Talk Elections

Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion => U.S. Presidential Election Results => Topic started by: A18 on August 15, 2005, 07:10:23 pm



Title: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 15, 2005, 07:10:23 pm
What elections do you consider "realigning" elections? Explain and discuss.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: PBrunsel on August 15, 2005, 08:23:09 pm
1928:

Democrats win the big cities (a majority of them) for the first time in history.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Virginian87 on August 16, 2005, 09:50:31 am
1800 could be considered the first realigning election, as Jefferson broke the Federalist control on the Northeast by winning New York.  This set the Federalist into a decline from which they never recovered, and pushed the country towards the Era of Good Feelings.

1828 was the next realigning election.  Jackson's election to the presidency could be considered the first time a candidate was elected with support of the common people versus a candidate (Adams) who was supported by the rich and powerful.  In short, it was the first election along social lines and split the Northeast from the West and South.

1860 was a major realigning election, as for the first time the country was truly split in half along party lines.  The Deep South states voted for the Southern Democrat while the North voted for the candidate of the new Republican Party.  It also saw the end of the Whig Party and the Whigs' move to the Republicans.

1896 was a realigning election in that it pitted the farmers and populists against the big-business interests from the East.  Although the Republicans maintained control, they would continue to develop their stance as the party of business, and they would remain in power until the early 1930s.

1932 -Although PBrunsel marks 1928 as the realigning election, the fact is that after 1928 Republicans remained in control to some degree.  The 1932 election saw the formation of the New Deal coalition of Catholics, Southerners, Westerners, minorities, and labor unions.  This coalition would be the core of the Democratic Party until it began to unravel in the early '80s.

1968 I consider this to be also a realigning election because Nixon formally adopted the Southern Strategy for Republican presidential candidates and solidified those states that Goldwater won in '64 into the Republican column.  The South began its swing from Democratic stronghold to Sunbelt Republican territory, not fully transforming at the state level until 26 years later.


Republicans may argue that 1980 and 1994 midterms were also realigning elections, but I think they are just repercussions of the 1968 election.  1994 and 2002 might also have been signs that the Republican domination of politics is at its peak (like the Democrats in 1964 election and the 1974 midterms).  I expect that the next realigning election will occur in the next sixteen years or so, depending on what happens with Iraq and terrorism and also if the Dems can shift their strategy on social issues.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 16, 2005, 10:05:28 am
I don't consider 1896, 1932, or 1968 re-aligning elections.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Virginian87 on August 16, 2005, 10:25:53 am
I don't consider 1896, 1932, or 1968 re-aligning elections.

Why not?  Maybe you define "realigning election" differently?


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 16, 2005, 10:35:38 am
I don't believe in the concept of "realigning elections" to begin with. New voting patterns and bases of power emerge all the time.

There's just nothing special about those three.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Virginian87 on August 16, 2005, 10:43:17 am
I don't believe in the concept of "realigning elections" to begin with. New voting patterns and bases of power emerge all the time.


If you don't believe in the concept of realigning elections, then why did you start this thread in the first place?  Also, if you rule out those three, do you think the others had some long-term consequences in voter realignment?



Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 16, 2005, 10:52:21 am
To get other people's opinions.

The problem is that we don't have vote totals for elections up until 1824, so it's hard to gauge any change in voting patterns there. The election of 1860 was certainly critical, but the point is that any trend is gradual and doesn't just emerge in one election.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement on August 16, 2005, 11:04:17 am

I agree with all of those.  1968 is probably the biggest realigning election in recent times.

Between 1968 and today there has been a gradual realignment of the Mississippi/Missouri Valley to the Republicans and the coastal suburbs to the Democrats.  SD, IA, WI, MN, MO, and AR and TN, especially the rural parts of those states, have shifted right.  NJ, CT, NH, DE, and CA, as well as suburban parts of NY, MI, and IL (the "third coast") have shifted left.

This is a consequence of Dem/Rep dichotomy shifting almost completely from an economic split to a social split.  This is the "realignment" of the last 30 years.  Therefore 2000 could be seen as a realigning election, as it solidified the Republican hold of the heartland, and the Democrat hold of the coasts.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Virginian87 on August 16, 2005, 11:31:42 am

I agree with all of those.  1968 is probably the biggest realigning election in recent times.

Between 1968 and today there has been a gradual realignment of the Mississippi/Missouri Valley to the Republicans and the coastal suburbs to the Democrats.  SD, IA, WI, MN, MO, and AR and TN, especially the rural parts of those states, have shifted right.  NJ, CT, NH, DE, and CA, as well as suburban parts of NY, MI, and IL (the "third coast") have shifted left.

This is a consequence of Dem/Rep dichotomy shifting almost completely from an economic split to a social split.  This is the "realignment" of the last 30 years.  Therefore 2000 could be seen as a realigning election, as it solidified the Republican hold of the heartland, and the Democrat hold of the coasts.


Interesting.  I thought the Upper Mississippi Valley was a reliably Democratic region, especially in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement on August 16, 2005, 11:50:10 am

Interesting.  I thought the Upper Mississippi Valley was a reliably Democratic region, especially in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Was.  The upper Mississipi is still somewhat Democratic (it barely managed to win WI and MN for Gore and Kerry), but nowhere near as much, compared to the nation at large, as it was in 1988, when Dukakis won WI, MN, and IA in the midst of a Bush landslide:

1988:
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2000:
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Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 16, 2005, 11:59:44 am
The problem with realigning elections is that it's hard to spot them until time passes... usually.
I tend to think that 2000 and 2004 were more the natural culmination of 1968 rather than anything new... things could be about to realign fairly soon as a lot of potentially crucial issues (like healthcare) seem likely to explode so to speak.
Things could get interesting. Wait and see.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 16, 2005, 12:31:47 pm
The elections of 2000 and 2004 were obviously realigning in that they pitted rural areas against cities like no other time since 1896.

Those are completely new voting patterns, and having to do with 1968 at all.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 16, 2005, 12:37:08 pm
Those are completely new voting patterns, and having to do with 1968 at all.

No, they are a natural result of the electoral forces that got started in 1968; namely the growing importance of cultural/wedge issues.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement on August 16, 2005, 12:41:45 pm
The elections of 2000 and 2004 were obviously realigning in that they pitted rural areas against cities like no other time since 1896.

Those are completely new voting patterns, and having to do with 1968 at all.

In 1968 the GOP sold its soul to social reactionism - a move techincally unnecessary after the Donkey imploded in Chicago, but that's neither here nor there - and that current of conservatism has carried through to the present day.  Carter and Clinton were both Southern, and both could at least "talk the talk" when it came to "rural" social vaules, so in some ways that delayed the shift.  But 2000 saw its final culmination.

