The 2012 American elections were highly competitive, with the unusually close partisan balance making the elections an opportunity for each of the two major parties. This book assembles leading political scientists and political journalists to explain the 2012 election results and their implications for America’s future.

In addition to assessing election results, the book examines the consequences of the large ambitions of the Obama presidency and the political and policy risks entailed in the pursuit of those ambitions. It also explores Congressional elections and policymaking since 2008, and how they affected election results in 2012. The book promises a more coherent focus than that evident in similar edited works, achieved through a limited number of chapters and clear definition of chapter content.

1. Obama’s Coalition: How the president customized his campaign and cobbled together his majority; John F. Harris and James Hohmann. 2. The Campaign and the Media; Diana Owen. 3. Fighting Off Challengers: The 2012 Nomination of Mitt Romney; Barbara Norrander. 4. The General Election Campaign; Steven E. Schier and Janet Box-Steffensmeier. 5. Congressional Elections 2012; Roger H. Davidson. 6. The Effect of the 2012 Elections on Party Polarization; Sean M. Theriault and Megan M. Moeller. 7. Campaign Finance in the 2012 Election; Robert G. Boatright. 8. Public Opinion and the Presidential Election; Christopher Wlezien. 9. Religion in the 2012 Election; James L. Guth and Leigh A. Bradberry. 10. The Reaffirmation of the Post-Cold War Electoral Order; Nicol C. Rae.