The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election

Overview

"Conventional campaign books portray a fantasy world shaped by brilliant strategists and dramatic events. Sides and Vavreck have invented a new genre—in-the-moment electoral analysis grounded in first-rate political science. Read their book to understand why Barack Obama was reelected, and get your fantasy fix from Game of Thrones."—Larry M. Bartels, author of Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age

"In their lively and insightful account of what really ...

See more details below
Hardcover (New Edition)
$21.76
BN.com price
(Save 27%)$29.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (18) from $17.87   
  • New (16) from $17.87   
  • Used (2) from $21.10   
The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Course Book)
$16.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$29.95 List Price

Overview

"Conventional campaign books portray a fantasy world shaped by brilliant strategists and dramatic events. Sides and Vavreck have invented a new genre—in-the-moment electoral analysis grounded in first-rate political science. Read their book to understand why Barack Obama was reelected, and get your fantasy fix from Game of Thrones."—Larry M. Bartels, author of Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age

"In their lively and insightful account of what really happened in the 2012 presidential campaign, Sides and Vavreck replace wild conjecture about gaffes and undecided voters with hard data and broad context. If you want to understand the dynamics of presidential campaigns, turn off the cable shows and read this book."—Alan S. Gerber, Yale University

"Sides and Vavreck have invented an important new genre of campaign book, perfect for our age of accelerated media. Observers of American politics will relish The Gamble for its fresh research and authoritative analysis, even if my fellow journalists resent it for demonstrating how often we got the story wrong."—Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns

"John Sides and Lynn Vavreck have done something remarkable: They've managed to not just report on the 2012 election in real time, but research it in real time, too. They've solved the problem that bedevils those of us in journalism: How to actually know what you're talking about when you're talking about something as fluid and fast-moving as a presidential election. This book should change how we cover campaigns."—Ezra Klein, columnist, The Washington Post

"Sides and Vavreck have done more to bridge the worlds of campaign reporting and political science than any other academics working today. The Gamble, their penetrating and accessible study of the 2012 presidential election, is mandatory reading for anyone who cares about American politics."—Ryan Lizza, Washington Correspondent, The New Yorker

"The 2012 election was when 'Moneyball' defeated 'Game Change'—and Sides and Vavreck explain why political scientists and number-crunchers were able to forecast the results well in advance, while the conventional wisdom was so often wrong. The Gamble is crisply written, comprehensively researched, and carefully argued. It provides the definitive account of what really happened and what really mattered in the campaign."—Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A necessary corrective to the personality-driven and hyperventilating accounts of presidential campaigns driven by a news media out to sell half-baked narratives. . . . Eminently readable."—Rick Hasen, Slate

"The Gamble is political analysis done properly, a serious challenge to journalists and pundits. And it suggests that the politics that works is politics done properly, that produces real improvements for people in their daily lives."—Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

"Probably the most successful attempt to integrate political science and narrative to date. . . . If you really want to understand the 2012 elections, you should rely on The Gamble."—Sean Trende, Real Clear Books

"What really mattered in last year's elections? George Washington University professor John Sides and UCLA professor Lynn Vavreck, in a remarkably fast turnaround for an academic work, applied social science to the developments of last year's presidential election in The Gamble. It turns out that the events journalists described in real time (including this one) weren't as important as they were made out to be. And Sides and Vavreck provide an important reality check that observers should heed before the daily doings of 2016 consume us all."—Steven Shepard, National Journal

"The Gamble is a mine of information about why the result of the election was apparent to said psephologists as far back as November 2011. . . . This is a scientific book. As the publication blurb states, 'other books may tell you what the candidates did and why, but this book tells you whether what they did actually mattered.' In that respect The Gamble pays off."—Simon Burns, MP, Total Politics

Library Journal
09/15/2013
Barack Obama won the 2012 presidential election because of a slightly improving economy, the advantage of incumbency, and a better get-out-the-vote operation. There, you've now been saved the time of reading this 350-page explanation. Sides (political science, George Washington Univ.) and Vavreck (political science & communications, Univ. of California, Los Angeles) present countless polling numbers, quantitative analysis of news media coverage, and bountiful repetition—all contributing to a dull read. The authors point out that despite the $2.3 billion spent by Mitt Romney and Obama throughout 2012, polls at the beginning of the year showed results almost identical to what actually occurred in November. So one is left thinking, why bother overanalyzing a campaign and election process that had so little impact on the result? VERDICT One might assume that such a title would be of value to ardent political junkies, but the events are so fresh in our memories that there is little unfamiliar here to those who closely followed the election. However, the work may have some value for historians a few years hence. In the introduction, the authors state that, like the election, the book was a gamble for them and the publisher. For the most part, they lost.—Robert B. Slater, Stroudsburg, PA
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691156880
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 157,036
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John Sides is associate professor of political science at George Washington University and the coauthor of "Campaigns and Elections" (Norton). He cofounded and contributes to The Monkey Cage, a politics blog. Lynn Vavreck is associate professor of political science and communications at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her books include "The Message Matters: The Economy and Presidential Campaigns" (Princeton). She cofounded and contributes to the Model Politics blog.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables ix
Foreword by Charles T. Myers xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Chapter 1: Ante Up 1
Chapter 2: The Hand You're Dealt 11
Chapter 3: Random, or Romney? 32
Chapter 4: All In 64
Chapter 5: High Rollers 97
Chapter 6: The Action 141
Chapter 7: The Winning Hand 174
Chapter 8: Cashing In 226
Appendixes 243
Notes 273
Index 323

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)