Super Tuesday 1988 was the first successful attempt to get several states in one region to hold their presidential primaries on the same day. Its success -- or lack thereof -- will affect the way presidents are elected for many years to come.
Reaching beyond Super Tuesday and the nominations of George Bush and Michael Dukakis, Barbara Norrander's book presents the nation's first regional primary as the latest chapter in the ever-changing system through which U.S. political parties choose their presidential candidates. Norrander's research details how changes in technology, candidate and media strategies, and historical circumstances have influenced recent presidential nominations and how they set the stage for the South's primary in 1988.
Super Tuesday: Regional Politics and Presidential Primaries emerges as an authoritative source not only on Super Tuesday but on many other aspects of presidential nominations. This book demonstrates that much of current conventional wisdom about presidential nominations is wrong.
Norrander traces candidate strategies from 1976 to 1988 and calculates turnout rates from 1960 to 1988. She also examines the composition of the Super Tuesday electorate with respect both to preconceived notions of who participates in presidential primaries and to deliberate attempts by the Democratic and Republican parties to manipulate voter turnout in the South's regional primary. Her analysis of the timing and process of nomination victories from 1976 to 1988 emphasizes the importance of the overlooked role of candidate attrition over candidate momentum.
Of special interest to political scientists -- and to political observers -- concerned with parties, elections, and voting behavior, Norrander's book will reshape the examination of presidential contests in 1992 and beyond.
"More than a simple history of a one-day event... a detailed empirical analysis of both the 1988 struggle and presidential primary elections in general." -- Choice