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Defying the Odds

The 2016 Elections and American Politics

James W. Ceaser; Andrew E. Busch and John J. Pitney Jr.

Bitterness and joy, outrage and satisfaction, shame and pride, escapes to safe places and displays of celebration—these were just a few of the conflicting reactions that greeted the election of Donald Trump. One point lays beyond dispute: Donald Trump defied the odds, whether set by bookmakers or political pundits, or pollsters.

In this book—as they have for every presidential election since 1992—James Ceaser, Andrew Busch, and John Pitney Jr. revisit the race for the presidency and congressional and state elections through the short lens of politics today and the long lens of American political history. At the core of the 2016 election, they seek to understand and explain the different reasons for Donald Trump’s success at each stage of the campaign. With its keen insights into the issues and events that drove the 2016 election,
Defying the Odds will be an invaluable resource for students and all political observers seeking to understand an election that was decades in the making and will continue to resonate throughout American politics for many years to come.

Previous books in the series
After Hope and Change:
The 2012 Elections and American Politics, Post 2014 Election Update
Epic Journey:
The 2008 Elections and American Politics
Red Over Blue: The 2004 Elections and American Politics
The Perfect Tie: The True Story of the 2000 Presidential Election
Losing to Win: The 1996 Elections and American Politics
Upside Down and Inside Out: The 1992 Elections and American Politics
« less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 216Size: 6 1/4 x 9 3/8
978-1-4422-7346-7 • Hardback • April 2017 • $49.95 • (£32.95)
978-1-4422-7347-4 • Paperback • April 2017 • $29.95 • (£19.95)
978-1-4422-7348-1 • eBook • April 2017 • $27.95 • (£18.95)
James W. Ceaser is professor of politics at the University of Virginia.

Andrew E. Busch is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.

John J. Pitney Jr. is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.

Chapter 1: Twenty-Four Years Later: 1992 and 2016
Chapter 2: From Little Rock to Chappaqua: The Democratic Nomination Contest
Chapter 3: Trumped: The Republican Nomination Contest
Chapter 4: Race to the Bottom: The General Election
Chapter 5: Red Down the Ballot: Congressional and State Elections
Chapter 6: Aftermath and Future

About the Authors
Defying the Odds features terrific analysis of one of the most improbable presidential elections in our nation's history. Casting a wide investigative net, the authors ably depict the many influences behind the 2016 triumph of billionaire outsider Donald Trump and the Republicans. It’s a book teeming with original insights about a huge turning point in US politics.
Steven E. Schier, Congdon Professor of Political Science, Carleton College

"[A] useful book, by three academics, for all readers wishing to further understand the 2008 presidential campaign—and for those who think they already understand it! . . . All readers will come away feeling as clearheaded as these writers, a tribute to their work."—April 2009, Library Journal, Starred Review of Epic Journey
Library Journal

The intellectual charm of the politics of presidential selection in 2016 lay in a tangled disconfirmation of conventional wisdoms, offered incessantly. Someone has to untangle this succession of anomalies, and who better than Ceaser, Busch, and Pitney? For them, the concept of ‘outsiderism’ is key, and they follow it from start to finish. It is a tour not to be missed. Get on the bus.
Byron E. Shafer, Hawkins Chair of Political Science, University of Wisconsin

Defying the Odds arrives in the nick of time, offering a cogent, informed, and readable account of 2016 presidential campaign. Building on their previous campaign books, the authors provide invaluable context for the Trump era.

John C. Green, director, Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, University of Akron

“Ceaser, Busch, and Pitney have done it again. Like their earlier campaign chronicles, Defying the Odds is a lively, scholarly analysis that makes sense out of the latest elections. The 2016 elections may have confounded the pundits and pollsters, but these scholars explain what happened and why with clarity and admirable detachment.”

Mark J. Rozell, George Mason University, author; The New Politics of the Old South: An Introduction to Southern Politics, Sixth Edition

“No presidential election in the last 25 years has produced such a surprising result as Donald Trump's victory in 2016. In Defying the Odds, James Ceaser, Andrew Busch, and John Pitney Jr., explain how this seemingly impossible thing happened, and what it means for America and the future.”

Michael Barone, American Enterprise Institute and The Washington Examiner