I think 2000 is a realignment, but it has its roots in the 1960s.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 16, 2005, 12:45:34 pm
If they were the natural result of those electoral forces, this would have occured a lot earlier.

Cities are now voting more Democratic than ever before in the history of the nation (Cook County, Philadelphia County, San Francisco County, New York County). Meanwhile, Democrats are shut out of most rural area.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement on August 16, 2005, 12:50:39 pm
Those are completely new voting patterns, and having to do with 1968 at all.

No, they are a natural result of the electoral forces that got started in 1968; namely the growing importance of cultural/wedge issues.

Remember, though, that the northern liberal Dukakis did quite well in some very socially conservative parts of the country - West Virginia and the heartland - so I think that does place some emphasis on the importance of 2000.  If you look at 2000 versus previous elections, in states like Wisconsin and Iowa, the Democrat support went from being widely spread in those states to very concentrated in urban areas and college towns.  This is a very recent phenomenon.

It might be an indirect result of 1968, but it's still a realignment.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 16, 2005, 12:56:29 pm
It might be an indirect result of 1968, but it's still a realignment.

True (I should add that Dukakis only did as well as he did in WV because Arch Moore tainted the entire Republican party in WV) but not a major realignment as such... I'm increasingly thinking that you get a "minor" realignment every few elections or so but a big one only comes up every few decades. Kind of like earthquakes along a fault line.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 16, 2005, 12:59:56 pm
It's certainly more major than a few southern states voting Republican.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Virginian87 on August 16, 2005, 01:06:54 pm
It's certainly more major than a few southern states voting Republican.

The fact that those Southern states were starting to vote Republican in the first place was remarkable in itself in 1964 and '68.  Except for the Hoover landslide of 1928 and some other minor deviations, most of these states had not voted Republican since Reconstruction. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 16, 2005, 01:09:53 pm
It's certainly more major than a few southern states voting Republican.

The fact that those Southern states were starting to vote Republican in the first place was remarkable in itself in 1964 and '68.  Except for the Hoover landslide of 1928 and some other minor deviations, most of these states had not voted Republican since Reconstruction. 

...and there was more to '68 than just that as well.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 16, 2005, 01:24:27 pm
Thousands of rural counties are voting like it's 1984, while cities pile up Democratic majorities never before seen, even during the darkest days of the Great Depression. That's pretty major.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Virginian87 on August 16, 2005, 02:02:46 pm
Thousands of rural counties are voting like it's 1984, while cities pile up Democratic majorities never before seen, even during the darkest days of the Great Depression. That's pretty major.

I didn't say that those changes were minor.  I thought you were downplaying the results of a Southern shift in party allegiance as minor, so that's what I responded to.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement on August 16, 2005, 02:40:45 pm

The fact that those Southern states were starting to vote Republican in the first place was remarkable in itself in 1964 and '68.  Except for the Hoover landslide of 1928 and some other minor deviations, most of these states had not voted Republican since Reconstruction. 

...and there was more to '68 than just that as well.

Yes.  Before 1968 you could be a socially conservative Democrat (Strom Thrumond) and a socially liberal Republican (Eisenhower).  To some extent you could be either between 1968 and 1980.  But after Reagan took office the social lines were set in stone.  That's what's so significant about 1968.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Virginian87 on August 16, 2005, 02:49:23 pm

The fact that those Southern states were starting to vote Republican in the first place was remarkable in itself in 1964 and '68.  Except for the Hoover landslide of 1928 and some other minor deviations, most of these states had not voted Republican since Reconstruction. 

...and there was more to '68 than just that as well.

Yes.  Before 1968 you could be a socially conservative Democrat (Strom Thrumond) and a socially liberal Republican (Eisenhower).  To some extent you could be either between 1968 and 1980.  But after Reagan took office the social lines were set in stone.  That's what's so significant about 1968.


Kinda sad that the social lines are set in stone.  It makes for less eclectic parties.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 16, 2005, 03:02:48 pm
Yes.  Before 1968 you could be a socially conservative Democrat (Strom Thrumond) and a socially liberal Republican (Eisenhower).  To some extent you could be either between 1968 and 1980.  But after Reagan took office the social lines were set in stone.  That's what's so significant about 1968.

Agreed and fits neatly into the earthquake metaphor. Thinking about that if 1968 was the most recent Big One, which elections where smaller tremors?


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 16, 2005, 03:06:45 pm
Uh, the parties don't have to get more polarized to have a realignment. The most recent big one was 2000 (much bigger than 1968, anyway).


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 16, 2005, 03:57:57 pm
Uh, the parties don't have to get more polarized to have a realignment.

I didn't say they did

Quote
The most recent big one was 2000 (much bigger than 1968, anyway).

You like being contrary don't you?


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 16, 2005, 04:02:53 pm
Uh, I don't even agree that 1968 was one. Perhaps 1964.

The election of 2000 was a drastic change, in which cities started going >90% Democrat, and rural areas barely managed to outvote them.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement on August 16, 2005, 04:03:53 pm

Agreed and fits neatly into the earthquake metaphor. Thinking about that if 1968 was the most recent Big One, which elections where smaller tremors?

2000 is highly significant.  I think, though, that what sets 2000 apart is that it wasn't a realignment of parties, it was a realignment of voters.  There were no significant platform changes between 1984 and 2000.  If anything, the parties were converging, and Bush and Gore were nearly identical on most issues. 

But during the 1990s some very significant movement happened at the grassroots level.  Gay rights, more sexual openness in the media, lowering of standards, combined with enormous growth of conservative Christianity (often at the expense of liberal Christianity), the Culture Wars and all that.  I don't think the GOP really is responsible for this shift, or even was active in it.  It happened at the grassroots and kind of fell into the GOP's lap.

So 1968 and 2000 are very different.  If 68 was a "Big One," 2000 isn't a "small tremor."  It's more like a "volcanic eruption."


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 16, 2005, 04:20:06 pm

Yes and No

Quote
I think, though, that what sets 2000 apart is that it wasn't a realignment of parties, it was a realignment of voters.

What makes it especially interesting is that it hasn't *really* spread down the ballot at all... the difference between Presidential and State voting patterns in 2004 was striking (where's that map thing I made... find it in a minute...). Especially as we're in an age of 24 hour news and very national campaigns (sort of) and all that. Differences as large as that shouldn't be happening nowadays.

Quote
If anything, the parties were converging, and Bush and Gore were nearly identical on most issues.

Perhaps that was one reason for it? 

