Controversial Issues in Presidential Selection

Second Edition

Edited by Gary L. Rose

Subjects: Political Communication
Series: SUNY series on the Presidency: Contemporary Issues
Paperback : 9780791419366, 374 pages, July 1994
Hardcover : 9780791419359, 374 pages, July 1994

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Table of contents



A Presidential Selection Process in Crisis
Gary L. Rose

1. Is It Time for a New Presidential Nominating Process?
Yes--Thomas E. Cronin and Robert D. Loevy
No--Everett Carll Ladd

2. Are Brokered Conventions Desirable?
Yes--Emmett H. Buell, Jr.
No--John F. Bibby

3. Should Vice-Presidential Candidates Be Selected from the Also-Ran Category?
Yes--John Kenneth White
No--Landis Jones

4. Do the Media Inform?
Yes--Doris A. Graber
No--Robert D. Loevy

5. Should Campaign Commercials Be Regulated?
Yes--Jon F. Hale
No--Marion R. Just

6. Is Public Financing of Presidential Elections a Desirable Policy?
Yes--Frank J. Sorauf
No--Mitch McConnell

7. Should Presidential Debates Be Required?
Yes--William E. Carroll
No--James I. Lengle and Dianne C. Lambert

8. Should the Electoral College Be Abolished?
Yes--Lawrence D. Longley
No--Robert D. Brown

9. Is the Motor-Voter Bill Desirable?
Yes--Herbert F Weisberg
No--Wayne Parent

10. Is It Time for a Third Major Party in American Politics?
Yes--Theodore J. Lowi
No--M. Margaret Conway

11. Should Political Parties Govern the Presidential Selection Process?
Yes--W. Wayne Shannon
No--Allan J. Cigler

Gary L. Rose


This new edition provides the latest on controversies surrounding the presidential selection process. The text is two-thirds new material, with new articles by John F. Bibby, Robert D. Brown, Emmett H. Buell, Jr. , M. Margaret Conway, Thomas E. Cronin, Doris Graber, Jon F. Hale, Everett Ladd, Robert D. Loevy, Theodore Lowi, Wayne Parent, Frank J. Sorauf, and Herbert Weisberg, and revised articles from many of the contributors to the first edition.

The book is designed to stimulate lively debate and critical thinking about the modern process of presidential selection. Eleven issues that impact directly on the selection of the president of the United States are examined in a scholarly and argumentative format. Essays pro and con on each issue educate students in the dynamics of presidential selection and help them evaluate competing perspectives on today's pressing issues.

The controversial issues examined span the various phases of the selection process, including the nominating system, the nominating convention, and the general election campaign. New issues covered for this edition include whether a third major party in U. S. politics is likely or needed.

Gary L. Rose is Associate Professor of Political Science at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.


"This important work presents sharp debates among an impressive group of contributors about presidential primaries, political money, party decline, and media excesses, as well as old issues like the electoral college—all in a manner that reinforces the view of editor Gary Rose that the electoral system is indeed in crisis. A fine introduction to the questionable presidential selection processes that will torment us again in 1996. " — James MacGregor Burns, Williams College

"Controversial Issues in Presidential Selection presents informative essays by experts giving both sides of the question on practically all the critical issues now facing the presidential selection process—in many ways the key to the future of American democracy. Surprisingly, its cumulative effect is a profound call for revival and reform of that battered institution, the political party. This book will be read with pleasure and profit by both specialists and general readers. " — A. James Reichley, author of The Life of the Parties

"A lively book! A thoughtful one also. I particularly like the clarity and focus of the point-counterpoint format in presenting the different perspectives. The issues chosen for examination are the major ones, and the contributors are consistently first rate. The collection provides a strong context for assessing a process in crisis. " — William Crotty, Northwestern University