Electing America's Governors: The Politics of Executive Elections

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Palgrave Macmillan, Sep 3, 2006 - Political Science - 247 pages
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Are elections for governor different than elections for other offices, and what are the systematic factors that determine the outcomes of gubernatorial elections? This book explores these questions by studying the election of American state governors, an increasingly important group of political leaders, from 1980 to 1996. It also makes comparisons with Senate and presidential elections, as gubernatorial elections might resemble Senate elections (because they share the same constituencies) or presidential elections (because both are executive offices). The chapters find many differences between gubernatorial and Senate elections but notable parallels between gubernatorial and presidential elections. The book therefore concludes that gubernatorial elections are best understood as executive elections. The chapters also help to better understand several fundamental electoral topics that have been studied largely in the congressional context, such as the role of campaign expenditures, economic and social conditions, candidate political experience, third party and independent candidates, and voter turnout.

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About the author (2006)

David L. Leal is an Associate Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University and a BA in Political Science from Stanford University. In addition to state politics, his research interests include Latino politics - particularly Latino political behavior and public opinion - and public policy. He has published over thirty journal articles and book chapters on these and other topics. Dr. Leal was an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow from 1998 to 1999 and is currently a member of the APSA Task Force on Religion and American Democracy.

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