After Barack Obama's historic 2008 victory, Democrats were riding high. But a number of tough fights on policy initiatives, coupled with an economy struggling to recover, put Democrats in a difficult position leading up to the 2010 congressional elections. With nearly all the electoral gains Democrats made during 2006 and 2008 now lost and the House returned to Republican control, this is one of the most dramatic shifts in congressional power in history
Examining a sample of congressional campaigns waged during this important election provides readers with an account of how Republicans were able to make such impressive gains and how Democrats were unable to stem this tide. Adkins and Dulio provide a clear explanation of the macro trends in this election cycle, followed by twelve in depth and fascinating case studies of House and Senate toss up races involving seats held by endangered Democratic incumbents. Framed by a common set of questions and topics-so that they are singing the same song in different voices-each chapter focuses on the micro-level effects active in the individual campaigns. Furthermore, the editors discuss how the 2010 cycle fits into the existing literature on campaigns and elections, conclusions about what we learned in 2010 by addressing these competitive states and districts, and speculation on what might be ahead in 2012.
In addition, the companion website provides instructors with useful teaching tools, including sample assignments and dynamic PowerPoint slides with graphs and videos.