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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $55.20
  • October 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93262-1
  • 448 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

Campaigns & Elections

Rules, Reality, Strategy, Choice


John Sides (Author, George Washington University), Daron Shaw (Author, University of Texas at Austin), Matt Grossmann (Author, Michigan State University), Keena Lipsitz (Author, Queens College, City University of New York)


A contemporary and comprehensive approach to campaigns and elections.

This new text, written by a respected author team, makes a contemporary approach to campaigns and elections accessible and engaging. Based on the authors’ own courses, Campaigns & Elections uses a clear, consistent framework to help students understand the strategies and choices involved in American campaigns and elections. With coverage of elections at the presidential, congressional, state, and local levels, the book’s analysis balances the perspectives of political scientists and campaign practitioners.


Contemporary coverage of the major topics in the field

Campaigns & Elections introduces students to a full range of major topics, incorporating recent research in each area:

Congressional and presidential elections, as well as state and local races. Campaigns & Elections includes a chapter on each major type of race, and also addresses these distinctions throughout the book.
Electoral institutions, campaign strategy, and voter response. The authors offer an accessible introduction to each of these major topics.
Special attention to the role of new media. Throughout the text, the authors take account of how new media is (or isn’t) changing American electoral campaigns.

Balances political science expertise with vivid stories from recent campaigns

Drawing on the authors’ experience as researchers, scholars, and campaign strategists, Campaigns & Elections teaches students about the field as it is understood today—by both political scientists and campaign professionals. “In Practice” boxes pull back the curtain on “what really happens” on the campaign trail and during an election, and compelling chapter-opening stories draw students in and preview some of the major questions discussed in each chapter.

A consistent, four-point framework

To help students make sense of the full set of topics and perspectives covered in the course, the authors present a simple framework for understanding campaigns and elections in Chapter 1 and use this framework consistently in every chapter: 

• the rules that govern elections
• the “reality” that parties and candidates confront as they decide whether to run or how to campaign
• the strategic choices that various actors—candidates, parties, media, consultants, interest groups—make
• the choices of voters, which will ultimately decide the outcome

Student and instructor resources based on the authors’ successful courses

The free and open StudySpace student website includes class-tested exercises that give students hands-on experience with key aspects of American campaigns and elections. Students can try creating a strategic campaign plan, spinning a presidential debate, designing a campaign advertisement, and more. StudySpace also includes YouTube video exercises that give students real-world examples of campaign ads, and test their understanding about the ads and the campaign as a whole. Instructors have access to a test bank, written by the authors, organized around a Concept Map and ranked by knowledge type, difficulty, and page and section reference. Finally, all the photos and drawn figures from the text are available for download.

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Chapter 2: The American Electoral Process

    Chapter 3: The Transformation of American Campaigns

    Chapter 4: Financing Campaigns

    Chapter 5: Modern Campaign Strategies

    Chapter 6: Political Parties and Interest Groups

    Chapter 7: Media

    Chapter 8: Presidential Campaigns

    Chapter 9: Congressional Campaigns

    Chapter 10: State and Local Campaigns

    Chapter 11: Voter Participation

    Chapter 12: Voter Choice

    Chapter 13: Democracy in Action or a Broken System?