Why do voters so often exhibit patterns of policy preference vastly different from what analysts and strategists predict? And why do these same voters consistently cast ballots that ensure the continuation of "divided government?"
In The Two Majorities Byron Shafer and William Claggett offer groundbreaking political analysis that resolves many of the seeming contradictions in the contemporary American political scene.
Provocatively, the authors argue that each party's best strategy for success is not to try to take popular positions on the whole range of issues, but to focus attention on the party's most successful cluster of issues.
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 369 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
Byron Shafer and William Claggett have given us an important book. While attending ably to their primary objective of advancing our understanding of the contemporary partisan realignment, the authors manage as well to contribute significantly to another subject of even greater scope. -- Everett Carll Ladd * Public Opinion Quarterly *
The stated scholarly mission of the book is to tease out the structure of American political opinion in the late twentieth century: the central concerns of that opinion, their roots and the distribution of preferences on them, and the gathering and dividing of preferences in partisan ways. In addition, Shafer and Claggett consider the implications of an opinion structure for practical-and successful-politicking. -- Edward Sidlow * Perspectives on Political Science *
Overall, The Two Majorities is an interesting and useful study of public opinion. It provides readers with a good picture of public opinion and it connects that picture with sound strategic advice for each party about what sort of issues to emphasize and to ignore. -- Eric R. A. N. Smith * American Political Science Review *