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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Follow-up to post

To follow up the previous post, I think I see this book as much as a commentary on the politics of the last 20 or so years than a study of the census as such. From the bibliography, it appears that Anderson's original research on the census was published in 1988, so this book is an extension of that research and allows for editorializing. I looked in the index and found no mention of Ross Perot, in spite of the fact that he did have an impact on the outcome of the 1992 election. Perhaps that illustrates the fact that the effect of the custom of most states to award all electoral votes to the highest popular vote-getter is to suppress third party Presidential campaigns, so it made Perot irrelevant to the book. But "Who counts?" ignores the question of whether, just because the Census Bureau functions in a mostly nonpartisan way in a two-party system, it might not be seen as strongly partisan in strengthening and protecting that system against political outsiders.

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