It was another roller coaster of an election year. This time around, Republicans across the country rode a wave of discontent with the incumbents to gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the coveted prize in this year’s midterm elections. But Republicans also made gains in the U.S. Senate and in gubernatorial and state legislative races nationwide.

Voter frustration with the economy and with President Obama’s job performance put Democrats on the defensive over the course of the election and generated enthusiasm among Republicans and conservatives. AS the country enters a new period of split control of government, both parties must now strategize about how to govern and make tough decisions about confrontation or collaboration. Their choices will surely influence the early dynamics of the 2012 election cycle.
In this month’s issue, Campaigns & Elections presents its annual “Scorecard,” the definitive win/loss record for consulting firms and their clients. We also spotlight influential politicians and political operatives in California in our “California Influencers” list that features the top players in Golden State politics.
The November/December issue also offers readers details about the nation’s leading academic programs in political campaign management. As interest in the field of professional politics has increased in recent years, a growing number of programs at top universities offer specialized training and degree programs to help budding professionals get a leg up on the competition. Our feature provides the details that will help prospective applicants consider and help prospective applicants consider and select the program that best suits their needs. Also in the issue, Daniel Weiss, our new managing editor, provides a thoughtful review of George W. Bush’s Decision Points.
As we wrap up 2010, we look back at a year—and an election cycle—that has left an indelible mark on contemporary American politics. Many of the developments over the past year—the emergence of the Tea Party movement, advances in campaign technologies, passage of the health care reform package, declining job approval for Barack Obama, and the rejuvenation of the Grand Old Party—are sure to have enduring ramifications and will help shape the next presidential election cycle that, in today’s politics, is already under way. As The West Wing’s President Bartlett might say, “What’s next?”
Thank you for reading.
Mike Hennessy