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The American Voter Revisited

- July 24, 2008

A new book, The American Voter Revisited, argues the following:

bq. _The American Voter Revisited_ re-creates the outstanding 1960 classic _The American Voter_–which was based on the presidential elections of 1952 and 1956–following the same format, theory, and mode of analysis as the original. In this new volume, the authors test the ideas and methods of the original against presidential election surveys from 2000 and 2004. Surprisingly, the contemporary American voter is found to behave politically much like voters of the 1950s.

Its authors are Michael Lewis-Beck, William Jacoby, Helmut Norpoth, and Herb Weisberg.

The book is profiled today in this Washington Post piece. The article discusses debates among political scientists about the quality of citizens’ political decisions. It includes this piquant quote from Sam Popkin, who tends to disagree with the book’s pessimism:

bq. “If I say to you, ‘What did the guy you didn’t marry say to you in bed?’ ” and you can’t remember, “does that mean you didn’t enjoy it?”

Who said political science wasn’t sexy?