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The Polarized Public?
by Abramowitz, Alan

9780205877393Alan I. AbramowitzThe Polarized Public?: Why American Government Is So DysfunctionalDebuting in its first edition, The Polarized Public takes an in-depth look at the seemingly irreconcilable divide between Republicans and Democrats and argues that bi-partisanship remains elusive, not because of politicians in the capitol, but because of the American public and their fixation on party membership and loyalty. How did this intense polarization develop? How has it influenced the current political climate? How will it evolve and affect the upcoming presidential and congressional elections? Alan Abramowitz addresses all of these questions among others in this new, eye-opening addition to The Great Questions in Politics series. - Description from Syndetics

Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth about the Rea
by Chinni, Dante; Gimpel, James

9781592405732Dante Chinni; James GimpelOur Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth about the Real AmericaA revolutionary new way to understand America's complex cultural and political landscape, with proof that local communities have a major impact on the nation's behavior-in the voting booth and beyond. In a climate of culture wars and tremendous economic uncertainty, the media have often reduced America to a simplistic schism between red states and blue states. In response to that oversimplification, journalist Dante Chinni teamed up with political geographer James Gimpel to launch the Patchwork Nation project, using on-the-ground reporting and statistical analysis to get past generalizations and probe American communities in depth. The result is Our Patchwork Nation , a refreshing, sometimes startling, look at how America's diversities often defy conventional wisdom. Looking at the data, they recognized that the country breaks into twelve distinct types of communities, and old categories like "soccer mom" and "working class" don't matter as much as we think. Instead, by examining Boom Towns, Evangelical Epicenters, Military Bastions, Service Worker Centers, Campus and Careers, Immigration Nation, Minority Central, Tractor Community, Mormon Outposts, Emptying Nests, Industrial Metropolises, and Monied Burbs, the authors demonstrate the subtle distinctions in how Americans vote, invest, shop, and otherwise behave, reflect what they experience on their local streets and in their daily lives. Our Patchwork Nation is a brilliant new way to debate and examine the issues that matter most to our communities, and to our nation. - Description from Syndetics

Election Spending
by Dziedzic, Nancy G

9780737754346Greenhaven Press Editors (Editor); Nancy Dziedzic (Editor)Election SpendingThis volume explores the topics relating to election spending by presenting varied expert opinions that examine many of the different aspects that comprise these topics. Divergent views on the same topic allow readers to activate their higher-level critical thinking and reading skills. Will fully anonymous campaign donations eliminate political corruption? Would public funding of elections ensure judicial neutrality? Does the Federal Election Commission hinder campaign finance reform? Is banning corporate campaign contributions unconstitutional? Essays provide the answers and readers can decide for themselves where they stand on the issues. - Description from Syndetics

Do Facts Matter?: Information and Misinformation in American Politics
by Hochschild, Jennifer L; Einstein, Katherine Levine

9780806155906Jennifer L. Hochschild; Katherine Levine EinsteinDo Facts Matter?: Information and Misinformation in American Politics A democracy falters when most of its citizens are uninformed or misinformed, when misinformation affects political decisions and actions, or when political actors foment misinformation--the state of affairs the United States faces today, as this timely book makes painfully clear. In Do Facts Matter? Jennifer L. Hochschild and Katherine Levine Einstein start with Thomas Jefferson's ideal citizen, who knows and uses correct information to make policy or political choices. What, then, the authors ask, are the consequences if citizens are informed but do not act on their knowledge? More serious, what if they do act, but on incorrect information? Analyzing the use, nonuse, and misuse of facts in various cases--such as the call to impeach Bill Clinton, the response to global warming, Clarence Thomas's appointment to the Supreme Court, the case for invading Iraq, beliefs about Barack Obama's birthplace and religion, and the Affordable Care Act--Hochschild and Einstein argue persuasively that errors of commission (that is, acting on falsehoods) are even more troublesome than errors of omission. While citizens' inability or unwillingness to use the facts they know in their political decision making may be frustrating, their acquisition and use of incorrect "knowledge" pose a far greater threat to a democratic political system. Do Facts Matter? looks beyond individual citizens to the role that political elites play in informing, misinforming, and encouraging or discouraging the use of accurate or mistaken information or beliefs. Hochschild and Einstein show that if a well-informed electorate remains a crucial component of a successful democracy, the deliberate concealment of political facts poses its greatest threat. - Description from Syndetics

Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths about American Voters
by Kaufmann, Karen M; Petrocik, John R; Shaw, Daron R

9780195366846Karen M. Kaufmann; John R. Petrocik; Daron R. ShawUnconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths about American VotersLate deciders go for the challenger; turnout helps the Democrats; the gender gap results from a surge in Democratic preference among women--these and many other myths are standard fare among average citizens, political pundits, and even some academics. But are these conventionalwisdoms--familiar to anyone who watches Sunday morning talk shows--really valid? Unconventional Wisdom offers a novel yet highly accessible synthesis of what we know about American voters and elections. It not only provides an integrated overview of the central themes in American politics--parties, polarization, turnout, partisan bias, campaign effects, swing voters, thegender gap, and the youth vote--it upends many of our fundamental preconceptions. Most importantly, it shows that the American electorate is much more stable than we have been led to believe, and that the voting patterns we see today have deep roots in our history. Throughout, the book providescomprehensive information on voting patterns; illuminates (and corrects) popular myths about voters and elections; and details the empirical foundations of conventional wisdoms that many understand poorly or not at all. Written by three experts on American politics, Unconventional Wisdom serves as both a standard reference and a concise overview of the subject. Both informative and witty, the book is likely to become a standard work in the field, essential reading for anyone interested in Americanpolitics. - Description from Syndetics

