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Presidential Swing States

Why Only Ten Matter

Edited by David Schultz and Stacey Hunter Hecht - Contributions by Donald W. Beachler; Matthew L. Bergbower; Chris Cooper; David F. Damore; Bas Van Dooren; Sean D. Foreman; Rebecca Gill; Henriët Hendriks; Donna Hoffmann; Rafael Jacob; Gibbs Knotts; Neil Kraus; Christopher Larimer; John McGlennon; Scott L. McLean; Niall J.A. Palmer; Robert Preuhs; Norman Provizer; Andrew Thangasamy; Kenneth F. Warren and Aaron Weinschenk

The 2016 presidential race is arguably already over in 40 states and the District of Columbia. If recent presidential election trends are any indication of what will happen in 2016, Democrats in Texas and Republicans in New York might as well stay home on election day because their votes will matter little in the presidential race. The same might be said for the voters in 38 other states too. Conversely, for those in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, and a handful of other states, their votes matter. These states will be battered with a barrage of presidential candidate visits, commercials, political spending, and countless stories about them by the media. Understanding why the presidential race has been effectively reduced to only ten states is the subject of Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter. Stacey Hunter Hecht and David Schultz offer a first of its kind examination of why some states are swingers in presidential elections, capable of being won by either of the major candidates. Presidential Swing States describes what makes these few states unique and why the presidency is decided by who wins them. With cases studies written by prominent political scientists who are experts on these swing states, Presidential Swing States also explains why some states have been swingers but no longer are, why some are swinging, and what states beyond 2016 may be the future ones that decide the presidency. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 386Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
978-0-7391-9524-6 • Hardback • October 2015 • $110.00 • (£75.00)
978-0-7391-9526-0 • Paperback • June 2017 • $49.99 • (£32.95)
978-0-7391-9525-3 • eBook • October 2015 • $46.99 • (£31.95)
David Schultz is professor of political science at Hamline University.

Stacey Hunter Hecht is associate professor of political science and chair of the Political Science Department at Bethel University.

Acknowledgments and Dedication

Swing-States and Presidential Elections
Stacey Hunter Hecht
David Schultz

Chapter 1
Purple Battlegrounds: Presidential Campaign Strategies and Swing State Voters
Scott L. McLean

Chapter 2
The One That Got Away:
Missouri’s Break from Ultimate Swing State Status
Kenneth F. Warren and Rafael Jacob

Chapter 3
Ohio: The “Battleground of Battlegrounds”?
Henriët Hendriks
Bas van Doorn

Chapter 4
Florida: The Purple Sunshine State
Sean D. Foreman

Chapter 5
The Bluest Red State in America:
Exploring North Carolina’s Political Past, Present, and Future
Christopher A. Cooper
H. Gibbs Knotts

Chapter 6
The Badger State as a Battleground: Wisconsin Politics Past, Present, and Future
Aaron C. Weinschenk
Neil Kraus

Chapter 7
New Mexico: A Swing State No Longer?
Donald W. Beachler

Chapter 8
Contesting Colorado: The Politics of Change in the Centennial State.
Robert R. Preuhs
Norman Provizer
Andrew Thangasamy

Chapter 9
Swing State Politics in the Silver State
David F. Damore
Rebecca D. Gill

Chapter 10
Blue Dawn? New Hampshire and the
Limits of the New England Democratic Revival"
Niall Palmer

Chapter 11
Virginia: Not Leaving the Spotlight
John J. McGlennon

Chapter 12
Battleground Iowa: Swing State Extraordinaire
Donna R. Hoffman
Christopher W. Larimer, University of Northern Iowa

Chapter 13
Indiana Politics at a Crossroad: Democrats Competing in a Conservative State
Matthew L. Bergbower

Why States Swing in American Presidential Elections
Stacey Hunter Hecht
David Schultz

About the Authors
During presidential election campaigns, the media throw around terms like 'bellwether state,' 'battleground state,' and 'swing state.' Average voters can easily be confused by these terms, especially when journalists and pundits seem to use them interchangeably. Editors Hecht and Schultz seek to clarify these terms and demonstrate why such states are so important to campaign strategists, political analysts, and electoral outcomes. Students of presidential campaigns, whether in colleges, pressrooms, or campaign backrooms, will find the descriptions of the history and politics of 12 states useful. . . . [I]t may take readers a while to grasp the distinction the editors seek to make between bellwether, battleground, and swing states. Still, the book provides a needed explanation of these terms and does an excellent job of painting a picture of each of the states, while making a case that two of them should not be counted as swing states. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.

The authors offer a first of its kind examination of why some states are swingers in presidential elections.
Forest Lake Area Lowdown

This first-of-its-kind book that explains why some states are more decisive and important in American presidential elections than others.
Hamline University News

All U.S. voters are equal, but some are more equal than others. The more equal ones reside in the handful of competitive states that determine who becomes president. America's current and future political map is identified in this useful book.
Larry J. Sabato, director, University of Virginia Center for Politics

Do you live in, say, California or Texas? Sorry, you’re not likely to have many reporters asking you what you think about the 2016 presidential election. Just a handful of swing states determines who wins the White House. Here’s a smart look at the landscape that controls American politics, how it’s changed and where it’s headed.
Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief, USA Today