With the nation on the verge of another round of national political campaigns, CQ Press has released the latest volume in its biennial series on elections and politics. Published every other year since 1988, this title provides a snapshot of issues and factors influencing elections. Like previous volumes in the series, this edition presents statistics from a wide range of sources. Topics covered include elections and political parties, campaign finance and political action committees, public opinion and voting, the media, foreign and military policy, social policy, and economic policy. Additional chapters are devoted to the three major branches of the federal government (executive, legislative, and judicial) and a historical and current view of Federalism. In each chapter, there is a brief narrative summary followed by tables, charts, and graphs presenting the statistical data. As with all CQ Press publications, the authors provide a nonpartisan perspective on each topic. One of the strengths of this work is that it brings together a wide range of source data. Information is compiled from the best sources inside and outside of the federal government, including the Census Bureau, Federal Election Commission, Pew Trust, Nielsen, the Brookings Institution, and Congressional Quarterly’s own researchers. The range of time coverage varies by topic and source. Official government election data often goes all the way back to the first national election, in 1789, whereas data from private sources may only cover the current decade. Unfortunately, many of the tables end in 2008, and some very current topics are missing, including the rise of the Tea Party and the impact of the current recession. Even with those shortcomings, this is another excellent resource for anyone interested in national elections and politics in the U.S. --David Tyckoson
About the Author
Harold W. Stanley is the Geurin-Pettus Distinguished Chair in American Politics and Political Economy at Southern Methodist University (SMU). In 1979, he joined the University of Rochester Department of Political Science and served as its chair from 1996 to 1999. Known as an expert in American national politics and electoral change in the South, Stanley currently serves as associate provost at SMU. Richard G. Niemi is Don Alonzo Watson Professor of Political Science at the University of Rochester, where he has taught for forty-five years and has served as department chair, associate dean for graduate studies, and interim dean. He earned his PhD from the University of Michigan in 1967. Professor Niemi has been a Guggenheim fellow and a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Lund (Sweden) and at the University of Iowa. In 2007-2009 he was president of the American Political Science Association's Section on State Politics and Policy. He is a foreign member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous works on political socialization, civic education, voting behavior, and various aspects of state politics. He has an ongoing interest in the Native Americans of upstate New York and Wisconsin, from whom he can trace a portion of his ancestry.