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Congressional Primary Elections Hardcover – 1 Sep 2014

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"In 21st century American politics, Congressional primaries matter―a lot. This vital aspect of our electoral system has great impact upon the direction of national lawmaking and public policy. In this book, Robert Boatright has filled a woeful gap in our understanding of this important arena. He incisively examines empirical patterns, systemic consequences and reform possibilities regarding the Congressional primary system. This is essential reading for all students of American elections and should find a welcome place in undergraduate courses in political parties, elections, and American political behavior."
―Steven Schier, Carleton College

"Boatright dives into the controversial topic of congressional primaries and finds that the usual story we hear―that members of Congress are growing more polarized because they are being "primaried" by extremists in their own parties―is far from complete and is actually quite misleading. As Boatright shows, the causes and consequences of congressional primaries are varied and complex. His approach, combining broad quantitative studies of primaries with some valuable insider depictions of the facts on the ground in specific races, paints a rich picture of the reality of party nomination contests, and provides a valuable research tool for anyone who wishes to understand their impact on modern American politics."
―Seth Masket, University of Denver

"No one knows as much about congressional primaries as does Robert Boatright. His encyclopedic knowledge is on full display in this engaging, thoughtful, and deeply researched book."
―Jeffrey Berry, Tufts University

"For years, scholars of congressional elections have said primaries will become more important as competition in general elections waned; yet few bothered to study these elections in a comprehensive fashion. Professor Boatright answers the call in this smart, detailed analysis of congressional primary elections. This theoretically driven text will prove useful to both researchers and as a classroom text."
―Michael Crespin, University of Texas at Dallas

Boatright (Clark Univ.) breaks new ground with his comprehensive analysis of congressional primaries, offering students of parties and elections insights into how primary systems, judicial decisions, political parties, and candidate choices impact who carries the party label in the general election.  He provides a historical overview of primary elections and evaluates incremental reforms, placing an emphasis on the factors that impact outcomes in seemingly "unpredictable ways."  Boatright makes a significant contribution to the existing scholarship on congressional primaries, particularly in the areas of voter turnout and who votes.  --M. J. Blumberg, California University of Pennsylvania

About the Author

Robert G. Boatright is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Clark University. He is the author of three other books, including Getting Primaried and Interest Groups and Campaign Finance Reform in the United States and Canada. His research interests include campaign finance, congressional elections, and interest groups.

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