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The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election Hardcover – 15 Sep 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (15 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691156883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691156880
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,364,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review


Honorable Mention for the 2013 PROSE Award in Government & Politics, Association of American Publishers


"Sides and Vavreck offer a detailed, quantified description of the battlefield--an effort to provide political science insight in real time."--David Lauter, Los Angeles Times/Jacket Copy blog



"In The Gamble, two super-smart thinkers lay out moneyball politics for anyone to understand."--Gregg Easterbrook, ESPN.com



"Good, sane tome on how the fundamentals matter."--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution



"A work of real originality and depth. In places it extends existing work and does so with care and sophistication. In other places it breaks new ground, especially with analyses of the interplay between the media and popular references and perceptions."--Richard Johnston, Forum



"Sides and Vavreck's book is an overdue corrective. They weren't embedded in a campaign or buddies with top strategists. They don't usher you inside the room. But they have something that campaign reporters lack: data. Lots and lots and lots of it. . . . Underpinning their real-time information are decades of supporting political-science data and theory. The result is that while most election narratives track the inputs of the campaign, Sides and Vavreck track the outputs. . . . There's no better book for understanding it--and the political structures that will continue shaping U.S. elections in 2016 and beyond--than The Gamble. For campaign journalism, the book is a game-changer."--Ezra Klein, Bloomberg View



"The Gamble reveals how few 'breaking' developments in presidential campaigns (the rules are different for your local freeholder race, with its scant media coverage) can actually move the numbers. Pry out the secrets, read the data, and you can ignore the rest of the clattering B.S. machine that is the modern presidential election."--David Weigel, Slate



"With the most comprehensive and demanding analytics of a wide array of data, Sides and Vavreck cut through many of the myths of the 2012 campaign. . . . Reading The Gamble, I'm pulled in two directions. There is an excitement that comes with the clarity of very smart and skilled professionals working through data and presenting an overwhelmingly compelling case. That's balanced with a maddening sense of frustration that so much blood, sweat, tears, and treasure was put into an endeavor that was likely predetermined by forces out of anyone's control. . . . Read [it]. You'll be glad you did."--Stuart Stevens, Daily Beast



"The discounting of campaign drama has more recently been taken to a new level by political scientists John Sides and Lynn Vavreck in The Gamble, which might have been subtitled Nothing to See Here, Folks. . . . Sides and Vavreck take the provocative but stimulating route of considering every explanation of the outcome other than the 'fundamentals' (basically, the power of incumbency and acceptably positive economic trends and conditions) and exploding each with varying quantities of empirical dynamite."--Ed Kilgore, Washington Monthly



"Without a doubt the most provocative book is The Gamble by Sides and Vavreck."--Ed Kilgore, Washington Monthly

From the Inside Flap

"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 ofUnequal 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 relishThe 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 ofThe 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 ofThe Signal and the Noise

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24 July 2015
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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18 September 2013
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsGood Analysis, Less Fluff
3 December 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
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3 people found this helpful.
David Abbott
4.0 out of 5 starsUseful Corrective to Media Breathlessness
6 February 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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Ayrton
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Mike
5.0 out of 5 starsThoroughly researched analyis of the election process
17 April 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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JessZark
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30 November 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
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