Wattenberg expands upon the themes of his first book, "The Decline of American Political Parties," in which he asserted that more Americans than ever before were taking a 'neutral' stance toward the Democratic and Republican parties. In this new work he describes the effects of political neutrality: the rise of candidate-centered politics...Wattenberg discovers that since 1968 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates have suffered declines in their overall approval ratings. This is especially true for Ronald Reagan. Wattenberg explodes the myth that the 'Great Communicator' was especially popular with his fellow countrymen...Today, the American dislike of parties and their nominees means that many voters cast their ballots based on the 'goodness/badness' of the times--or what Wattenberg calls 'performance based voting'...Highly recommended.Vom Verlag:
In this book, Martin Wattenberg aims to offer an in-depth interpretation of the presidential elections of the 1980s, illuminating current theories of political behaviour and how they operate in today's candidate-centred politics. He investigates the impact that the declining relevance of political parties has had on presidential politics and finds that although candidates have become more prominent, their popularity has spiralled downwards.
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