Politics makes strange bedfellows, and that becomes even more apparent when trying to analyze the science of politics. Pulling from an array of disciplines including social science, behavioral science and mathematics, Scientific American does just that in this timely eBook, Playing Politics: The Science of Elections. This anthology offers analyses of key factors in the process of electing a leader: from dissecting those qualities considered to be ideal, to how potential leaders are portrayed, to voter behavior, to the voting process - casting, collecting and counting the votes. In recent years especially, science has increasingly been at the center of controversies over voting methods, a voter's motivation, the geography of presidential elections -- including the introduction by the media of the terms red states and blue states -- even questions about the veracity and abilities of candidates. Of particular importance is the analysis of how the electoral process really works and whether it truly represents the majority's intentions of how the country should run. In addition to providing the tools to analyze the process, this ebook also addresses the top science issues of Election 2012. Scientific American partnered with ScienceDebate.org, an independent citizen's initiative, to engage the current presidential candidates - Barack Obama and Mitt Romney - to answer where they stand on 14 key science and technology policy questions facing the United States today. This thoughtful debate, which includes questions on climate change, sustainable energy, the economy and education, caps off an essential read for concerned voters.