Chapter

Elections During Wartime

in In Time of War

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226043586
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226043463 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226043463.003.0008
Elections During Wartime

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Twenty months after the United States led the invasion of Iraq, Americans marched to the polls to cast their votes for president. From the beginning of the 2004 campaign, the Iraq War cast a long shadow over the election. In the end, George W. Bush, who predicated his electoral strategy on embracing the role of commander in chief, defeated his Democratic opponent, John Kerry, who won the presidential nomination in large part because his military experiences during the Vietnam War made him—at least in theory—an attractive candidate to the American public during a wartime election. This chapter explores how war affects elections, focusing on the wartime elections of the 1940s and the 2000s. Although elections during wartime might, on their face, appear different from elections during times of peace, the underlying structure of choice is rooted in the same normal ebb and flow of domestic politics. This chapter also discusses the 1945 general election in Britain, which saw the Labour Party win over Winston Churchill and the Conservatives.

Keywords: elections; United States; Britain; war; George W. Bush; John Kerry; politics; Labour Party; Iraq; Winston Churchill

Chapter.  10648 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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