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Change and Continuity in the 2016 Elections

Change and Continuity in the 2016 Elections

First Edition

March 2018 | 448 pages | CQ Press

“A serious book that looks at theories of voting behavior in a comprehensive and comprehensible manner.”

—Brad Lockerbie, East Carolina University


“Data-driven, thorough, and rigorous. Change and Continuity is in-depth and wide-ranging in its coverage, making it ideal for an introductory American politics course.”

—Abbie Erler, Kenyon College


Is America in the midst of an electoral transformation? What were the sources of Trump’s victory in 2016, and how do they differ from Republican coalitions of the past? Does his victory signal a long-term positive trajectory for Republicans’ chances in presidential elections?


Change and Continuity in the 2016 Elections attempts to answer those questions by analyzing and explaining the voting behavior in the most recent election, as well as setting the results in the context of larger trends and patterns in elections studies. New co-author Jamie L. Carson brings years of congressional and election research experience to help this top-notch author team meticulously explain the latest National Election Studies data and discuss its importance and impact. Readers will critically analyze a variety of variables such as the presidential and congressional elections, voter turnout, and the social forces, party loyalties, and prominent issues that affect voting behavior. Readers will walk away with a better understanding of this groundbreaking election and what those results mean for the future of American politics.

Tables and Figures
About the Authors
Change and Continuity

Voters and the Act of Voting

Survey Research Sampling

Plan of the Book

CHAPTER 1. The Nomination Struggle
Who Ran

The Rules of the Nomination System

Strategy and the Candidates’ Campaigns in 2016: The Electoral Setting and How the Candidates Won Their Nominations

CHAPTER 2. The General Election Campaign
The Strategic Context and Candidates’ Choices

Political Context, Overall Strategy, and Opening Moves

From the Conventions to the Debates

The End Game and the Struggle over Turnout

Did the Campaign Make a Difference?

CHAPTER 3. The Election Results
The Election Rules

The Pattern of Results

State-by-State Results

Electoral Change in the Postwar South

The Electoral Vote Balance

CHAPTER 4. Who Voted?
Voter Turnout, 1789–1916

Voter Turnout, 1920–2016

Voter Turnout among Social Groups

Changes in Turnout after 1960

Election-Specific Factors

Does Low Voter Turnout Matter?

CHAPTER 5. Social Forces and the Vote
How Social Groups Voted in 2016

How Social Groups Voted during the Postwar Years

Why the New Deal Coalition Broke Down

CHAPTER 6. Candidates, Issues, and the Vote
Attitudes toward the Candidates

Prospective Evaluations

Issue Positions and Perceptions

Issue Voting Criteria

Apparent Issue Voting in 2016


CHAPTER 7. Presidential Performance and Candidate Choice
What Is Retrospective Voting?

Evaluations of Government Performance on Important Problems

Economic Evaluations and the Vote for the Incumbent

Foreign Policy Evaluations and the Vote for the Incumbent

Evaluations of the Incumbent

The Impact of Retrospective Evaluations


CHAPTER 8. Party Loyalties, Policy Preferences, and the Vote
Party Identification as Loyalty: The Original View

Party Identification as Retrospective Evaluation: A Second View

Party Identification, Polarization, and Identity: A Synthesis?

Party Identification in the Electorate

Hispanic Partisanship in 2008, 2012, and 2016

Party Identification and the Vote

Policy Preferences and Performance Evaluations


CHAPTER 9. Candidates and Outcomes in 2016
Election Outcomes in 2016

Candidates’ Resources and Election Outcomes

The 2016 Elections: The Impact on Congress

The 2018 Elections and Beyond

CHAPTER 10. The Congressional Electorate in 2016
Social Forces and the Congressional Vote

Issues and the Congressional Vote

Party Identification and the Congressional Vote

Incumbency and the Congressional Vote

The Congressional Vote as Referendum

Presidential Coattails and the Congressional Vote


CHAPTER 11. The 2016 Elections and the Future of American Politics
The Great Continuities: The Electoral System and the Party System

The Great Change: Depolarization and the Return of Partisan Polarization

Change and Continuity in Turnout

Continuities in Electoral Partisanship

Changes in the Partisan Electorate

Change and Continuity in the U.S. Congress


“A serious book that looks at theories of voting behavior in a comprehensive and comprehensible manner.”

Brad Lockerbie
East Carolina University

“Data-driven, thorough, and rigorous. Change and Continuity is in-depth and wide-ranging in its coverage, making it ideal for an introductory American politics course.”

Abbie Erler
Kenyon College

John H. Aldrich

John H. Aldrich is Pfizer-Pratt University Professor of Political Science at Duke University. He is author of Why Parties: A Second Look (2011), coeditor of Positive Changes in Political Science (2007), and author of Why Parties (1995) and Before the Convention (1980). He is a past president of both the Southern Political Science Association and the Midwest Political Science Association and is serving as president of the American Political Science Association. In 2001 he was elected a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. More About Author

Jamie L. Carson

Brad T. Gomez

Brad T. Gomez is associate professor of political science at Florida State University. His research interests focus on voting behavior and public opinion with a particular interest in how citizens attribute responsibility for socio-political events. His published work appears in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and other journals and edited volumes. More About Author

David W. Rohde

David W. Rohde is Ernestine Friedl Professor of Political Science and director of the Political Institutions and Public Choice Program at Duke University. He is coeditor of Why Not Parties? (2008), author of Parties and Leaders in the Postreform House (1991), coeditor of Home Style and Washington Work (1989), and coauthor of Supreme Court Decision Making (1976). More About Author

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ISBN: 9781544320250

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