1 POLS 417: Voting and Elections Washington State University, Fall 2017 Tuesday, Thursday, 10:35-11:50, Todd 302 Instructor: Dr. Travis Ridout Email: [email protected]Phone: 509-335-2264 Office Hours: Tuesdays, 1-3 p.m., and by appointment 816 Johnson Tower Introduction In a democracy, elections serve as the vital link between the people and those who govern them. During a campaign, candidates are forced to defend their performance in office and proposals for the future. And voters pass judgment on the performance of office-holders—and on how much they like their ideas for the future. In this course, we will study voters and candidates and the two processes that link them: campaigns and elections. This is a course in which we will examine a variety of scholarly research about the behavior of voters and candidates. It is not a course in political management (i.e., how to run a campaign). That said, I will bring many examples of contemporary electoral politics into the classroom—enough to satisfy most political junkies. This course will focus on elections in the United States, though I will provide examples from other countries. Moreover, we will spend some time learning about electoral systems used around the world. Readings There are three books available for purchase or rent: Sides, John, Daron Shaw, Matt Grossman and Keena Lipsitz. 2015. Campaigns & Elections: Rules, Reality, Strategy, Choice. 2nd Edition. W.W. Norton. ISBN: 978-0-393-93852-4 Asher, Herbert. 2010. Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know. 8th edition. CQ Press. ISBN: 978-1604266061 Mutch, Robert. 2016. Campaign Finance: What Everyone Needs To Know. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0190274689 Grading There are 1000 points available for this course. Your final grade in this course will depend on your success in four areas:
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