Quote
But during the 1990s some very significant movement happened at the grassroots level.  Gay rights, more sexual openness in the media, lowering of standards, combined with enormous growth of conservative Christianity (often at the expense of liberal Christianity), the Culture Wars and all that.  I don't think the GOP really is responsible for this shift, or even was active in it.  It happened at the grassroots and kind of fell into the GOP's lap.

Yep, very true. And at the same time the Democrats failed to take advantage of potential new support for government intervention over poverty etc (abroad and/or at home). From the *same* voters often. Some very interesting stuff in some surveys actually.

Quote
So 1968 and 2000 are very different.  If 68 was a "Big One," 2000 isn't a "small tremor."  It's more like a "volcanic eruption."

I'm not sure what it is. Some of it makes me think of a very large aftershock (especially the culture wars element) but the fact that that didn't happen sooner is odd.
I have half an idea of what might be going on... I'll post more on it when I find out more and think a bit more...


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 16, 2005, 04:27:53 pm
Here we are:

()

Almost like there's two (maybe three) sets of parties really. Something odd is happening.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: ○∙◄☻¥tπ[╪AV┼cVê└ on August 16, 2005, 04:29:45 pm
Here we are:

()

Almost like there's two (maybe three) sets of parties really. Something odd is happening.

Ever heard of gerrymandering? That's why the NYS Senate and House look so different.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: RJ on August 16, 2005, 04:32:42 pm
Every election to some point is a realigning election. Certainly 1976 doesn't quite fit the mold as far as how elections have gone since 1968. The entire south broke Carter's way(except VA) which is what won him the election. The midwest was split about 50-50, the Northeast went to Carter by a wide margin and every other major area went to Ford. We haven't seen anything like that since. That's just 1 example. Clinton's victories didn't shape up quite the way traditional successful Democrats had, either. It's a little hard to tell what election trends have developed from Nixon's reelection or Reagan's two landslides, but lessons exist from them. Today, we can supposedly draw a red or blue circle around 35-40 states that will go into each party's column while the other 10-15 are contested, but who knows. Suppose the candidates are Bayh-Romney. How many southern states would Romney win? Would Bayh sweep the northeast? If they were Clinton-Owens or Warner-Jeb Bush, how would the map look different from today? What "solid" states would flip?

I do, however, consider the 1968 and 1932 elections to be realigning, but for a reason people don't generally consider. Both times, the winning party was really down on its luck heading into it and managed to turn things around dramatically. They used issues detramental at that point in time to sell their agenda and even changed it to meet the current circumstances. The net result of each of these two is that one party really established a dominance over the other. Think about it: the GOP couldn't run a hard right winger and get away with it between 1932-68. In an election between two moderate appearing candidates, the Democrats seemed to have the upper hand for the most part. The house and senate were heavily in favor of the Dems. Since 68', it's been the opposite. No Northeastern liberals have managed a win since then, the home of the party's left wing. The Senate has spent the majority of the time with the Republicans. Congress was finally wrestled away from the Democrats in 1994 and probably won't go anywhere soon. The list goes on. I'd concede that the urban rural split may have happened before 1932 or the Democrats lost control of the South before 1968, but these two elections really shaped the way political makeup is today IMO.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 16, 2005, 04:36:09 pm
Jfern: New York isn't what's interesting. Have a look at all the blue collar small town areas. Such a sharp difference really isn't normal. Something is up.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: muon2 on August 19, 2005, 06:49:50 am
Beef makes some good points about 2000 as different from 1968.

As a student during the 1968 election and run up to 1972, I can say that the pundits at the time did not consider 1968 realigning. Because Carter restored much of the traditional Dem areas in 1976, there was still no declaration of a realignment until well after Reagan was elected. At the time, 1980 seemed to be the critical election. It was really during the Clinton era that the importance of 1968 as a realignment began to be discussed.

By the same token, 2000 may be difficult to measure as a realignment so soon after the fact. Realignments like 1860 or 1932 that are immediately obvious are balanced by 1896 and 1968 that were clearer in hindsight. The generational pattern of 28-36 years for a realignment plus the polarization of the electorate makes 2000 a good candidate for a realignment. The next two presidential elections will help tell if 2000 fits the model.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on August 19, 2005, 11:47:35 am
I still don't consider 1968 a realigning election.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: WMS on August 19, 2005, 03:51:46 pm
Jfern: New York isn't what's interesting. Have a look at all the blue collar small town areas. Such a sharp difference really isn't normal. Something is up.

Maybe the two parties are de facto devolving into the 4+ parties they've really always been? I notice there are Democrats in western Kansas, for one thing...


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: dazzleman on August 19, 2005, 08:39:24 pm
the Northeast went to Carter by a wide margin

Is that really true?  Ford won New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, while Carter won New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It seems as if Ford and Carter more or less split the northeast.  It was not the way it is today.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: RJ on August 19, 2005, 10:57:20 pm
the Northeast went to Carter by a wide margin

Is that really true?  Ford won New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, while Carter won New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It seems as if Ford and Carter more or less split the northeast.  It was not the way it is today.

I guess that would depend on whether or not you consider Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Delaware northeastern states. If you do, Carter took them by a count of 99EV's to just 36 for Ford. If you don't, it's 59-36. Others consider Maryland as a Southern state and Pennsylvania as a Midwestern/Mid Atlantic/whatever; I think voting patterns in these states are more similar to the Northeast than anywhere else.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: dazzleman on August 19, 2005, 11:03:34 pm
the Northeast went to Carter by a wide margin

Is that really true?  Ford won New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, while Carter won New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It seems as if Ford and Carter more or less split the northeast.  It was not the way it is today.


I guess that would depend on whether or not you consider Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Delaware northeastern states. If you do, Carter took them by a count of 99EV's to just 36 for Ford. If you don't, it's 59-36. Others consider Maryland as a Southern state and Pennsylvania as a Midwestern/Mid Atlantic/whatever; I think voting patterns in these states are more similar to the Northeast than anywhere else.

I guess I had a more limited view of what constituted the northeast.  But you're right that Carter carried Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.  At this point, I consider them northeastern states, but as you go further back in time, Maryland and Delaware become more like southern states.  I was thinking of them as southern states in 1976, and I was thinking of Pennsylvania as more of a mid-western state like Ohio.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: MaC on August 19, 2005, 11:08:52 pm
I consider the 1980 a re-alignment.  Granted Reagan won almost every state, but it stays consistant that the states that he won the least amount of vote (yet still won) are the ones that Gore and Kerry won more recently.  And same applies to what George W Bush has (the Reagan states with most support).  

1964-a realignment that turned around the south.

1932-Democrats became the mainsteam.  The states that voted Republican in the Roosevelt elections were more New England states.  Up until this point the south voted Democratic and never got much of anywhere.  Most elections were the south (with the west) v. the rest of the states.  After this, New England voted the polar opposite of the south (barring landslides) and it still happens today.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Virginian87 on August 19, 2005, 11:10:19 pm
I still don't consider 1968 a realigning election.

