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Are you ballot ready?

The 2018 midterm elections could see the highest turnout for a midterm since the mid-1960s, another time of cultural and social upheaval. Michael McDonald, Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida, predicted to NPR that “between 45-50 percent of eligible voters will cast a ballot.” The Trump presidency has created a lot of debate, prompting a high level of interest in the midterms. Democrats are looking to change the majority in both the Senate and the House.

Ahead of the midterm election, which takes place on the 6th of November, we’ve collected a few freely-available journal articles and book chapters that provide insights into the debate and history behind politics, voting, and elections. #BeBallotReady and get informed.

The American Nonvoter by Lyn Ragsdale and Jerrold G. Rusk

The American Nonvoter examines how uncertainty regarding changing economic conditions, dramatic national events, and U.S. international interventions influence people’s decisions whether to vote or not. The book shows that nonvoters are, by and large, as politically knowledgeable as voters, but see no difference between candidates or view them negatively.

“The Content and Effect of Political Advertising in U.S. Campaigns” by Matthew P. Motta and Erika Franklin Fowler, in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Political Communication

This article examines the effects that negative advertising has on electoral campaigns. The authors examine the contextual factors of the campaign as well as the characteristics of the messages and their effectiveness to convince swing voters.

“For Whom the Poll Airs” by Kathleen Searles, Martha Humphries Ginn, and Jonathan Nickens, in Public Opinion Quarterly

Televised election coverage is increasingly dominated by the horse race, a key element of which is poll coverage. This article compares the polls released each day to the polls actually covered by the news networks. The authors find differences between the distribution of poll coverage and the distribution of actual poll results.

“Partisanship, Bureaucratic Responsiveness, and Election Administration” by Ethan Porter and Jon C. Rogowski, in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory

This article presents evidence about the existence of partisan biases from administrators in supposedly neutral settings and raises important questions about the capacity for protecting election administration from partisan influences.

American Political Parties and Elections: A Very Short Introduction by L. Sandy Maisel

Who are the Republicans? Who are the Democrats? Who are the “others”? This book looks at party affiliation and the different relationships citizens have with political parties.

Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats by Matt Grossman and David A. Hopkins

This book analyzes the major party differences and their implications. The authors examine their findings to enable a global view of party differences and their impact on political competition, citizen representation, and elite governance.

 Featured image credit: Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey – Icons by DonkeyHotey. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

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