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SAGE Publications

Cover Image: Controversies in Voting Behavior, 5th Edition
  • Date: 08/03/2010
  • Format: Print Paperback
  • Price: $72.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-87289-467-9
  • Pages: 398
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Controversies in Voting Behavior, 5th Edition
Richard G. Niemi, University of Rochester
Herbert F. Weisberg, Ohio State University
David Kimball, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Despite all that scholars have learned about voting behavior, significant questions persist. Controversies in Voting Behavior brings together the best scholarship and organizes it around five important debates that drive research in the field. This new edition features fifteen new selections, with many of these containing new or updated evidence added by the authors just for this volume. Section introductions establish useful context while guiding readers through conflicting interpretations that emerge across the chapters and in the academic literature.
Formats Available from CQ Press
ISBN: 978-0-87289-467-9 Format: Print Paperback Retail Price: $72.00 Price to Bookstores: $57.60
New to this Edition

With both entirely new essays written specifically for this volume, and updating throughout, Controversies in Voting Behavior offers up a whole new set of readings discussing issues from the realignment of party lines and polarization of the American electorate, to what issues really get voters out to the polls on election day.

Niemi, Weisberg and Kimball supply all new section introductions that establish useful context and help readers make connections and sort through the many divergent opinions of the section authors. Collectively, the readings and supporting essays in Controversies in Voting Behavior provide the best scholarship available on voting behavior in one volume.

Previous Editions
4th Edition ©2001

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Table of Contents


1. The Study of Voting and Elections

Part I Political Participation
2. Is Participation Declining or Simply Changing Form?
3. News vs. Entertainment: How Increasing Media Choice Widens Gaps in Political Knowledge and Turnout
-- Markus Prior
4. Voter Turnout: Eligibility Has Its Benefits
-- Michael P. McDonald

Part II Political Information
5. How Important Are Informational Differences among Voters?
6. The Oprah Effect: How Soft News Helps Inattentive Citizens Vote Consistently
-- Matthew A. Baum and Angela S. Jamison
7. Advantages and Disadvantages of Cognitive Heuristics in Political Decision-Making
-- Richard R. Lau and David P. Redlawsk
8. Political Sophistication and Policy Reasoning: A Reconsideration (Updated)
-- Paul Goren

Part III Vote Determinants
9. Are Economic Factors Weakening as Vote Determinants?
10. The Political Conditioning of Economic Perceptions
-- Geoffrey Evans and Robert Andersen
11. Purple America
-- Stephen Ansolabehere, Jonathan Rodden and James M. Snyder Jr.

Part IV Partisanship and Issue Preferences
12. Is the American Electorate Polarized?
13. Resurgent Mass Partisanship: The Role of Elite Polarization (Updated)
-- Marc Hetherington
14. Is Polarization a Myth?
-- Alan I. Abramowitz and Kyle L. Saunders
15. Polarization in the American Public: Misconceptions and Misreadings
-- Morris P. Fiorina, Samuel J. Abrams, and Jeremy C. Pope
16. The 2008 Election: Polarization Continues
-- Alan I. Abramowitz
17. Where’s the Polarization?
-- Morris P. Fiorina and Samuel J. Abrams

Part V Partisan Realignment
18. What Are the Sources of Republican Realignment in the South?
19. Economic Development and a Politics of Class
-- Bryon E. Shafer and Richard Johnston
20. The Reintroduction of Elephas Maximus to the Southern United States: The Rise of Republican State Parties (Updated)
-- M. V. Hood III, Quentin Kidd, and Irwin L. Morris
21. Racial and Moral Issues in the Evolution of the “Southern Strategy.”
-- Sunshine D. Hillygus and Todd G. Shields

Name Index
Subject Index


Niemi, Weisberg, and Kimball have produced an outstanding volume. Controversies in Voting Behavior should be an essential part of any political behavior course. The comprehensive literature reviews and articles engage undergraduates and give them the necessary background to grapple with key issues in the literature. I use the literature reviews in graduate courses as the model students should follow. - Michael J. Hanmer, University of Maryland at College Park

Controversies in Voting Behavior is an ideal textbook for courses focused on voting behavior and elections. This text works beautifully in my electoral behavior course because it provides a comprehensive discussion of the most pressing issues within the field of voting behavior in one convenient volume. My students are able to access the material easily due to the text being organized nicely around several core debates which the authors summarize succinctly prior to the individual chapters which are authored by leaders in their respective research areas. I have used Controversies for several years and cannot wait to introduce my students to the new edition! - Gabriel Sanchez, University of New Mexico

The section introductions written by the editors are one of the best parts of the volume—to hear the editors react to the work, the puzzles, and place things in context is extremely valuable. This is the best attempt to put political science and politics together that I have seen in a book of this type. It makes political science relevant! - Lynn Vavreck, University of California-Los Angeles

Richard G. Niemi, University of Rochester
Richard G. Niemi is Don Alonzo Watson Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester. He is co-editor of Vital Statistics on American Politics, 2009-2010 (CQ Press, 2010), and Comparing Democracies 3 (Sage, 2010). He has written numerous articles on civic education, voting, legislative districting, and term limits. He is a foreign member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Herbert F. Weisberg, Ohio State University
Herbert F. Weisberg is professor of political science at Ohio State University and former editor of the American Journal of Political Science. He is the co-author of The American Voter Revisited (2008) and author of The Total Survey Error Approach: A Guide to the New Science of Survey Research (2005). He was the founding president of the American Political Science Association’s organized section on Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior.

David Kimball, University of Missouri-St. Louis
David C. Kimball is associate professor of political science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is the co-author of Lobbying and Policy Change: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Why (2009) and Why Americans Split Their Tickets (2002). He has written several articles on voting behavior, public opinion, election administration, and interest group lobbying.
Sample Pages