We know.  Why don't you consider it a realigning election?


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on August 20, 2005, 02:25:59 am
Why don't you consider it a realigning election?

Because he's contrary


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: dazzleman on August 20, 2005, 05:35:30 am
I consider the 1980 a re-alignment.  Granted Reagan won almost every state, but it stays consistant that the states that he won the least amount of vote (yet still won) are the ones that Gore and Kerry won more recently.  And same applies to what George W Bush has (the Reagan states with most support).  


That's not entirely true.  Reagan barely squeaked by in a lot of southern states that Bush carried with large majorities, states like South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, etc.  In fact, 1980 was the last election in which the Democrats had a larger percentage of the vote in the south than in the nation as a whole.

Still, I agree that it was a realigning election.  Many of the southern states that Reagan won by the barest of margins have been voting Republican ever since, with increasing Republican majorities.

I have said that I thought 1992 was a realigning election, in that the Democrats picked up a lot of states that they hadn't been able to win for a long time, and have held onto them.  But on second thought, I consider 2000 to be the real realigning election.  It is in the 2000 election that the whole blue state-red state split became most apparent.  In both 1992 and 1996, the loss of Republican support in areas that they had long carried could be blamed on weak candidates, economic circumstances, etc., in other words, temporary factors, and not a real realignment.  But in 2000, it became apparent that certain states had strongly shifted to the Democrats, and would vote Democratic regardless of circumstances.

Tragically, this includes my current home state of Connecticut.  After being at worst a swing state, and leaning Republican in quite a few elections, Connecticut was a solid Democratic state by 2000.   New York went from being a left-leaning swing state to a strongly Democratic state, as the city became more strongly Democratic than ever, and the previously Republican suburbs switched to Democratic.  In 1988, Dukakis carried New York, with about 51% of the vote.  This was the old pattern in New York; it was under normal circumstances carried by the Democrats with a small margin, and was competitive under certain circumstances.  But by 2000, the Democrats were getting 60% of the vote.  By the same token, southern states shifted sharply to the Republicans.

I think this realignment tentatively began in 1992, as the end of the cold war lessened the perceived for many to vote Republican because they didn't trust the Democrats on national defense.  It accelerated during the Clinton years as certain issues that got the Republicans votes faded away, such as resentment of welfare and rampant crime.  I also think that the Lewinsky matter helped solidify this realignment, as it laid bare the huge differences in attitude toward religion and morality in different sections of the country.  I think the Clinton era emboldened aggressively anti-morality and anti-Christian liberals, and in certain states, discussion of right, wrong or character became taboo.  Liberals had been on the defensive for some time, and the Clinton era put them back on the offensive, in a nasty and hateful way.  This is one of the worst consequences of the Clinton presidency in my opinion, and has led to the divisive realignment of the 2000 election, with the 2004 election being basically a re-run of 2000.

Time will tell whether the current state of political affairs continues.  I hope it does not, because the number of states which are competitive in presidential elections is ridiculously low at this point.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: jokerman on August 20, 2005, 02:47:37 pm
I consider the 1980 a re-alignment.  Granted Reagan won almost every state, but it stays consistant that the states that he won the least amount of vote (yet still won) are the ones that Gore and Kerry won more recently.  And same applies to what George W Bush has (the Reagan states with most support).  


That's not entirely true.  Reagan barely squeaked by in a lot of southern states that Bush carried with large majorities, states like South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, etc.  In fact, 1980 was the last election in which the Democrats had a larger percentage of the vote in the south than in the nation as a whole.

Still, I agree that it was a realigning election.  Many of the southern states that Reagan won by the barest of margins have been voting Republican ever since, with increasing Republican majorities.

I have said that I thought 1992 was a realigning election, in that the Democrats picked up a lot of states that they hadn't been able to win for a long time, and have held onto them.  But on second thought, I consider 2000 to be the real realigning election.  It is in the 2000 election that the whole blue state-red state split became most apparent.  In both 1992 and 1996, the loss of Republican support in areas that they had long carried could be blamed on weak candidates, economic circumstances, etc., in other words, temporary factors, and not a real realignment.  But in 2000, it became apparent that certain states had strongly shifted to the Democrats, and would vote Democratic regardless of circumstances.

Tragically, this includes my current home state of Connecticut.  After being at worse a swing state, and leaning Republican in quite a few electons, Connecticut was a solid Democratic state by 2000.   New York went from being a left-leaning swing state to a strongly Democratic state, as the city became more strongly Democratic than ever, and the previously Republican suburbs switched to Democratic.  In 1988, Dukakis carried New York, with about 51% of the vote.  This was the old pattern in New York; it was under normal circumstances carried by the Democrats with a small margin, and was competitive under certain circumstances.  But by 2000, the Democrats were getting 60% of the vote.  By the same token, southern states shifted sharply to the Republicans.

I think this realignment tentatively began in 1992, as the end of the cold war lessened the perceived for many to vote Republican because they didn't trust the Democrats on national defense.  It accelerated during the Clinton years as certain issues that got the Republicans votes faded away, such as resentment of welfare and rampant crime.  I also think that the Lewinsky matter helped solidify this realignment, as it laid bare the huge differences in attitude toward religion and morality in different sections of the country.  I think the Clinton era emboldened aggressively anti-morality and anti-Christian liberals, and in certain states, and discussion of right, wrong or character became taboo.  Liberals had been on the defensive for some time, and the Clinton era put them back on the offensive, in a nasty and hateful way.  This is one of the worst consequences of the Clinton presidency in my opinion, and has led to the divisive realignment of the 2000 election, with the 2004 election being basically a re-run of 2000.

Time will tell whether the current state of political affairs continues.  I hope it does not, because the number of states which are competitive in presidential elections is ridiculously low at this point.
Did my work for me, Dazzleman, :)

Yes, you are indeed correct.  Let me remind the forum of the county map in 1980:


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Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: dazzleman on August 20, 2005, 03:48:49 pm
thanks Preston


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: MaC on August 20, 2005, 10:43:08 pm
Dazzleman, I have to say with 1992, it is also a re-alignment that complemented 1980 to make 2000 competitive.  Reagan and Clinton will be remembered as the Republican and Democratic claims to fame of this era.  The 1980 laid framework and the 1992 filled in the blanks to give us a compelation of the 2000/2004 maps.  I do have to say however (and re-assert my point) that 1964 was a realignment for the south.  Barry Goldwater only won six states, but those who did vote for him, generally went landslide for him.  Without Goldwater, Reagan might not have won those southern states.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Grand Mufti of Northern Virginia on November 26, 2006, 02:52:46 pm
1800 could be considered the first realigning election, as Jefferson broke the Federalist control on the Northeast by winning New York.  This set the Federalist into a decline from which they never recovered, and pushed the country towards the Era of Good Feelings.

