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The Gamble: All In

The Gamble: All In
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"All In" is the third free eBook preview chapter from John Sides and Lynn Vavreck's groundbreaking Fall 2013 book, The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election.

Picking up where the second chapter, "Random, or Romney?" left off, "All In" continues the story of the 2012 Republican primary, up to the point when Mitt Romney clinched the nomination. Sides and Vavreck tell the gripping story of how Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich seemed to threaten Romney's chances, and why both challengers fizzled out. The authors examine elite endorsements, voters' attitudes, media coverage, advertising, fundraising, and the efforts of each campaign. In the end, they argue, Romney benefited from the sequence of state primaries and caucuses, while Santorum and Gingrich could not compete with him week in and week out. Romney had not only superior fundraising and organization but also broader support within the party, among leaders and voters alike. Despite the persistent claim that the party wanted "Anybody but Romney," by the spring of 2012, the party had made its bet: it was "all in" on Romney.

This book represents an unprecedented effort to use a "Moneyball" approach to tell the dramatic story of the election campaign, drawing on large quantities of data about the economy, public opinion, news coverage, and political advertising to determine the factors that really made a difference. At the same time, Sides and Vavreck visited the campaign trail to find out what mattered most to the campaigns and voters. The result promises to be the only book about the election that combines on-the-ground reporting, social science, and quantitative data in order to look beyond the anecdote, folklore, and conventional wisdom that too often pass for analysis of presidential elections.

To find out more, download this chapter and begin reading the authors' special introduction to this and the other free chapters. The fourth and final eBook preview chapter will be released in spring 2013.

The Gamble is scheduled to be published as a complete print and eBook in September 2013.