The Election of Barack Obama: How He Won

Hardcover | August 15, 2010

byBaodong Liu

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This book examines the historical election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president from the perspective of racial relations. To trace the effect of time, Liu links Obama’s multiracial winning coalition to the two-party system and the profound impact of racial changes since 1965. Contrary to the popular momentum theory which emphasizes the early victories in mainly two states, Iowa and New Hampshire, this book demonstrates that state context matters. Obama’s electoral performance in a state is better explained by its level of racial tension, rather than the emotional need of Americans to elect a black president.

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This book examines the historical election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president from the perspective of racial relations. To trace the effect of time, Liu links Obama’s multiracial winning coalition to the two-party system and the profound impact of racial changes since 1965. Contrary to the popular momentum theory w...

Baodong Liu is Associate Professor of Political Science and Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah. A coauthor of Race Rules: Electoral Politics in New Orleans, 1965-2006, Liu’s past research has won multiple awards from American Political Science Association, Southwestern Political Science Association, and Southern Political Scienc...

other books by Baodong Liu

Race Rules: Electoral Politics in New Orleans, 1965-2006
Race Rules: Electoral Politics in New Orleans, 1965-200...

Kobo ebook|Oct 15 2007

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:178 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.44 inPublished:August 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230103510

ISBN - 13:9780230103511

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Table of Contents

Emotion and Rationality: An Introduction * Minimum Winning Coalition: the 2008 Presidential Election from a Historical Perspective * Racial Change and the Politics of Hope * The 2008 Democratic Primaries and the Presidential Selection Process * Building the Winning Coalition in Time * Building the Winning Coalition in Space * Winning the General Election * The Obama Racial Coalition: Conclusion  

Editorial Reviews

"There will be abundant scholarly research and writing about the historic presidential election of 2008 but Baodong Liu's richly researched and persuasive argued The Election of Barack Obama: How He Won sets a high standard for such work. Liu concentrates on the voting mechanisms and campaign strategies which produced President Obama's electoral victory. Fully engaging with the extant scholarly literatures on race politics and on voting behavior, Liu argues that the Obama team successfully built a minimum winning coalition based in America's distinct group identities. Voters' decisions about whether to support or to oppose candidate Obama were based on group interests, themselves often race based. Obama's success, Liu contends, was his ability to build a winning racial coalition. This proposition is developed through meticulous analyses of primary campaigns in 2008 and then the general election in November. Liu skillfully expounds both the way in which successful coalitions are developed in the US's two party system and the practicalities of sub-national voting especially in key primaries. The result is an important contribution to scholarly understanding of the politics and voting of race in 2008, as Liu in particular challenges the alleged emergence of a post racial politics. The book will be enormously useful to students of race and politics in the United States, voting studies, and American political development." - Desmond King, University of Oxford "This is a very well-done book that asks two different, but related questions - did momentum theory partially account for President Obama's win and did sequential primary elections make a difference in his ability to rack up primary victories. It provides an excellent discussion of the 2008 election and President Obama's electoral coalition. It will make a major contribution to our understanding of the dynamics of the 2008 and the fact that in the end 'race still mattered' in voting for President Obama." - Paula D. McClain, Professor of Political Science, Duke University