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The Roads to Congress 2008 offers readers straightfoward and detailed case studies of the campaigns, candidates, key issues, and outcomes of over one dozen of the most important and interesting races of 2008. This includes both House and Senate campaigns, contests from all regions of the country, and seats held by Democrats and Republicans, as well as open seats. Every two years the pageantry of American politics unfolds when all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and roughly one-third of those in the U.S. Senate are up for election. These elections provide voters with an opportunity to evaluate their members of Congress and the institution as a whole. They also offer a regular and frequent barometer for the health and practice of American democracy. The 2008 election cycle, in particular, was in many ways one of the most intriguing and pivotal elections in many years and for many reasons, which are explored in this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739142097
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 04/13/2010
Pages: 322
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robert P. Watson is the Director of American Studies at Lynn University. He is also the author and editor of many books, including The Presidents' Wives, Israel and the Legacy of Harry S. Truman, and America's War on Terror.

Table of Contents

Foreword Congressman Ken Heckler ix

Preface Robert P. Watson Robert Dewhirst xv

Part I Introduction

1 The 2008 Congressional Elections: The "Other" Democratic Victory of 2008 Robert P. Watson 3

Part II House Elections

2 Mississippi District 1 Race (Childers v. Davis): Three Elections and a Stunning Upset Tom Lansford 17

3 Missouri District 6 Race (Barns v. Graves): "Change" Comes Up Short against a Negative "Values" Campaign in a Rural District Daniel E. Smith 33

4 Illinois District 14 Race (Foster v. Oberweis): A National Proxy Fight for a Special Election and a Former Speaker's Seat Jeffrey Ashley Justin Sinner 53

5 New York District 13 Race (McMahon v. Straniere): A Congressman's Fall from Grace Turns a Red Seat Blue Jeffrey Kraus 73

6 Texas District 23 Race (Rodriguez v. Larson); A Vulnerable Candidate in a High-Profile Race...Proves to Be Neither John David Rausch Jr. 95

7 California District 26 Race (Warner v. Dreier): Anti-Republican Sentiment Proved No Match for Money and Incumbency Marcia Godwin Richard Gelm 111

8 Ohio District 16 Race (Boccieri v. Schuring): One of the Nation's Most Competitive Open Seats William Binning Sunil Ahuja 127

9 Florida District 21 Race (Martinez v. L. Diaz-Balart) and Florida District 25 Race (Garcia v. M. Diaz-Balart): The Change in "Little Havana" That Did Not Happen Sean Foreman 147

10 Florida District 13 Race (Jennings v. Buchanan): Rematch-a Clash of Politics and Personalities Peter Bergerson Margaret E. Banyan 169

Part III Senate Elections

11 Louisiana Senate Race (Landrieu v. Kennedy): History and Incumbency Benefit a Vulnerable Candidate Joshua Stockley 185

12 Virginia Senate Race (Warner v. Gilmore): A Presidential Campaign and a New Kind of Democrat Turn the Old Dominion Blue Bob N. Roberts 205

13 Alaska Senate Race (Begich v. Stevens): Scandal, Upset, and the End of an Era Gerald McBeath Amy Lauren Lovecraft 227

14 Colorado Senate Race (Udall v. Schaffer): A Campaign of Ideological Differences and a Changed Political Landscape Robert J. Duffy Kyle L Saunders Andrew Kear 245

Part IV Conclusion

15 The Legacy of Election 2008 Robert Dewhirst 271

Appendix A Constitutional Requirements for Congress 281

Appendix B Party Control of Congress 283

Appendix C Length of Service in Congress 285

Appendix D Reelection Rates in Congress 287

Appendix E Margins of Victory in Congressional Elections 289

Appendix F Voting Turnout in Congressional Elections 291

Index 293

Contributors 301

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