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No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize LegislaturesSeth E. Masket
---Sam Popkin, University of California at San Diego
"No Middle Ground makes a significant contribution to the study of American parties and legislative politics."
---Matthew Green, Catholic University of America
Despite concerns about the debilitating effects of partisanship on democratic government, in recent years political parties have gained strength in state governments as well as in Washington. Whereas political machines of the past manipulated votes, today's machines determine which candidates can credibly compete in a primary.
Focusing on the history and politics of California, Seth E. Masket reveals how these machines evolved and how they stay in power by directing money, endorsements, and expertise to favored candidates, who often tend toward the ideological extreme. Masket argues that politicians are not inherently partisan. Instead, partisanship is thrust upon them by actors outside the government with the power to manipulate primary elections.
Seth E. Masket is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver.
- 978-0-472-03467-3 (paper)
- 978-0-472-02212-0 (ebook)