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Partisans and PartnersThe Politics of the Post-Keynesian Society$
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Josh Pacewicz

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226402550

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226402727.001.0001

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How Obama Won the Heartland (Thrice)

How Obama Won the Heartland (Thrice)

(p.249) Nine How Obama Won the Heartland (Thrice)
Partisans and Partners

Josh Pacewicz

University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes how voters behaved during the 2008 and 2012 election cycle, focusing especially on Barack Obama’s successful caucus and general election campaigns. Traditional voters remained steadfast in their support throughout and relatively moderate, supporting or opposing Obama based on their identification with their city’s business or working class. Partisans also remained consistent in political support, but were politically extreme, foreshadowing the Tea Party and neo-populist campaigns like those of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders (not discussed in book). In 2008, partners were overwhelmingly supportive of Obama during the primary as a post-partisan candidate along with GOP rivals like Mitt Romney, but were ultimately turned off by partisan rancor during general election cycles and less likely to enthusiastically support their primary preference then traditional voters or partisans—a dynamic that augurs poorly for partners’ ability to support a stable post-partisan coalition.

Keywords:   elections, political heuristics, Obama campaign

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