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Horses in Midstream: U.S. Midterm Elections and Their Consequences Paperback – September 15, 1999

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Product Details

  • Series: Political Science
  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1 edition (September 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822957051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822957058
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,513,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“[Busch] moves beyond the usual explanations to interpret the consequences of midterms, especially their universally acknowledged anti-administration tendencies. He argues cogently that midterms can be an independent variable, serving as an important extra-constitutional check on executive power and as a positive harbinger of out-party renewal and policy redirection. . . . Highly recommended to college professor, their students, and a general audience of informed citizens.”
–Perspectives on Political Science

“Gives the 1958s, the 1962s, and the 1994s of U.S. history their due as social dramas, in which, respectivelly, the forces of Southern Republicanism, Democratic liberalism, and anti-Clinton rage began gearing up to change the country for good. By showing how the most interesting things in politics often happen when most people aren't paying attention, this book succeeds in knocking us out of our settled waysof thinking about politics.”
—Lingua Franca

“Busch's work is an excellent addition to the realignment literature. For general readers, upper-division undergraduates, faculty, and practitioners.”

About the Author

Andrew E. Busch is professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.He is the author of Outsiders and Openness in the Presidential Nominating System ; Upside Down and Inside Out: The 1992 Elections and American Politics; and Losing to Win: The 1996 Elections and American Politics.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rwgo on July 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Midterm elections are a lot more than just the ugly stepchild of American politics. They are an important feature that (with three exceptions since 1894)have consistently hurt the president and his agenda in one way or another. Why does the president's party almost always lose ground in Congress in midterm elections? And what are the short- and long-term effects of midterms?
In this book, Busch takes at look at every midterm election from 1894 to the present. He then divides each midterm election into one of four categories: the preparatories (1894, 1910, 1918, 1930, 1950, 1958, 1966, and 1978) in which the opposition party gained seats in Congress and set the stage for their winning the White House two years later, the calibrating elections, (1938, 1982, 1986) which forced the president to moderate his agenda, but didn't reverse it, the exceptions (1934, 1962, and 1998)in which the party holding the White House gained the advantages usually gained by their opponents, and the normal midterms (somewhat surprisingly, 1994 is in this category).
Midterm elections have many important effects besides just damaging the president, as Busch notes. For example, the 1946 elections and the subsequent GOP Congress established bipartisan support for an activist foreign policy that is still, for the most part, with us today.
Don't let my summary fool you. Busch goes into great depth (for example, he even shows that the president usually suffers damage within his own party i.e. many of the Democrats who survived the 1894 elections were silverities and thus Cleveland's enemies) about an important topic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Professor Busch pens a superb book that deals with a topic that few other political scientists have written on: the results of midterm elections. Prof. Busch looks at each midterm election since 1894 (up to 1998) and classifies them, finally explaining their results. It is an excellent book, and is a must for anyone trying to understand what midterm elections mean to our republican government.
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