Add to GoodReads Exam Copies eExam Copies

Barack Obama and the New America

The 2012 Election and the Changing Face of Politics

Edited by Larry J. Sabato - Contributions by James Campbell; Rhodes Cook; Nate Cohn; Diana Owen; Geoff Skelley; Kyle Kondik; Jamelle Bouie; Robert Costa; Sean Trende; Susan MacManus; Karen E. Trainer; Michael Toner and Alan Abramowitz

Larry Sabato, one of the leading experts in American politics, has brought together respected journalists and academics from across the political spectrum to examine every facet of the 2012 election, and what its development and outcome will mean for the nation moving forward. In frank, accessible prose, each author offers insight that goes beyond the headlines, and dives into the underlying forces and shifts that drove the election from its earliest developments to its dramatic conclusion.

Contributing authors joining Larry Sabato with chapters in the book include: Professor Alan Abramowitz of Emory University; Professor Diana Owen of Georgetown University; Jamelle Bouie of
American Prospect; Professor James Campbell of SUNY-Buffalo; Political writers and commentators Kyle Kondik and Geoff Skelley of the University of Virginia Center for Politics; Michael Toner, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission; Karen E. Trainer of Wiley Rein LLP; Nate Cohn of The New Republic; Rhodes Cook, formerly of Congressional Quarterly; Robert Costa of National Review; Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics; and Professor Susan MacManus of the University of South Florida.

Following Sabato’s introductory analysis, the contributors provide a comprehensive review of everything in play during the 2012 elections, including the controversial roles that unprecedented amounts of money and media played in deciding who would occupy the Oval Office as well as pivotal seats in Congress. They also explore the nominating processes, conventions, and futures of both the Democratic and Republican parties, and what recent geographic and demographic electoral realignments might mean for America’s politics beyond 2012.

« less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 252Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-2263-2 • Hardback • January 2013 • $87.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4422-2264-9 • Paperback • January 2013 • $28.00 • (£18.95)
978-1-4422-2265-6 • eBook • January 2013 • $26.00 • (£17.95)
Larry J. Sabato is the Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and director of its Center for Politics. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books on American politics and elections.

Larry J. Sabato’s
Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics link here.

Larry J. Sabato (University of Virginia Center for Politics)

2. Voting in a Time of Polarization: Why Obama Won and What It Means,
Alan Abramowitz (Emory)

3. A First-Term Incumbent Survives: The Fundamentals of 2012,
James Campbell (SUNY at Buffalo)

4. Un-Conventional Wisdom: The 2012 conventions and the nominating process
, Rhodes Cook (formerly of Congressional Quarterly)

5. It's Raining Money: The impact of federal election laws,
Michael Toner (former FEC chair)

6. Voters to the Sidelines: Old and new media in the election,
Diana Owen (Georgetown University)

7. America's Evolving Electorate,
Nate Cohn (The New Republic)

8. Candidates matter: 2012’s Senate and gubernatorial contests,
Geoff Skelley (University of Virginia Center for Politics)

Republicans Hold the Line: 2012’s national House contest, Kyle Kondik (University of Virginia Center for Politics)

Jamelle Bouie (American Prospect)

11. A Time for Choosing: The future of the Republican Party,
Robert Costa (National Review)

12. Are We in an Electoral Realignment?,
Sean Trende (RealClearPolitics)

13. From 2012 to 2016: Concluding Thoughts on the Permanent Campaign,
Susan MacManus (University of South Florida)
Sabato (director, Center for Politics, Univ. of Virginia) pulls together elections experts (including political scientists, journalists, and political analysts) from a wide array of specialties to analyze the 2012 election. Though most of the chapters deal with different facets of the presidential election (e.g., the nominating process, campaign finance laws, and the role of the media), there are chapters dealing with gubernatorial and congressional races as well. The book is data driven, relying heavily on exit poll data to analyze the electorate, but it is far from a numbers book. Sabato does a lovely job of placing this election in a historical perspective to show which traditional factors in elections have stayed the same in contrast to developing trends that will change the understanding of how elections work. In that respect, this book will serve as an excellent introduction to the science of politics as well as an update for experts in the field. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels.


In this...impressively informative book, University of Virginia professor and noted quote-machine Sabato has collected essays on the latest election from a range experts. Attempting to provide a clear assessment of the causes and effects at play in 2012, the essays cover topics from voter demographics, party platforms, campaign finance, and changing media coverage....There is only so much information available, and only so much perspective that can be gained at this point. That said, the collection offers some compelling insights and provides a thorough accounting and contextualizing of the events and data. The essays are clear and well written, and though the focus runs toward trends and demographics rather than policy, the collection paints a cogent if predictable picture of the election. Most of the essays are accompanied by careful notes, and the collection includes a general index.
Publishers Weekly

President Obama’s reelection was the third consecutive reelection of a president—following Presidents Clinton and Bush—during periods of war, terrorist attacks, great financial turmoil, and sharp political divisions. Looking beyond the headlines of political reporting on what many view as a very long and drawn-out presidential race, political scholar Sabato offers broader and deeper analysis through 12 contributors, journalists, analysts, and academics. Sabato begins with an overview of the election, focusing on Obama’s break with several points of conventional wisdom (e.g., that high unemployment and low favorability ratings among white voters would doom his chances) and examines Republican missteps, including misreading the midterm elections and moving strongly to the Right. Contributors, including Nate Cohn of the New Republic, Robert Costa of National Review, a former chairman of the Federal Elections Commission, and the publisher of Congressional Quarterly, offer keen analysis on a wide range of topics from voting patterns to press coverage to the impact of outside funding. They also explore the nominating process, the impact of changing demographics on likely political realignments, and the prospects for the Republican and Democratic Parties.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, has assembled an anthology of 13 essays on the 2012 presidential election. The authors are a mix of academics and journalists. Just about every aspect of the last election is analyzed....The essays are compelling and most are buttressed by invaluable data.
Voice of Reason

-The first major analysis of the 2012 US elections.

-Contributions from both scholars and journalists: This book pairs data-driven analysis zoomed in on everything at play in the 2012 elections with equally important and holistic analysis of what those things, and this election's outcome, mean for American politics moving forward.

-Quality of the prose and research matched only by its frankness and accessibility.