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Barack Obama and the New America: The 2012 Election and the Changing Face of Politics

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ISBN-13: 978-1442222649
ISBN-10: 1442222646
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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. --Vanessa Bush

Review

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. (Booklist)

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)

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)

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. (CHOICE)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (January 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442222646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442222649
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nomar123 on February 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
One of the things I liked about "Barack Obama and the New America" was that it featured some very talented, relatively new faces in the political commentary game: Nate Cohn of The New Republic has a great chapter on demographics and how the GOP turnout edge in midterms might even be slipping away (let alone the party's presidential election difficulties); Jamelle Bouie of the American Prospect and Robert Costa of National Review offer interesting thoughts on the future of, respectively, the Democrats and the Republicans; and Sean Trende of RealClearPolitics offers a sharp look at why 2012 probably isn't predictive of elections going forward.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. F. Heubeck on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a curriculum writer and educator I found Barack Obama and the New America essential for updating students about contemporary issues in American politics. The wide range of authors provides a balanced and nuanced view of the 2012 election. I found Nate Cohn's essay on America's Evolving Electorate very insightful and I plan to use this in future lessons on changing demographics. I would say this book is a great resource to add to my classroom. I may consider assigning some chapters for summer reading.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By carolyn in brentwood on March 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read a half dozen reviews of the recent presidential election. This one is organized by topic--media, ads, etc.--each written by an expert in that area. These articles are not as partisan as many of the others I have read. Making extensive use of exit polls from battleground states, the articles have charts and poll results to support the claims and analyses of the writers.It as very dense in information and analysis, and I put it down several times. But I finished it with a sense of being well informed. It may be my last book on the election, which would be a relief!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By politicalpen on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
Thought politics was over for a while? Think again. This book explains how 2012 may have been just the first year of a new era in American politics. It offers a thorough review of the political events of 2012. More importantly, it offers comprehensive analysis (balanced politically with contributions from the Left, Right, Middle and politically unaffiliated) not just of the 2012 race for President, but also of the Congressional and gubernatorial contests as well. What's really great is that the news in the book is actually NEW! Provocative insights on how the elections of last November may have set the stage for so many other future political contests - including the 2016 race for the White House...and maybe even beyond!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Synopsis: Sabato offers a number of essays from political writers on the 2012 election focusing on polls and research of data from the most recent election.

My rating: 4 Stars

My opinion: I must preface this review by stating I am a huge political junky. I can't get enough of politics and love breaking it down. In my first year of college, I had considered a Political Science major until I sat in my first class and went screaming out the door with the breadth of the information/spectrum of the global political parties! These days, I would probably devour it.

On that note, I am also a stalking fan of Larry Sabato. I subscribe to his Crystal Ball newsletter, forward it to people for discussion and have even emailed his center on several occasions to ask questions (and even received responses). I had considered purchasing this book on several occasions, but when I saw it on Netgalley, I jumped at it! In his television and print "appearances" I have found Mr. Sabato to offer the most concise information without being subjected to partisan ramblings on political issues.

Sabato and his contemporaries offer insight through breaking down the 2012 election and how it compared to, not only the 2008 election, but also to recent presidential elections. I loved the depth of data given and the ease in interpreting it. Graphs and such were incredibly detailed and polls were plentiful.

On that note, I did find there to be some redundancy and crossover in the information that was given in the various essays, which made it very boring in spots to read. Furthermore, in a number of essays, I found that some partisan comments slipped in. I seek out work from this author to avoid it and found myself rolling my eyes when these comments would pop up.
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