Realignment and Party Revival: Understanding American Electoral Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000 - 341 pages

Are American political parties really in decay? Have American voters really given up on the major parties? Taking issue with widely accepted theories of dealignment and party decay, Paulson argues that the most profound realignment in American history occurred in the 1960s, and he presents an alternative theory of realignment and party revival.

In the 1964-1972 period, factional struggles within the major American political parties were resolved, with conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats emerging as the majority factions within their parties. The result was a critical realignment in Presidential elections, in which the decisive realignment involved the movement of white voters in the south toward the Republican coalition. The impression of dealignment came from the fact that electoral change in Congressional elections moved at a much slower rate. The south continued to vote Democratic for congress, usually for incumbent conservative Democrats. The result was an electoral environment which produced divided government. Secular realignment in congressional elections produced the Republican majorities of 1994. Now the conservative Democrats who were the swing voters since the 1960s, were voting Republican. The result is that the coalitions for yet another realignment are in place at the turn of the twenty-first century. After three decades in which the swing voters were relatively conservative, the new swing voter is a genuine centrist; an independent who is ideologically moderate. The coming realignment, Paulson asserts, will consummate the birth of a new, ideologically, polarized party system with a greater potential for party government, which would be a fundamental change for American democracy. A major resource for scholars, students, and other researchers interested in American parties and elections.

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Contents

A Century of Presidential Elections From System of 96 to System of 96
1
The Democratic Party as a Multifactional System 18961964
43
The Republican Party as a Bifactional System 18961964
73
Ideological Polarization and Party Change Realignment of the Factional Systems 19641972
96
Party Decay and the New Nominating Politics 19721980
124
Ideological Homogenization and Party Revival
148
Ideological Polarization and the TwoTier Party System SplitTicket Voting Divided Government and Realignment in American Politics
172
Race and Class in the PostNew Deal Order
225
Realignment and the Study of American Elections
265
Conclusion The Party System and American Democracy at the Turn of the TwentyFirst Century
281
The Y2K Election
305
Selected Bibliography
316
Index
326
Copyright

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Page 86 - The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do. for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities.
Page 56 - Truman for his courageous stand on the issue of civil rights. "We call upon the Congress to support our President in guaranteeing these basic and fundamental...
Page 48 - You come to us and tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard; we reply that the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.
Page 21 - New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, cast 3,982,011 votes now, against 3,870,222 cast then, showing an aggregate now of 3,982,011.
Page 189 - Party won control of both Houses of Congress for the first time since...
Page 223 - Michael Barone, Grant Ujifusa, and Douglas Matthews, The Almanac of American Politics...
Page 202 - Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and...
Page 82 - Our very proclamations of what we are fighting for have rendered our own inequities self-evident. When we talk of freedom and opportunity for all nations, the mocking paradoxes in our own society become so clear they can no longer be ignored.
Page 101 - Full implementation and faithful execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and all other civil rights statutes...
Page 122 - Harold W. Stanley and Richard G. Niemi, Vital Statistics on American Politics, 5th ed.

About the author (2000)

ARTHUR PAULSON is Associate Professor of Political Science and the University Pre-Law Advisor at Southern Connecticut State University./e He is a life-long student of parties and elections.

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