Center for Politics Releases Citizens' Guide to Midterm Elections

October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010 — As the nation heads into the 2010 midterm congressional elections, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics has published "Get In The Booth: A Citizen's Guide to the 2010 Midterm Elections."

The publication is the newest in an ongoing annual election series developed by the Center for Politics and published by Pearson/Longman. The publication contains original chapters by center director and U.Va. politics professor Larry J. Sabato, along with other election scholars and political journalists.

Pearson/Longman is offering free online access to the public here. Following the election, Sabato is scheduled to release "Pendulum Swing," a comprehensive post-election analyses of all the results of the 2010 election cycle.

In "Get In The Booth," Sabato introduces readers to the dynamics of the 2010 election and observes: "In the strictest sense, a midterm is not a referendum on the president. The president's name is not on the ballot. But increasingly, political scientists have come to realize that campaign outcomes for Congress, governors, and even thousands of state legislative posts around the country have a strong relationship to the voters' level of approval for the White House administration."

Additional authors featured include:
Professor Alan I. Abramowitz of Emory University adds an historical perspective to this year's midterm elections, explores likely outcomes and theorizes on why people vote in midterm elections.

• Veteran independent analyst Rhodes Cook offers a closer look at the Tea Party and its effects on the 2010 elections.

Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, examines the potential political implications of the Gulf Oil spill.

James Kitfield of National Journal examines how foreign policy is influencing the midterm elections.

• One of the country's foremost academic experts on the health care system, Duke University professor Christopher Conover, examines the political effects of health care reform legislation.

Steve Liesman, senior economics reporter for CNBC, examines issues confronting the American economy and the political implications for the midterm elections.

• Georgetown University professor Diana Owen examines how voters are influenced by media coverage of politics with a particular focus on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, e-mail alerts and paid candidate advertising.

• Finally, Democratic and Republican perspectives on the election are presented in separate chapters by University of Maryland professor Tom Schaller and Baltimore County and former Republican National Committee official and blogger Bill Pascoe.