- 6 x 9.
- 17 drawings, 36 tables.
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- $75.00 U.S.
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Why do some voters split their ballots, selecting a Republican for one office and a Democrat for another? Why do voters often choose one party to control the White House while the other controls the Congress? Citizens and politicians have been grappling with the consequences of such "divided government" for thirty years. In Why Americans Split their Tickets, Barry C. Burden and David C. Kimball address these fundamental puzzles of American elections.
Burden and Kimball explain the causes of divided government and, rejecting the dominant explanations for split-ticket voting, they debunk the myth that voters prefer divided government to one-party control. Likewise, they make a case against interpreting the frequency of divided government as a mandate for compromise between the parties' extremist positions. Instead, the authors argue that ticket splitting and divided government are the unintentional results of lopsided campaigns and the blurring of party differences.
In Why Americans Split their Tickets, Burden and Kimball use new quantitative methods to analyze the important changes in presidential, House, and Senate campaigns in the latter half of the twentieth century. Their approach explains the effects on voters' behavior of such developments as the rise of incumbency advantage and the increasing importance of money to campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s. The authors also observe that ticket splitting has declined in recent years. They link this emerging voting pattern to the sharpening policy differences between parties, illuminating the ways that ideological positions of candidates still matter in American elections.