1828 was the next realigning election.  Jackson's election to the presidency could be considered the first time a candidate was elected with support of the common people versus a candidate (Adams) who was supported by the rich and powerful.  In short, it was the first election along social lines and split the Northeast from the West and South.

1860 was a major realigning election, as for the first time the country was truly split in half along party lines.  The Deep South states voted for the Southern Democrat while the North voted for the candidate of the new Republican Party.  It also saw the end of the Whig Party and the Whigs' move to the Republicans.

1896 was a realigning election in that it pitted the farmers and populists against the big-business interests from the East.  Although the Republicans maintained control, they would continue to develop their stance as the party of business, and they would remain in power until the early 1930s.

1932 -Although PBrunsel marks 1928 as the realigning election, the fact is that after 1928 Republicans remained in control to some degree.  The 1932 election saw the formation of the New Deal coalition of Catholics, Southerners, Westerners, minorities, and labor unions.  This coalition would be the core of the Democratic Party until it began to unravel in the early '80s.

1968 I consider this to be also a realigning election because Nixon formally adopted the Southern Strategy for Republican presidential candidates and solidified those states that Goldwater won in '64 into the Republican column.  The South began its swing from Democratic stronghold to Sunbelt Republican territory, not fully transforming at the state level until 26 years later.


Republicans may argue that 1980 and 1994 midterms were also realigning elections, but I think they are just repercussions of the 1968 election.  1994 and 2002 might also have been signs that the Republican domination of politics is at its peak (like the Democrats in 1964 election and the 1974 midterms).  I expect that the next realigning election will occur in the next sixteen years or so, depending on what happens with Iraq and terrorism and also if the Dems can shift their strategy on social issues.

I agree with all of those.  1968 is probably the biggest realigning election in recent times.

Between 1968 and today there has been a gradual realignment of the Mississippi/Missouri Valley to the Republicans and the coastal suburbs to the Democrats.  SD, IA, WI, MN, MO, and AR and TN, especially the rural parts of those states, have shifted right.  NJ, CT, NH, DE, and CA, as well as suburban parts of NY, MI, and IL (the "third coast") have shifted left.

This is a consequence of Dem/Rep dichotomy shifting almost completely from an economic split to a social split.  This is the "realignment" of the last 30 years.  Therefore 2000 could be seen as a realigning election, as it solidified the Republican hold of the heartland, and the Democrat hold of the coasts.


I disagree -the 2000 election simply reflected the changes that had begun to occur thirty-two years earlier, as with 1980, 1994, 2002, and 2004. 

We have not seen a realigning election since 1968, as of yet, though it could be argued that what we witnessed this year with the return of working-class Reagan Democrats (or at least their progeny) back to the Democratic fold could portend a realignment either in 2008 or sometime within the next decade. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Gustaf on December 01, 2006, 11:14:42 am
Some ideas here are absurd...1980 was hardly indicative of anything. It was just a result of running a popular Republican against an impopular Democrat in the environment that had existed since the 60s. The real realignements are 1968, when the South shifted away from the Democrats in a more definite manner and 1992, when Clinton realigned suburban social liberals, bringing states like California and New Jersey into the Democratic camp.

And counting the Northeast in a more traditional, reasonable manner, Ford did quite well there, winning 5 out of 8 states. Back in the 70s the country was dealigned, so that between 1964 and 1976 all states except Arizona voted Democrat at least once and all states except Massachusetts voted Republican at least once. In the Ford Carter election small regional shifts could have made the electoral map look very different than it actually did.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Padfoot on December 08, 2006, 04:12:26 am
Everyone keeps citing the 1968 election as the big realignment but I think that the real big one was 1964 and it all hinges on the passage of a single law in Congress.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The South went Republican because the Democrats shattered their own coalition by forcing the Civil Rights Acts through Congress making it easy for Nixon to pick up the pieces in 1968.
The reason the 1964 election was so huge is that even though it was a Democratic landslide, they failed to win the base they had relied on since Reconstruction: the South.  That base was so reliable that it was commonly referred to as the Solid South at the time.  The most striking example of this is Mississippi which gave Goldwater a whopping 87% of the vote.  I would say that if an entire region suddenly undergoes a 20 point flop from one party to the other after 100 years of loyalty you have to call it a realignment. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Padfoot on December 23, 2006, 05:19:55 am
Very nicely put ndcohn.  I would have to agree 100% with what you just said.  Based on trends in the past 4 presidential elections and current population predictions I would say we are in for another realignment located in the Interior West if the Democrats are smart and don't nominate another New England Liberal.

If the current population trends hold, I also predict Ohio will be much less important in 2012.  Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona are going to become the new battelground states as their electoral power grows and Ohio's continues to shrink.  Another possibility is that the Mid-Atlantic Coast could begin trending Democratic.  Virginia and North Carolina could become more competitive down the line if the 2006 election was any indication of where those states are headed.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Clamdick McClaw on December 23, 2006, 12:37:00 pm
Very nicely put ndcohn.  I would have to agree 100% with what you just said.  Based on trends in the past 4 presidential elections and current population predictions I would say we are in for another realignment located in the Interior West if the Democrats are smart and don't nominate another New England Liberal.

If the current population trends hold, I also predict Ohio will be much less important in 2012.  Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona are going to become the new battelground states as their electoral power grows and Ohio's continues to shrink.  Another possibility is that the Mid-Atlantic Coast could begin trending Democratic.  Virginia and North Carolina could become more competitive down the line if the 2006 election was any indication of where those states are headed.

I agree.  I don't think there's any question that AZ, NM, CO, and NV are going to be the big swing states of the near future.  If current trends continue, expect the Northeast to become solid for the Democrats, even more so than the South is for the GOP now.  The Midwest will probably move towards the GOP a little, making states like MI and WI more of a struggle for the Dems.  The Interior/Deep South will become the strong GOP area (KY, TN, GA, AL, MS, SC, LA, and I would say maybe even FL).  And the big swing areas will be VA and NC, and the aforementioned Western states.  Some Democrats expect Texas to move in our direction, and point to the fact that the GOP has been nominating Texans for the past 20 years.  I'd say don't count on it.  Is there one statewide elected Democrat in Texas?  I'm not sure, but if there are it's not many.  And that gorwing Hispanic population isn't going to stick with the Democrats forever if the GOP continues it's move towards populism.  The Hispanic population may be more socially conservative than the Southern whites.  This is what I see for the 2016 election, provided it's dead even. 

