Divider, Not a Uniter: George W. Bush and the American People, the 2006 Election and Beyond

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“ This lucid, richly documented analysis is required reading for students of the George W. Bush presidency and American politics more generally.”— Fred I. Greenstein, Professor of Politics Emeritus, Princeton University, and author of The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to George W. Bush.

“In this important, accessible, and thoroughly engaging book, Jacobson brilliantly dissects the extraordinary partisan polarization of the Bush era. He combines a lively narrative with remarkable data analysis–drawing together findings from

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Overview

“ This lucid, richly documented analysis is required reading for students of the George W. Bush presidency and American politics more generally.”— Fred I. Greenstein, Professor of Politics Emeritus, Princeton University, and author of The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to George W. Bush.

“In this important, accessible, and thoroughly engaging book, Jacobson brilliantly dissects the extraordinary partisan polarization of the Bush era. He combines a lively narrative with remarkable data analysis–drawing together findings from literally thousands of polls, in more than seventy illuminating figures, many of which knock your socks off. . . The book is a must-read for anyone seriously concerned about the political process in the United States.”

- Paul J. Quirk, Professor and Phil Lind Chair in U.S. Politics and Representation, University of British Columbia

"…Head and shoulders above other books on the presidency of George W. Bush. Jacobson's carefully documented analysis, backed up by extensive reporting and data, demonstrates the purposefulness of the polarizing strategies of the Bush administration, and the reality behind the rhetoric of "I'm a uniter not a divider." Unlike most books about Bush, Jacobson's is neither ideological nor polemical.”

-Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post political reporter and author of Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics (with Mary D. Edsall), The New Politics of Inequality, and Red America: The Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power, (forthcoming, Basic Books.)

“This is an important book. Jacobson marshals evidence and analyzes the dynamics of public opinion to explain why George W. Bush is the most polarizing president in the history of systematic polling. His analysis is incisive and balanced.”

-James P. Pfiffner, George Mason University

“A masterful analysis and a major contribution. Applying over a half century of poll data, Jacobson places George W. Bush's presidency and the war in Iraq in broad historical context and derives insights that intrigue and impress.”

-John Mueller, Professor of political science and Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies, Ohio State University and author of War, Presidents and Public Opinion, Policy and Opinion in the Gulf War, and The Remnants of War.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gary Jacobson is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California at San Diego. His 1980 book, Money in Congressional Elections, won multiple awards. Since its publication, Jacobson has published numerous books and papers about American politics, Congress, campaign financing, and partisan polarization. He has served on many advisory boards, including the NSF Political Science Advisory Panel. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University.

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Primed for Partisanship

Sources of Partisan Polarization

Partisan Polarization in Congress

Polarization and Electoral Change

Is Polarization Confined to Activists?

Religion and Partisanship

Economic Inequality and the Ideological Fragmentation of the Mass Media

Conclusion

III. To the White House Through Florida

One of Us

The Campaigns

The Vote

Florida

Conclusion

IV. The First Two Years: Before and After 9/11

The Bush Agenda

Tactics

After September 11

The 2002 Election

God’s Instrument

V. Going to War in Iraq

The Case for War

Saddam and 9/11

The Public’s Response

Bringing Congress on Board

Popular Support for a Discretionary War

VI. Illusion, Disillusion, and Faith in the President after “Mission Accomplished”

Revising the Case for War

The Iraq Rally

The Widening Partisan Divide on Iraq

Belief in the War’s Premises

The President’s Credibility

The Religious Factor

Multivariate Analyses

Conclusion

VII. The 2004 Elections: Mobilized Bases, Reinforced Divisions

The Democratic Nomination

An Avalanche of Money

The War in the Campaigns

Opinion Leadership

Rational Ignorance?

Mobilizing Voters

The Vote

The Congress

Aftermath

VIII. President of Half the People

A Mandate?

The Campaign to Revamp Social Security

Why the Campaign Failed

The Bipartisan Consensus

Other Issues

The Terri Schaivo Case

The Iraq War, Again

Unwavering Christian Conservatives

Conclusion

IX. Conclusions and Speculations

Does Bush Care?

Competing Realities

The News Media

Hurricane Katrina

After Bush

X. A Postscript on 2006

Going Public Again on the War

The Tactical Component

The Democrats’ Response

Intentional Polarization

The 2006 Midterm Elections

The Vote

A Change of Course?

A Uniter at Last?

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