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Political Behavior of the American Electorate

Political Behavior of the American Electorate

Fifteenth Edition

January 2022 | 336 pages | CQ Press

The 2020 elections took place under intense political polarization, uncertain economic conditions, a global pandemic, and social unrest. 

Political Behavior of the American ElectorateFifteenth Edition, attempts to answer your questions around the above topics by interpreting data from the most recent American National Election Study to provide a thorough analysis of the 2020 elections and the current American political behavior. Authors Elizabeth Theiss-Morse and Michael Wagner continue the tradition of Flanigan and Zingale to illustrate and document trends in American political behavior with the best longitudinal data available. The authors also put these trends in context by focusing on the major concepts and characteristics that shape Americans’ responses to politics.

In the completely revised Fifteenth Edition, readers will explore support and opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, discuss post-election attitudes about the January 6th attempted coup, examine misinformation and the beliefs in QAnon, and dissect reports on public assessments of President Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chapter 1 Democratic Beliefs and American Democracy
Chapter 2 Electoral Context and Strategy
Chapter 3 Turnout and Participation in Elections
Chapter 4 Unconventional Participation and Social Identity
Chapter 5 Partisanship and Party Change
Chapter 6 Public Opinion and Ideology
Chapter 7 Political Communication and the Mass Media
Chapter 8 Vote Choice and Electoral Decisions

Theiss-Morse et al. present complex concepts in a clear and accessible manner to facilitate an in-depth understanding of how individuals engage in the electoral process and make voting decisions. This book is the reference for understanding the context in which campaigns and parties for undergraduate classes.

Tristan Hightower
Political Science, Bryant University
April 20, 2024

The hands-down best book for teaching a Voters and Campaigns class.

Melody Rowlett
Political Science Dept, University Of Oklahoma
November 14, 2023
Key features


  •  A new chapter focusing on social groups and unconventional political participation
  • Multiple analyses of support and opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Examination of beliefs in QAnon and other false rumors and elements of misinformation
  • Reports of public assessments of President Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and analyses of pandemic-related behaviors’ relationship with presidential voting
  • Descriptions of post-election attitudes about the January 6th coup attempt, confidence in electoral administration, and shifting beliefs in democracy
  • Updated longitudinal tables and figures with evidence from the 2020 presidential campaign.
  • NEW Learning objectives at the beginning and study questions at the end of each chapter.


  • An extraordinarily rich series of studies dating back to 1952 provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the history of American elections and puts recent trends into contexts.
  • Focused on electoral behavior and voting, this is the only textbook on the market that aims to analyze and illustrate the most recent trends of American political behavior.
  • Several generations of scholars are cited, providing readers with analysis and interpretation from the most respected minds in the field. 

Sage College Publishing

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