The midterm contests for the Senate, House of Representatives, and 36 governorships produced drama aplenty in 2002. A tragic plane crash killed a U.S. senator just ten days before the election, casting his state into mourning and political confusion. Another senator, losing in his reelection bid because of corruption, chose to withdraw in mid-campaign. The president's own brother was involved in a knock-down, drag-out campaign for reelection in the state that installed the current White House occupant by a grand total of 537 votes. But more than anything, the 2002 midterm elections featured a titanic struggle between the political parties for control of Congress. Both houses were narrowly divided in the so-called '50-50' America produced by the split 2000 presidential election. Which party, if either, would emerge with the spoils of war? In the end, there was no landslide, but there was a clear victor: the Republicans. And the colossus of 2002 was President George W. Bush, the driving force behind the historic GOP triumph. Firmly securing the House and recapturing the Senate gives Bush an unusual opportunity in American politics - to be stronger in the second half of his term than the first. Through a superb team of academics and journalists led by Dr. Larry J. Sabato, Midterm Madness: The Elections of 2002 analyzes and dissects this fascinating election season.
Larry J. Sabato is director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and author of numerous books including Feeding Frenzy: How Attack Journalism Has Transformed American Politics and Peepshow: Media and Politics in an Age of Scandal.
Chapter 1 The George W. Bush Midterm: From Popular Vote Loser to Political Colossus in Two-Not-So-Easy Election Steps Chapter 2 Air Force Won Chapter 3 Playing Second Fiddle: Political Ads, International Newsmakers Bury Election Coverage Chapter 4 Starting to Click: Online Campaigning in the 2002 Elections Chapter 5 U.S. House Races : Republican Resurgence After Eight Lean Years Chapter 6 Iowa Senate: Harkin's Best Yet Chapter 7 Minnesota Senate: Tragedy and Triumph in a National Headline Contest Chapter 8 Missouri Senate: Sympathy's Time Limit for Jean Carnahan Chapter 9 New Jersey Senate: Back to the Future as Torricelli Yields to Lautenberg Chapter 10 New Hampshire Senate: Down to the Wire in New Hampshire Chapter 11 North Carolina Senate: Dole Finally Beats Clinton (Sort of) Chapter 12 South Dakota Senate: George Bush vs. Tom Daschle, Once Removed Chapter 13 Tennessee Senate: The Resurrection of Lamar Alexander Chapter 14 Texas Senate: A Race About Race Chapter 15 It's a Sonny Day in Georgia Chapter 16 California Governor: Don't Vote, It Will Only Encourage Them Chapter 17 Florida Governor: Three Elections in One Chapter 18 Illinois Governor: It Was More Than the Ryan Name Chapter 19 Iowa Governor: Vilsack Gets An Encore Chapter 20 Maryland Governor: The Close of Camelot Chapter 21 Minnesota Governor: The End of the Ventura Interlude Chapter 22 Pennsylvania Governor: Philadelphia Gets a Governor Chapter 23 Texas Governor: The Democratic 'Dream Team' Bites the Dust Chapter 24 A Final Look in the Rearview Mirror for 2002: The Midterm Map of America