The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election

The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election

by John Sides
     
 

"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.

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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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691156880
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
09/15/2013
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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

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