2nd Edition

Cases in Congressional Campaigns
Riding the Wave

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ISBN 9780415895170
Published August 15, 2011 by Routledge
302 Pages

USD $53.95

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Book Description

After Barack Obama’s historic 2008 victory, Democrats were riding high. But a number of tough fights on policy initiatives, coupled with an economy struggling to recover, put Democrats in a difficult position leading up to the 2010 congressional elections. With nearly all the electoral gains Democrats made during 2006 and 2008 now lost and the House returned to Republican control, this is one of the most dramatic shifts in congressional power in history

Examining a sample of congressional campaigns waged during this important election provides readers with an account of how Republicans were able to make such impressive gains and how Democrats were unable to stem this tide. Adkins and Dulio provide a clear explanation of the macro trends in this election cycle, followed by twelve in depth and fascinating case studies of House and Senate toss up races involving seats held by endangered Democratic incumbents. Framed by a common set of questions and topics—so that they are singing the same song in different voices—each chapter focuses on the micro-level effects active in the individual campaigns. Furthermore, the editors discuss how the 2010 cycle fits into the existing literature on campaigns and elections, conclusions about what we learned in 2010 by addressing these competitive states and districts, and speculation on what might be ahead in 2012.

In addition, the companion website provides instructors with useful teaching tools, including sample assignments and dynamic PowerPoint slides with graphs and videos.

Table of Contents

1: Riding the Wave David A. Dulio and Randall E. Adkins 2: Reid vs. Angel in Nevada’s Senate Race: Harry Houdini Escapes the Wave David F. Damore 3: Edwards vs. Flores in Texas’ Seventeenth Congressional District: The Perfect Storm Victoria Farrar-Myers and Daniel Davis Sledge 4: Boxer vs. Fiorina in California’s Senate Race: The Wave Stopped at the Sierra Nevada Casey B. K. Dominguez 5: Mitchell vs. Schweikert in Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District: A Rematch in the Desert Jennifer A. Steen 6: Kirk vs. Giannoulias in Illinois’ Senate Race: Scandal and Competition to Replace a President Wayne Steger 7: Bass vs. Kuster in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District: Riding the Wave to a Comeback Dante J. Scala and Andrew E. Smith 8: Rubio vs. Crist vs. Meek in Florida’s Senate Race: Coming Out of Nowhere Seth C. McKee and Stephen C. Craig 9: Marshall vs. Scott in Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District: The Power of Incumbency Fails Charles S. Bullock, III and Karen P. Owen 10: Feingold vs. Johnson in Wisconsin’s Senate Race: The Maverick Icon Meets His Match David T. Canon 11: Chabot versus Driehaus in Ohio’s First Congressional District: The Rematch in the City of Seven Hills Randall E. Adkins and Gregory A. Petrow 12: Toomey vs. Sestak in Pennsylvania’s Senate Race: Moderation Doesn’t Pay Robin Kolodny 13: Schauer vs. Walberg in Michigan’s Seventh Congressional District: Money Helps Create the Wave David A. Dulio and John S. Klemanski 14: The Wave Recedes, but Which Way Will the Tide Turn? Randall E. Adkins and David A. Dulio

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Randall E. Adkins is the Ralph Wardle Diamond Professor of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

David A. Dulio is associate professor and chair of political science at Oakland University in Rochester, MI.


"Adkins and Dulio's Cases in Congressional Campaigns is an outstanding edited volume. Sandwiched between a first-rate introduction and conclusion are many excellent case studies written by some of the leading scholars in the field. Students will learn much from this book."
Paul S. Herrnson, University of Maryland

"Adkins and Dulio have assembled a team of top-notch scholars who consider a variety of races that together illustrate just how interesting the 2010 elections were. We will be discussing and analyzing the 2010 election for a long time, and this collection provides not only an excellent starting point for our investigations but also a rich source of data and thoughtful analyses of the most intriguing aspects of this fascinating election."
Diana Dwyre, California State University, Chico

"Adkins and Dulio do an outstanding job in their edited volume, highlighting salient and insightful case studies of the historic 2010 midterm elections. Although the election was clearly a referendum on the Obama Administration, the individual case studies offer numerous insights into some of the more interesting House and Senate races across the country. This volume also offers a nice contextual discussion of several key elections that will shape political events in the upcoming presidential election."
Jamie Carson, University of Georgia



"Adkins and Dulio’s Cases in Congressional Campaigns reminds us how essential good case studies are to understanding congressional elections. National issues certainly shape aggregate election results, but a full understanding of how they do so and why their effects vary across states and districts requires the kind of detailed analysis of local campaigns and elections provided by the authors of this fine collection."
Gary Jacobson, University of California, San Diego

"The authors' thematic emphasis is unusual for books of this genre, and should be of interest to those who study electoral politics at any level (not just congressional)."
Stephen C. Craig, University of Florida

Support Material


Companion Website

Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.