Political geographers use three contexts to study elections and political behavior: demographic (men vs. women, young vs. old), where people live (urban vs. rural), and proximity (people tend to make voting decisions similar to those nearby). The 200 maps here describe an election that was historic in that it was the first election of a Presidential candidate of African American descent and was marked by an unprecedented interest and high turnout of voters and widespread use of social media. Each of these ten chapters contains maps and narrative primarily depicting voting patterns at the national level from the primaries to the final returns. There’s even a suggestion that changing Election Day to two days in September would raise turnout. (Library Journal Best Reference Review)
Brunn (Cities of the World) and coeditors Gerald R. Webster, Richard L. Morrill, Fred M. Shelley, Stephen J. Lavin, and J. Clark Archer—all professors of geography at institutions across the United States—here present ten chapters of geographical and political perspectives on the 2008 U.S. presidential election, with nods to views from other disciplines such as history, economics, and sociology. Also examined from those standpoints are six other races, including important senatorial and gubernatorial quests; eight statewide referenda; four votes of the 111th U.S. House of Representatives; and topics such as primaries, campaigns, general elections, and regional patterns. Each chapter’s accessible narrative is accompanied by several well-rendered maps (for a total of more than 200)—the combination serves to clarify issues of interest in the 2008 election in a way that is unmatched by other works. The editors close with ten scenarios that could positively influence national elections, e.g., public financing of presidential elections and abolishing the electoral college. BOTTOM LINE This title succeeds at making political geography accessible and demonstrates the power of the discipline in relation to questions of social science. It is an excellent addition to most higher education and large public library collections because of its clear, attractive visual style and easily understood information.
(Library Journal 2011-09-15)
This atlas presents 200-plus visually engaging and deeply analytical maps and narratives about the 2008 elections. Contents include an introduction and nine chapters with national/state maps, and essays that explore major issues or describe the maps. Chapter 2 focuses on the nomination process with maps that depict primary selection processes and voting patterns. Chapter 3 contains maps that show key features of the campaign itself, e.g., campaign stops made by McCain and Obama leading up to the election (a fascinating way to visualize candidates' frantic travel patterns). Chapter 4, the most substantive, features a large number of maps and essays about the results of the presidential election. Maps are included for other party candidates as well. Chapter 5 breaks down regional voting patterns by comparing 2004 and 2008 election results. Chapter 6 analyzes key demographic, occupational, and socioeconomic indicators, emphasizing highest- and lowest-ranking data that reflect broader social, economic, and cultural trends nationwide. Chapter 7 looks at various statewide elections for governor and for state legislatures; it assists the process of comparing and contrasting national election results with state election results. Chapter 8 shows the results of key referenda on issues such as stem cell research and same-sex marriage. Chapter 9 focuses on voting patterns for key issues in the 111th House of Representatives in 2009 and the rating of House members by special interest groups. Chapter 10 outlines ten scenarios for the 2012 elections. The quality of the contents and analysis in this affordable, well-referenced work should inspire new research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. (CHOICE)
A superb and richly illustrated explanation of the spatial and temporal differences in the U.S. electorate. The maps help to disentangle characteristics of the population from settlement patterns in the United States, which helps answer the perennial question of why the map of state-level election results is so red but the election is so close. It should be read by geographers, geography students, political scientists, the electorate, and the campaign staff of both major political parties. (Geographical Review)
Much effort and care has been put into determining what should be mapped, and how, and providing a substantial textual commentary involving fifty-one different authors. The result is a handsome product. (AAG Review of Books)
An outstanding set of analyses of voting in the 2008 election and related subjects. With beautiful, provocative maps and concise, readable, and historically informed interpretations by experts, this book will be the recognized authority on the subject. (James Allen, California State University, Northridge)
Scholars and practitioners have long understood the interplay of political forces and geography. This dynamic was on vivid display in the 2008 presidential election, and much of it has been captured in this important new volume. Primaries and caucuses, referenda and ballot initiatives, Electoral College forces and much else, this new atlas provides those truly interested in 21st-century presidential elections a treasure trove of information. And my goodness, what maps! (Daniel M. Shea, Allegheny College)