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— Everett Carll Ladd
— Edward Sidlow
— Eric R. A. N. Smith
Byron Shafer and William Claggett have given us an important book. While attending ably to their primary objective of advancing our understanding of the contemporary partisan realignment, the authors manage as well to contribute significantly to another subject of even greater scope.
The stated scholarly mission of the book is to tease out the structure of American political opinion in the late twentieth century: the central concerns of that opinion, their roots and the distribution of preferences on them, and the gathering and dividing of preferences in partisan ways. In addition, Shafer and Claggett consider the implications of an opinion structure for practical—and successful—politicking.
Overall, The Two Majorities is an interesting and useful study of public opinion. It provides readers with a good picture of public opinion and it connects that picture with sound strategic advice for each party about what sort of issues to emphasize and to ignore.
|List of Figures|
|List of Tables|
|Series Editor's Foreword|
|1||The Notion of an Issue Context: Public Wishes and the Two Majorities||1|
|2||Dimensions of Political Opinion: "Great Issues" for the Modern Era||10|
|3||A Structure for Political Opinion: Political Parties and Partisan Preferences||30|
|4||A Structure for Political Opinion: Social Groups and Group Preferences||51|
|5||A Framework for Politicking: Parties, Groups, and the Issue Context||79|
|6||The Shape of Policy Options: Activists, Followers, and Political Preferences||111|
|7||The Shape of Policy Options: The War inside the Parties||137|
|8||An Issue Context for Contemporary Politics: The Two Majorities and Partisan Conflict||168|
|Appendix: Texts for Survey Questions||193|