The study of elections and voting patterns has been one of the fastest growing fields of political science in the past few decades. It has produced one of the most characteristic artifacts of Western political culture: the public-opinion poll. But what makes people vote the way they do-social class, race, and sex? Or more ephemeral factors, like ideology, party identifications, money and mass-media campaigns? The authors argue that it is futile to ask the question, 'What decides elections?' without first considering another: What do elections decide? Elections and Voters therefore examines competitive electoral systems: how they work, how they are manipulated, and how to interpret the results of elections held under their rules. Ideologies and images, sociological and economic influences, and the effects of the media, money, and opinion polls themselves are discussed, as are noncompetitive elections in four countries commonly omitted from such studies: the Soviet Union, Poland, Mexico, and Kenya. Completely free of jargon, Elections and Voters is indispensable not only to students of politics but also to its practitioners: journalists, politicians, pollsters-and voters themselves.