The 2012 election is over, but the debate over the fairness and accuracy of our electoral system continues. The courts are dealing with the alleged discriminatory impact of voter ID requirements on minority voters; privacy and vote manipulation are concerns as political campaigns utilize new technology to target voters; the news media are contending with harsh public criticism of their elections coverage; the campaign finance floodgates were opened with vast resources spent on negative advertising; and the Electoral College continues to undermine a national, democratic electoral system—Is this any way to run a democratic election?

This fully updated fifth edition answers that important question by looking at both recent events and recent scholarship focused on the democratic electoral process, including new data and timely illustrations from the 2012 elections.

Are American Parties Still Representative?

Are American parties still representative?

Did you know that…

  • the Democratic Party of the United States is the oldest political party in the world?
  • in this age of telegenic candidates and carefully scripted candidate appeals, partisanship still remains the most important influence on voting behavior?
  • more people claim to be independent today than vote consistently in an independent manner?
  • the least and most educated voters tend to vote Democratic in presidential elections?
  • no political party in the United States today commands the loyalty of a majority of the population?
  • although changes in the nomination process were designed to give a larger voice to rank-and-file partisans, the process continues to allow political elites to exercise greater influence?
  • a key factor that has led to a resurgence of party organizations ...
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