()

Some interesting ones:

Pennsylvania - STRONG DEM - Yes, I think within 10 years, this state will be as solid for the Dems as say, Washington is now.  All you have to look at is the Philly suburbs.  Mongomery County, one of the richest in the nation and for the longest time strongly Republican, just gave Ed Rendell over 70% of their vote, a 10% swing to the left.  That's insane. 

Florida - LEAN GOP - Two trends hurt the Democrats here.  One, the influx of older Americans I believe helps the GOP, whose beliefs are more traditional.  Two, the Hispanic shift towards the GOP that I believe will happen.

Colorado - LEAN DEM - The growth of those liberal ski areas and cities like Denver will push this state in the Democrats' direction pretty soon.  Maybe as soon as 2008.  Remember, this is a state Dole won. 

New Hampshire - STRONG DEM - the next Vermont, 'nuff said.

North Carolina - LEAN GOP - this state is too solidly GOP now to move that far in just 10 years.  It's gorwing fast, but it's going to take a long time before it becomes a true tossup, if it ever does.   


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Padfoot on December 23, 2006, 04:29:33 pm
I'm not quite convinced that the Midwest is trending Republican takeourcountryback.  If the 2006 election was any indication, the Midwest is trending Democrat.  Actually, I take that back.  I think what is happening here is that the entire Midwest is in flux.  Those states that traditionally break Republican are trending towards Democrats and vice versa.  People are looking for someone to blame for the bad economy here due to the loss of manufacturing jobs.  The party in power is an easy target.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Clamdick McClaw on December 23, 2006, 05:40:19 pm
I'm not quite convinced that the Midwest is trending Republican takeourcountryback.  If the 2006 election was any indication, the Midwest is trending Democrat.  Actually, I take that back.  I think what is happening here is that the entire Midwest is in flux.  Those states that traditionally break Republican are trending towards Democrats and vice versa.  People are looking for someone to blame for the bad economy here due to the loss of manufacturing jobs.  The party in power is an easy target.

I think all that's just a slight deviation off the trend.  Long term, over a decade or so, this area is going to be very friendly to the GOP, provided they continue being conservative socially and move a tad to the left economically.  I personally can't believe Kerry was able to take Wisconsin in 2004.  The polls made it seem like a sure thing for Bush (+10 for him there at one point I believe)


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Kaine for Senate '18 on August 25, 2007, 03:41:31 pm
1800
1828
1860
1896
1932
1948
1968
1980


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: MarkWarner08 on August 26, 2007, 03:59:53 pm
1800
1828
1860
1896
1932
1968 (political realignment-- American begins to move rightward)
1980 (ideological realignment -- America elects hard-line conservative President)
2008


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Grand Mufti of Northern Virginia on August 26, 2007, 05:47:02 pm
1800: Democratic-Republicans take over, power shifts from New England to the South, and spells the end of the first two-party system as the Federalists never again regain either the presidency or Congress, and towards the end of this period, the latter shall dissolve entirely after the end of the War of 1812.  Also known as the period of the 'Virginia dynasty'.

1828: Andrew Jackson's presidency heralds the beginning of a more democratic era in American politics, and the second period of a two-party system as the Democratic and Whig parties battle it out. 

1860: With the dissolving of the Whig Party over slavery in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision, a new political era opens with the beginning of the third (and current) period of a two-party system as Republicans first begin to establish their ascendancy as they battle it out with Democrats during and after the Civil War.

1896: As Civil War-era issues begin to fade, a new paradigm is set as the industrial revolution and the Gilded Age shape a new era.  Democrats decisively side with populists with the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan, and Republicans under William McKinley and Mark Hanna side with business interests, and triumph twice decisively, marking the beginning of a period of Republican dominance in which all but eight of those years were presided over by a Republican president. 

1932: The Great Depression brings a sudden end to Republican ascendance, and the beginning of an era of Democratic dominance with the New Deal coalition brought together by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It is during this era that organized labor is at its strongest and most influential. 

1968: Richard Nixon wins and holds on to his presidency with a Southern Strategy that involved eventually turning the South Republican as the Republican Party turned more conservative to cater to disaffected Dixiecrats.  It marks the beginning of a period of conservative dominance, marked later on with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and the Republican Revolution in 1994, and the final full flowering of the conservative Republican coalition with President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, and final Republican consolidation in the South. 

2008: Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, the grinding quagmire of the Iraq War, the implosion of the conservative Republican coalition that had held together for forty years, a growing insecurity among Americans with and as a result of globalization (and free trade in particular), and the disaffection of the American people (particularly the Millennial generation as it grows older) with conservatism and the Republican Party in general will mark the beginning of another period of Democratic dominance as Americans turn once more to the left.  For their efforts to fight illegal immigration Republicans, rightly or wrongly, will be seen by Latinos as a den of nativists and xenophobes and generally unwelcoming to ethnic minorities.  As with blacks during the 1964 Goldwater campaign, the GOP will decisively cede the Latino vote as a whole to Democrats for at least a generation.  With the GOP so closely associated with the South and the Religious Right in the minds of most Americans, Democrats will find their greatest chance for expanding their power throughout the Rocky Mountain West, especially in the Southwest. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Grand Mufti of Northern Virginia on January 12, 2008, 05:54:58 pm
Might be worth bumping this thread...


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Mr.Phips on January 12, 2008, 06:00:07 pm
1800: Democratic-Republicans take over, power shifts from New England to the South, and spells the end of the first two-party system as the Federalists never again regain either the presidency or Congress, and towards the end of this period, the latter shall dissolve entirely after the end of the War of 1812.  Also known as the period of the 'Virginia dynasty'.

1828: Andrew Jackson's presidency heralds the beginning of a more democratic era in American politics, and the second period of a two-party system as the Democratic and Whig parties battle it out. 

1860: With the dissolving of the Whig Party over slavery in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision, a new political era opens with the beginning of the third (and current) period of a two-party system as Republicans first begin to establish their ascendancy as they battle it out with Democrats during and after the Civil War.

1896: As Civil War-era issues begin to fade, a new paradigm is set as the industrial revolution and the Gilded Age shape a new era.  Democrats decisively side with populists with the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan, and Republicans under William McKinley and Mark Hanna side with business interests, and triumph twice decisively, marking the beginning of a period of Republican dominance in which all but eight of those years were presided over by a Republican president. 

1932: The Great Depression brings a sudden end to Republican ascendance, and the beginning of an era of Democratic dominance with the New Deal coalition brought together by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It is during this era that organized labor is at its strongest and most influential. 

