"Swing voters" occupy a central place in American political lore. Candidates court them, consultants target them, and pundits speculate constantly on which way they'll lean. But nobody has adequately defined them as a group. What exactly is a swing voter? No one really seems to know.
The Swing Voter in American Politics fills this conceptual gap by bringing political scientists and pollsters together to answer four basic questions:
- What is a swing voter?
- How can analysts use survey data to identify them?
- How do swing voters differ-if at all-from the rest of the electorate?
- And what role do they play in determining the outcomes of contemporary elections?
Drawing on a wide range of sources, including American National Election Studies data, Gallup polls, Pew Center surveys, and the National Annenberg Election Survey, the authors track swing voters across six decades and in national and local elections. The result is an unprecedented picture of this key political group.
Contributors: James E. Campbell (University at Buffalo), April Clark (Pew Research Center for the People and the Press), Adam Clymer (Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania), Michael Dimock (Pew Research Center for the People and the Press), Juliana Menasce Horowitz (Pew Research Center for the People and the Press), Jeffrey M. Jones (Gallup Organization), Daron R. Shaw (University of Texas-Austin), Jeffrey M. Stonecash (Syracuse University), Ruy Teixeira (Center for American Progress and The Century Foundation), Ken Winneg (Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania).