By Karen M. Kaufmann
Past due deciders opt for the challenger; turnout is helping the Democrats; the gender hole effects from a surge in Democratic choice between women--these and lots of different myths are typical fare between regular voters, political pundits, or even a few teachers. yet are those traditional wisdoms--familiar to someone who watches Sunday morning speak shows--really valid?Unconventional knowledge deals a unique but hugely obtainable synthesis of what we all know approximately American electorate and elections. It not just offers an built-in assessment of the critical subject matters in American politics--parties, polarization, turnout, partisan bias, crusade results, swing electorate, the gender hole, and the adolescence vote--it upends a lot of our primary preconceptions. most significantly, it indicates that the yank citizens is way extra solid than now we have been ended in think, and that the balloting styles we see this day have deep roots in our heritage. all through, the booklet offers accomplished details on balloting styles; illuminates (and corrects) well known myths approximately electorate and elections; and information the empirical foundations of traditional wisdoms that many comprehend poorly or certainly not. Written by way of 3 specialists on American politics, Unconventional knowledge serves as either a typical reference and a concise evaluate of the topic. either informative and witty, the booklet is probably going to develop into a customary paintings within the box, crucial interpreting for somebody attracted to American politics.
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Extra resources for Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths About American Voters
Right now, red staters and blue staters live in two different political universes. —E. J. Dionne, Washington Post, March 14, 2006 W hile american voters express considerable disdain for the two-party political system, they are still fairly loyal members of their respective parties, as we show in Chapter 2. And while popular election commentary pays relatively little attention to the enduring importance of party identiﬁcation, journalists and pundits are nonetheless (and somewhat paradoxically) fascinated by the notion that the American electorate has become polarized.
And we suspect there may be insight from the Bowling Alone/ Ladd Report dialogue that explains why Americans feel that parties matter little to voters despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In addition, we think the full story is complicated and deserves analysis that we cannot offer here. We do, however, offer three ideas about why Americans might be uncomfortable with their partisanship and (erroneously) doubt that it matters any more. The ﬁrst is that they have become accustomed to appeals that are not partisan.
In terms of self-professed ideology, for example, moderates make up almost one-half of the population; conservatives constitute approximately 30 percent and selfidentiﬁed liberals about 15 percent. The same basic pattern of centrist opinion can be seen on a wide array of public issues. Whether abortion 51 52 Unconventional Wisdom rights, domestic spending, prayer in school, or civil rights, a plurality of Democrats and Republicans will pick middle-of-the-road positions to the extent they are offered as an option.
Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths About American Voters by Karen M. Kaufmann