Survey Questions

 
Validity versus Continuity

 
Notes

 
Suggested Readings

 
Internet Resources

 
 
Index
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • Up-to-date research from political science and political psychology offers readers an in-depth understanding of the 2016 elections drawing on the most
  • New characteristics of the American people are identified to help readers better understand trends in voter turnout, the loss of trust in government that many citizens have expressed, and changes in voter attachment to political parties, coupled with an increasing polarization of political activists and elites.
  • An examination of the factors that influenced the 2016 election results is put them in context with previous elections and to help readers draw generalizable conclusions about political behavior in the American electorate.
  • A focus on new elements in American politics (such as the rise of social networking in politics) shows readers how these developments might challenge traditional explanations of political behavior.
  • A closer look at the political science election forecasting statistical models and claims of these models being unreliable gets readers to think critically about the veracity of these claims and ask questions. Is the 2016 election an outlier? Was it really that different from other presidential elections? Does it portend significant changes to come in the conduct (and analysis) of American elections?
  • A comprehensive analysis of Clinton and Trump’s campaign ads shows readers how these campaigns differed between the candidates as well as how they differed from past elections. 
  • Numerous new tables and figures bring concepts to life as well as guide readers through the process of interpreting data. 
KEY FEATURES:
  • An extraordinarily rich series of studies dating back to 1952 provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the history of American elections and puts recent trends into contexts.
  • Focused on electoral behavior and voting, this is the only textbook on the market that aims to analyze and illustrate the most recent trends of American political behavior.
  • Several generations of scholars are cited, providing readers with analysis and interpretation from the most respected minds in the field. 

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