Can We Talk?: The Rise of Rude, Nasty, Stubborn Politics
by Shea, Daniel M; Fiorina, Morris P

9780205885183Daniel M. Shea; Morris P. FiorinaCan We Talk?: The Rise of Rude, Nasty, Stubborn PoliticsTo many, the angry protestors at town hall meetings, the death threats toward politicians, the inflammatory language online and over the airwaves, and the language of politician themselves are making America politics an ugly, mean-spirited, and nasty affair. Can We Talk? presents a dream team of scholars and journalists who ask: Is politics really as nasty as many news commentators perceive? What are forces are changing the political discourse and who is to blame? How will this change transform the very nature of our democracy? Civility in politics is one of the great issues of our day, making Can We Talk? a must-read for all students of American government. - Description from Syndetics

Fountain of Youth: Strategies and Tactics for Mobilizing America's Young Voters
by Shea, Daniel M; Green, John Clifford

9780742539662John C. Green (Contribution by, Editor); Melissa K. Comber (Contribution by); Ivan Frishberg (Contribution by); William A. Galston (Contribution by); John Kenneth White (Contribution by); J. Cherie Strachan (Contribution by)Fountain of Youth: Strategies and Tactics for Mobilizing America's Young VotersThe withdrawal of young Americans from electoral politics has been as startling as it has been mystifying. Possible explanations for this phenomenon have focused on increased levels of cynicism and distrust among young voters, the behavior of candidates and campaign consultants, and the importance of institutional barriers to voting. Then came the 2004 election, when nearly 47 percent of eligible 18-to-24-year-olds turned out to vote--an 11 percent increase over 2000 levels. In the wake of this surprising development, Fountain of Youth looks at the tactics and strategies for youth mobilization--from improved civic education to recasting the theme of "Rock the Vote" to reinvigorating political parties. Indeed, the book includes new and innovative research on the role of local political parties in registering and getting young voters to the polls. This volume will be of interest to scholars, teachers, practitioners, pundits-in short, anyone concerned about the future of our democracy. - Description from Syndetics

The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America
by Suarez, Ray

9780060829971Ray SuarezThe Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in AmericaThe Holy Vote examines the way Americans worship, how organized religion and politics intersect in America, and how this powerful collision is transforming the current and future American mind-set Not since the Civil War has the United States been sopolarized--politically and ideologically. But at the very heart of this fracture is a fascinating rig and paradoxical marriage between our country's politics and religions. Over the past several election cycles, the differences between so-called "Red America"--conservative, church-affiliated, suburban, and rural--and "Blue America"--urban, secular, and socially liberal--have hardened. Although on most days, these two big American mainstreams move on parallel tracks, they increasingly find themselves head to head, ready to fight at the slightest offense. They react to new stories in different ways. They react to government power in different ways. They certainly vote in different ways. With The Holy Vote, Ray Suarez explores the advent of this polarization and how it is profoundly changing the way in which we live our lives. With hands-on reporting, Suarez explores the attitudes and beliefs of the people behind the voting numbers, the places in which these new beliefs are being born, and how the political divide is manifesting itself across the country. The reader will come to a greater understanding of how Americans believe, and how this belief structure fuels the debates that dominate the issues on our evening news. - Description from Syndetics

The Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding American's Right to Vote
by Wang, Tova Andrea

9780801450853Tova Andrea Wang; Janice Nittoli (Foreword by)The Politics of Voter Suppression: Defending and Expanding Americans' Right to VoteThe Politics of Voter Suppression arrives in time to assess actual practices at the polls this fall and to reengage with debates about voter suppression tactics such as requiring specific forms of identification. Tova Andrea Wang examines the history of how U.S. election reforms have been manipulated for partisan advantage and establishes a new framework for analyzing current laws and policies. The tactics that have been employed to suppress voting in recent elections are not novel, she finds, but rather build upon the strategies used by a variety of actors going back nearly a century and a half. This continuity, along with the shift to a Republican domination of voter suppression efforts for the past fifty years, should inform what we think about reform policy today. Wang argues that activities that suppress voting are almost always illegitimate, while reforms that increase participation are nearly always legitimate. In short, use and abuse of election laws and policies to suppress votes has obvious detrimental impacts on democracy itself. Such activities are also harmful because of their direct impacts on actual election outcomes. Wang regards as beneficial any legal effort to increase the number of Americans involved in the electoral system. This includes efforts that are focused on improving voter turnout among certain populations typically regarded as supporting one party, as long as the methods and means for boosting participation are open to all. Wang identifies and describes a number of specific legitimate and positive reforms that will increase voter turnout. - Description from Syndetics

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