Bases Loaded: How US Presidential Campaigns Are Changing and Why It Matters (Paperback)
  • Bases Loaded: How US Presidential Campaigns Are Changing and Why It Matters (Paperback)

Bases Loaded: How US Presidential Campaigns Are Changing and Why It Matters (Paperback)

Paperback 152 Pages
Published: 15/12/2020
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Presidential campaigns in recent years have shifted their strategy to focus increasingly on base partisans, a shift that has had significant consequences for democracy in America.
Over the past few decades, political campaign strategy in US elections has experienced a fundamental shift. Campaigns conducted by both Republicans and Democrats have gradually refocused their attention increasingly toward their respective partisan bases. In Bases Loaded, Costas Panagopoulos documents this shift toward base mobilization and away from voter persuasion in presidential elections between 1956 and 2016. His analyses show that this phenomenon is linked to several developments, including advances in campaign technology and voter targeting capabilities as well as insights from behavioral social science focusing on voter mobilization. Demonstrating the broader implications of the shift toward base mobilization, he links the phenomenon to growing turnout rates among strong partisans and rising partisan polarization. A novel, data-rich account of how presidential campaigns have evolved in the past quarter century, Bases Loaded argues that what campaigns do matters--not only for election outcomes, but also for political processes in the US and for American democracy.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780197533079
Number of pages: 152
Weight: 178 g
Dimensions: 209 x 140 x 11 mm


In a fresh and richly informed volume, Panagopoulos examines why campaigns--especially those for president--have increasingly tended to focus on their party's base. Technology is culprit and increased polarization is the result. This book is data crack cocaine for political junkies. - Karl Rove, Campaign Manager for George Bush, 2000 and 2004

How have US election campaign strategies changed in recent times? Through targeting moves, have the parties been favoring their base voters and leaving centrist voters in the dust? Here is a deft examination of the what's, why's, and so-what's of that topic. - David Mayhew , Sterling Professor of Political Science Emeritus, Yale University

Trump focused his campaign — and his presidency — on appealing to his political base. Instead of winning new converts, he focuses on maintaining enthusiasm in his base. Panagopoulos shows us that Trump's actions are not unique but are the product of the nature of campaigns in the twenty-first century. To do so, Panagopoulos deftly integrates voter opinion and behavior, campaign strategy, and the nature of new media in the age of Big Data. - John Aldrich , Pfizer, Inc./Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. University Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Duke University

Panagopoulos has produced a clear, comprehensive and detailed overview of the dramatic changes in the ways presidential campaigns are conducted in today's era of deep partisan polarization. He explains why modern presidential campaigns focus primarily on identifying and turning out partisans rather than persuading swing voters. This book will be a valuable resource for scholars, students and practitioners of American elections and voting behavior. - Alan Abramowitz , Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science, Emory University

Through meticulous research, Panagopoulos helps us understand how the advent of 'Big Data' fundamentally changed the way campaigns relate to voters, as well as the opportunities and threats this presents to our democracy moving forward. This is the book to read if you actually want to understand how our politics came to be so polarized - Robby Mook , Campaign Manager, Hillary for America, 2016

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