Many students develop misinformed opinions about the American electoral process. Conventional Wisdom and American Elections: Exploding Myths, Exploring Misconceptions debunks some of the more common misunderstandings that have arisen about the electoral process in the past few decades. The book's organization and structure complement courses on campaigns and elections, political parties, political participation, public opinion, the media, Congress, and the presidency. Topics include campaign finance, political participation and voting, and the roles played by campaigns, negative campaigning, political parties, and the media in the electoral process. Each chapter is fairly short yet offers comprehensive coverage of the subject matter. The book contains a minimum of complex statistical analysis and is written so that it is accessible to undergraduate students. However, explicit connections are made throughout the text between political science research and the role it plays in dispelling falsehoods about campaigns and elections. The book is useful as a pedagogical tool to help 'hook' students into thinking about elections, politics, and political science. The second edition includes material from the 2008 election, as well as two new chapters that cover campaign finance reform and the selection of vice presidential candidates.
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