1968: Richard Nixon wins and holds on to his presidency with a Southern Strategy that involved eventually turning the South Republican as the Republican Party turned more conservative to cater to disaffected Dixiecrats.  It marks the beginning of a period of conservative dominance, marked later on with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and the Republican Revolution in 1994, and the final full flowering of the conservative Republican coalition with President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, and final Republican consolidation in the South. 

2008: Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, the grinding quagmire of the Iraq War, the implosion of the conservative Republican coalition that had held together for forty years, a growing insecurity among Americans with and as a result of globalization (and free trade in particular), and the disaffection of the American people (particularly the Millennial generation as it grows older) with conservatism and the Republican Party in general will mark the beginning of another period of Democratic dominance as Americans turn once more to the left.  For their efforts to fight illegal immigration Republicans, rightly or wrongly, will be seen by Latinos as a den of nativists and xenophobes and generally unwelcoming to ethnic minorities.  As with blacks during the 1964 Goldwater campaign, the GOP will decisively cede the Latino vote as a whole to Democrats for at least a generation.  With the GOP so closely associated with the South and the Religious Right in the minds of most Americans, Democrats will find their greatest chance for expanding their power throughout the Rocky Mountain West, especially in the Southwest. 

The only way 2008 will be a realignment is that if Democrats not only win the White House, but also pick up at least a dozen seats in the House and five in the Senate.  Without that happening, the Democratic President will not be able to implement any progressive reforms(i.e. Clinton in 1993-1994).


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: MarkWarner08 on January 12, 2008, 06:54:17 pm
Might be worth bumping this thread...
If John McCain beats Hillary Clinton, we may also see a realignment election, except this one will likely favor the GOP.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Mr.Phips on January 12, 2008, 07:35:10 pm
Might be worth bumping this thread...
If John McCain beats Hillary Clinton, we may also see a realignment election, except this one will likely favor the GOP.

If Hillary won, would we see a realignment in favor of Democrats?


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: MarkWarner08 on January 12, 2008, 11:12:21 pm
Might be worth bumping this thread...
If John McCain beats Hillary Clinton, we may also see a realignment election, except this one will likely favor the GOP.

If Hillary won, would we see a realignment in favor of Democrats?
Unless she is a highly successful President who will end the War in Iraq without any major consequences, pass immigration reform without antagonizing working class, and convince 60 Senators to pass her health care plan, I can't see how see could oversee an alignment in American politics.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Mr.Phips on January 12, 2008, 11:14:30 pm
Might be worth bumping this thread...
If John McCain beats Hillary Clinton, we may also see a realignment election, except this one will likely favor the GOP.

If Hillary won, would we see a realignment in favor of Democrats?
Unless she is a highly successful President who will end the War in Iraq without any major consequences, pass immigration reform without antagonizing working class, and convince 60 Senators to pass her health care plan, I can't see how see could oversee an alignment in American politics.

If she is going to do that, she better bring in seven more Democratic Senators and about 20 more Democratic House members. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: MarkWarner08 on January 12, 2008, 11:23:07 pm
Might be worth bumping this thread...
If John McCain beats Hillary Clinton, we may also see a realignment election, except this one will likely favor the GOP.

If Hillary won, would we see a realignment in favor of Democrats?
Unless she is a highly successful President who will end the War in Iraq without any major consequences, pass immigration reform without antagonizing working class, and convince 60 Senators to pass her health care plan, I can't see how see could oversee an alignment in American politics.

If she is going to do that, she better bring in seven more Democratic Senators and about 20 more Democratic House members. 
Which both of us agree probably won't happen.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Stranger in a strange land on January 14, 2008, 03:28:15 pm

The fact that those Southern states were starting to vote Republican in the first place was remarkable in itself in 1964 and '68.  Except for the Hoover landslide of 1928 and some other minor deviations, most of these states had not voted Republican since Reconstruction. 

...and there was more to '68 than just that as well.

Yes.  Before 1968 you could be a socially conservative Democrat (Strom Thrumond) and a socially liberal Republican (Eisenhower).  To some extent you could be either between 1968 and 1980.  But after Reagan took office the social lines were set in stone.  That's what's so significant about 1968.


that's why I feel like 1968 was the last big realigning election, and 1980, 1994, and 2000 were all continuations, or aftershocks, of that realignment.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Mr.Phips on January 14, 2008, 05:36:20 pm

The fact that those Southern states were starting to vote Republican in the first place was remarkable in itself in 1964 and '68.  Except for the Hoover landslide of 1928 and some other minor deviations, most of these states had not voted Republican since Reconstruction. 

...and there was more to '68 than just that as well.

Yes.  Before 1968 you could be a socially conservative Democrat (Strom Thrumond) and a socially liberal Republican (Eisenhower).  To some extent you could be either between 1968 and 1980.  But after Reagan took office the social lines were set in stone.  That's what's so significant about 1968.


that's why I feel like 1968 was the last big realigning election, and 1980, 1994, and 2000 were all continuations, or aftershocks, of that realignment.

1968 really was not much of a realignment.  Republicans picked up few seats in Congress and Nixon governed very much like a moderate.  I would say that 1980 was a realignment, as you saw not only Reagan winning, but also several Republicans getting elected to Congress in Southern states that had never voted Republican at the Congressional level before. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Kaine for Senate '18 on January 14, 2008, 08:16:24 pm
1800-The first realigning election, since it gave complete control to one party for the next quarter of a century.  The Jeffersonians were in the majority of Congress for the entire time, and after 1812 did not face serious opposition until 1828.
1828-After this election, the Jeffersonians were eliminated, and the party system became the Democrats versus the Whigs up until the Civil War.  The South solidified its control over the government, as every President from then until the War was either a Southerner or a Southern sympathizer.
1860-This marks the period of absolute Republican dominance, at both the Presidential and Congressional levels.  From 1860-1896, only one Democrat was elected President, and the Dem,ocrats controlled the Senate for a total of 4 years.  Although the House was more fluid, the GOP was still the dominant party.
1896-Although this was not as such of a political realignment, and really just continued the Republican dominance of the last 40 years, it was a massive shift in terms of how elections were carried out, ushering in the modern type of big money and personal campaigns.  Also, at or around this time, and carrying on through 1921, is the "Progressive Era."
1932-This was the ultimate realignment, bringing in for the next 35 years the "New Deal Coalition" of blue collar workers, blacks, Jews, Catholics, and immigrants.  From 1932-1968, the Democrats controlled the Senate for 32 of 36 years, the House for 32 of 36 years, and the Presidency for 28 of 36 years.  Just as the election of 1860 entered into the GOP dominance, 1932 brought in the era of total Democratic control, that lasted at the Congressional level until 1994.
1968-This election was a Presidential realignment, with the South finally bolting the Democrats once and for all, giving its electoral votes to the GOP in every election since, with 1976 as an outlier.  This also cracked FDR's coalition in terms of the votes of Catholics and blue collar workers,  as Nixon exploited resentment over Civil Rights and social issues to unprecendented levels.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Wherever you want to go, you can't go there! on January 21, 2008, 03:12:29 am
If McCain wins, will it be a realignment or simply an aftershock of 1968? ...and if it is a realignment, how will it be one. I could see how there is a change from domestic-policy conservatism to full-blown neo-conservatism...


