AS WITH MOST BOOK PROJECTS, this one is a long time coming. I began to collect some of the data analyzed here more than fifteen years ago in the early years of my graduate training. Nevertheless, this project would not have been possible without the support and assistance of many people and organizations. First and foremost, this project was funded in large part by a 2003 Wayne F. Placek Award from the American Psychological Foundation. A number of students assisted in data collection for the project, including Mahalley Allen, Matt Beverlin, Aaron Clark, Matthew Kaufman, Rebecca Kuhn, Jared Schreiner, James Stoutenborough, Justin Tucker, and Andrea Vieux. The staff at Georgetown University Press were great and provided consistent support, especially Don Jacobs. I also need to thank Doug Goldenberg-Hart of CQ Press for his assistance with state legislative district data.
Many mentors have been there for me throughout the years, including Marianne Wargelin-Brown, Ken Sherrill, and Ken Meier. Each of these individuals, and many others, gave me pieces of wisdom and guidance that helped me grow as a scholar. There really is something to the notion of standing on the shoulders of giants.
Finally, I thank my wife Michele and my son Jesiah for their support and patience in putting up with an academic. Without their backing, this project would not have been possible.