The Gamble
Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election - Updated Edition
John Sides & Lynn Vavreck
With a new preface by the authors

Editions

"Game changer." We heard it so many times during the 2012 U.S. presidential election. But what actually made a difference in the contest—and what was just hype? In this groundbreaking book, John Sides and Lynn Vavreck tell the dramatic story of the election—with a big difference. Using an unusual "moneyball" approach and drawing on extensive quantitative data, they look beyond the anecdote, folklore, and conventional wisdom that often pass for election analysis to separate what was truly important from what was irrelevant. The Gamble combines this data with the best social science research and colorful on-the-ground reporting, providing the most accurate and precise account of the election yet written—and the only book of its kind.

In a new preface, the authors reflect on the place of The Gamble in the tradition of presidential election studies, its reception to date, and possible paths for future social science research.

John Sides is associate professor of political science at George Washington University and the coauthor of Campaigns and Elections (Norton). He cofounded and contributes to The Monkey Cage, a politics blog. Lynn Vavreck is professor of political science and communications at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her books include The Message Matters: The Economy and Presidential Campaigns (Princeton). She cofounded and contributes to the Model Politics blog.