Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
(The Evolving American Presidency) 1st ed. 2021 Edition
by Byron E. Shafer (Author), Elizabeth M. Sawyer (Author)
Orthodox reporting and conventional scholarship focuses on the factors that distinguish each presidential contest and then attempts to explain them. This book rather, demonstrates that the politics of presidential nomination has been remarkably stable in the United States since the 1830s and right through to 2020. A common bandwagon dynamic, rolling once through party organizations and now through presidential primaries, permits a simple measure that has predicted nominations well before the decisive threshold was reached, while allowing precise comparisons across the years. So it becomes possible to separate the handful of things that matter for winnowing a large and diverse society into two individual presidential nominees. This funnel of causality moves through the occupational and careers seedbeds of a field of presidential aspirants, squeezing these fields by way of a small set of structural shapers, until party factions and factional struggles―not rules of the game, not candidate characteristics, not nominating strategies, nor all the other ephemera so beloved of commentators and observers―actually choose a given nominee.