Bridging the Great Divide

in The Race to 270

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780226751337
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226751368 | DOI:
Bridging the Great Divide

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This chapter begins by presenting the book's core thesis: that presidential campaigns affect voters and electorates. It advances four arguments: First, presidential campaigns see the world in terms of amassing 270 electoral votes, which requires identifying, persuading, and/or mobilizing a requisite number of voters in battleground states. Second, although state outcomes ultimately decide the election, paid and free media dictate that media markets also constitute an important level of analysis. Third, because it is difficult to attain campaigning advantages in the most significant electoral battlegrounds, favorable movement in voters' preferences is neither easy nor especially common. Fourth, campaigns usually attempt to affect voters' perceptions of candidates, which they presume leads to a positive shift in the vote. The discussion then turns to how this book differs from the scores of presidential campaign books that dot the popular-literature landscape. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: presidential campaigns; voters; electorates; electoral votes; media markets

Chapter.  6177 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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