• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

One of the first texts to make use of the 2008 National Election Study results, this new edition of Change and Continuity will put the momentous recent elections into historical context for your students.

Questions considered include: What were the impact of race and gender in this election cycle? How did fundraising during the invisible primary shape the nomination contest? To what extent did youth participation determine the outcome of the election? What effect did new media have on the campaign and voter turnout? What role did the economic crisis play in voters choices? Was 2008 a year for partisan realignment of the electorate?

This well-respected author team delves deeply into each area, armed with an array of thorough, yet student-friendly data, graphics, and figures. As with all books in the Change and Continuity series, the authors present election data from a variety of sources in a straightforward, accessible manner and make sure to incorporate and discuss the most recent research.

The Congressional Electorate in 2008
The congressional electorate in 2008

In the preceding chapter, we viewed congressional elections at the district and state levels and saw how they formed a national result. In this chapter, we consider congressional elections from the point of view of the individual voter, using the same American National Election Studies surveys we employed to study presidential voting. We discuss how social forces, issues, partisan loyalties, incumbency, and evaluations of congressional and presidential performance influence the decisions of voters in congressional elections. We also try to determine the existence and extent of presidential coattails.

Social Forces and the Congressional Vote

In general, social forces relate to the congressional vote in the same way they relate to the presidential vote (Table 10-1).1 These relationships were ...

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