In this valuable study, Lex Renda uses retrospective voting theory—a quantitative political science model for assessing political allegiances—to explore the connections between voters’ judgments and public policy in New Hampshire before, during, and after the Civil War. According to this theory, voters base their judgements and party loyalty not on proposals for future policy initiatives but on their assessment of a candidate or party's past performance.

Running on the Record calls into question the work of historians who have argued that voters unversed in the technicalities of policy are politically incapacitated.

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