The Race to 270

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2006-11-15
Publisher(s): Univ of Chicago Pr
List Price: $28.00

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The Electoral College has played an important role in presidential politics since our nation's founding, but surprisingly little information exists about precisely how it affects campaign strategy. Daron R. Shaw, a scholar who also worked as a strategist in both Bush-Cheney campaigns, has written the first book to go inside the past two presidential elections and reveal how the race to 270 was wonand lost. Shaw's nonpartisan study lays out how both the Democrats and the Republicans developed strategies to win decisive electoral votes by targeting specific states and media markets. Drawing on his own experience with Republican battle plans, candidate schedules, and advertising purchasesplus key contacts in the Gore and Kerry campsShaw goes on to show that both sides used information on weekly shifts in candidate support to reallocate media buys and schedule appearances. Most importantly, he uses strikingly original research to prove that these carefully constructed plans significantly affected voters' preferences and opinionsnot in huge numbers, but enough to shift critical votes in key battlegrounds. Bridging the gap between those who study campaigns and those who conduct them, The Race to 270 will provide political scientists and practitioners alike with fresh insights about the new strategies that stem from one of our oldest institutions.

Author Biography

Daron R. Shaw is associate professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked on several political campaigns, including both Bush-Cheney presidential bids.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Acknowledgments xi
Bridging the Great Divide
What We Know (and Don't Know) About Presidential Campaigns
The Truth About Electoral College Strategies
Allocating Campaign Resources Across States and Media Markets
Measuring the Campaign's Impact
Learning from Out Mistakes
Appendix 1 Television Advertising by Media Markets, 2000 and 2004 177(10)
Appendix 2 Candidate Appearances by Media Markets, 2000 and 2004 187(12)
Appendix 3 Media Markets Used in Pooled Time Series Analyses, 2000 and 2004 199(4)
Notes 203(10)
References 213(10)
Index 223

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