Trends in American Values: 1987–2012: Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
June 4, 2012, 164 pp., available at www.people-press.org
The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior
edited by Jan E. Leighley
Oxford University Press, 778 pp., $150.00; $50.00 (paper)
During the past century, how many Republican challengers have unseated Democratic presidents? Hint: there have been six such bids. Answer: only one, when Ronald Reagan turned out Jimmy Carter in 1980. This year, the GOP will be trying again. To do so, it will have to muster a majority for Romney and Ryan; in the electoral college, of course, but also among the voters, if it wants a victory viewed as legitimate.