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The Politics of DisasterTracking the Impact of Hurricane Andrew$
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David K. Twigg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813041889

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813041889.001.0001

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Disasters as Political Challenges

Disasters as Political Challenges

(p.1) 1 Disasters as Political Challenges
The Politics of Disaster

David K. Twigg

University Press of Florida

It is a well-documented phenomenon that incumbents are generally advantaged when running for reelection. Various anecdotes about the effects of disaster on elections and public officials indicate a range of possible outcomes. New players may enter the field or incumbents may be blamed for disaster-related problems. Incumbents also may be perceived as effective leaders. Chapter 1 announces the trajectory of the entire book, which explores municipal and statewide elections after Hurricane Andrew in three distinct zones of damage: severe, moderate, and mild. By analyzing election results and utilizing interviews with incumbent elected officials and their key supporters, this study determines how officials responded to the hurricane, how they adjusted their campaigns, and how they perceived their reelection chances.

Keywords:   Hurricane Andrew, hurricane damage zones, incumbency advantage, political challenge, political opportunity

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