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: J. J. on January 21, 2008, 04:22:35 am
1800-The first realigning election, since it gave complete control to one party for the next quarter of a century.  The Jeffersonians were in the majority of Congress for the entire time, and after 1812 did not face serious opposition until 1828.
1828-After this election, the Jeffersonians were eliminated, and the party system became the Democrats versus the Whigs up until the Civil War.  The South solidified its control over the government, as every President from then until the War was either a Southerner or a Southern sympathizer.
1860-This marks the period of absolute Republican dominance, at both the Presidential and Congressional levels.  From 1860-1896, only one Democrat was elected President, and the Dem,ocrats controlled the Senate for a total of 4 years.  Although the House was more fluid, the GOP was still the dominant party.
1896-Although this was not as such of a political realignment, and really just continued the Republican dominance of the last 40 years, it was a massive shift in terms of how elections were carried out, ushering in the modern type of big money and personal campaigns.  Also, at or around this time, and carrying on through 1921, is the "Progressive Era."
1932-This was the ultimate realignment, bringing in for the next 35 years the "New Deal Coalition" of blue collar workers, blacks, Jews, Catholics, and immigrants.  From 1932-1968, the Democrats controlled the Senate for 32 of 36 years, the House for 32 of 36 years, and the Presidency for 28 of 36 years.  Just as the election of 1860 entered into the GOP dominance, 1932 brought in the era of total Democratic control, that lasted at the Congressional level until 1994.
1968-This election was a Presidential realignment, with the South finally bolting the Democrats once and for all, giving its electoral votes to the GOP in every election since, with 1976 as an outlier.  This also cracked FDR's coalition in terms of the votes of Catholics and blue collar workers,  as Nixon exploited resentment over Civil Rights and social issues to unprecendented levels.

Actually, in 1968, Wallace took the "Deep South," minus Florida, and Humphrey to Texas, Maryland and West Virginia.  1976, was the epitome of the New Deal Coalition.  And you basically had a traditional Democratic House and Senate, which began to show Democratic weakness in 1978.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on January 21, 2008, 07:21:18 pm
This also cracked FDR's coalition in terms of the votes of Catholics and blue collar workers,  as Nixon exploited resentment over Civil Rights and social issues to unprecendented levels.

This is a myth. People get 1968 mixed up with 1972.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: DCCid on February 22, 2008, 09:45:59 pm
2/3/2008 artical from Washington Post. It picks 1828, 1860,1896,1932 and 1968. Although from a different slant.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/01/AR2008020102826.html


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Kaine for Senate '18 on December 14, 2008, 01:50:35 pm
1800-The first realigning election, since it gave complete control to one party for the next quarter of a century.  The Jeffersonians were in the majority of Congress for the entire time, and after 1812 did not face serious opposition until 1828.
1828-After this election, the Jeffersonians were eliminated, and the party system became the Democrats versus the Whigs up until the Civil War.  The South solidified its control over the government, as every President from then until the War was either a Southerner or a Southern sympathizer.
1860-This marks the period of absolute Republican dominance, at both the Presidential and Congressional levels.  From 1860-1896, only one Democrat was elected President, and the Dem,ocrats controlled the Senate for a total of 4 years.  Although the House was more fluid, the GOP was still the dominant party.
1896-Although this was not as such of a political realignment, and really just continued the Republican dominance of the last 40 years, it was a massive shift in terms of how elections were carried out, ushering in the modern type of big money and personal campaigns.  Also, at or around this time, and carrying on through 1921, is the "Progressive Era."
1932-This was the ultimate realignment, bringing in for the next 35 years the "New Deal Coalition" of blue collar workers, blacks, Jews, Catholics, and immigrants.  From 1932-1968, the Democrats controlled the Senate for 32 of 36 years, the House for 32 of 36 years, and the Presidency for 28 of 36 years.  Just as the election of 1860 entered into the GOP dominance, 1932 brought in the era of total Democratic control, that lasted at the Congressional level until 1994.
1968-This election was a Presidential realignment, with the South finally bolting the Democrats once and for all, giving its electoral votes to the GOP in every election since, with 1976 as an outlier.  This also cracked FDR's coalition in terms of the votes of Catholics and blue collar workers,  as Nixon exploited resentment over Civil Rights and social issues to unprecendented levels.

I still agree with that, although I am a bit off on 1968.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Fmr. Pres. Duke on December 14, 2008, 11:14:54 pm
I remember our AP US Government test had a question like this on it in 2007, and the correct answer was not 1896, which is the one I marked, but 1960. I guess it was in the sense that the Northeast and cities began voting Democrat reliably for the first time and since. Chicago, LA, SF, etc... when to the Republicans like Eisenhower until then, and they haven't since.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: RIP Robert H Bork on December 15, 2008, 01:33:16 am
1800, 1828, 1932, and 1980 are some.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Scam of God on January 08, 2009, 04:17:29 pm
I tend to divide realignments into two paradigms: 'hard' (an ideological shift among the electorate - 1932 and 1980) and 'soft' (party/discourse shifts - 1896 and 1968). Or, perhaps more appropriately, a 'soft' realignment must always occur to lay the theoretical groundwork for the second: the country had to be prepared for economic populism by William Jennings Bryan before it could fully accept Roosevelt's full-on liberalism, and Ronald Reagan needed Richard Nixon to de-align the South and court social conservatives before he could win. Of course, Nixon won where Bryan lost, but Bryan held it close, and has most certainly had a greater influence on American political dialogue in subsequent years that William McKinley.

If this holds true, I would not be surprised to talk about 2008 as a 'soft' re-alignment thirty years from now, in the wake of a Democratic landslide election centered on social libertarianism. The race issue has always been the centerpiece in the social conservative armory, so to speak, even if it is not frequently discussed openly; I believe that Barack Obama is the social liberal's answer to Richard Nixon forty years later. Now we simply need our Ronald Reagan.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: J. J. on January 08, 2009, 05:10:46 pm
Nixon actually delivered very little in terms of a traditional realignment.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Scam of God on January 08, 2009, 05:20:42 pm
Nixon actually delivered very little in terms of a traditional realignment.

But he did break up the strangle-hold the Democrats had over the South prior to that time; or, more appropriately, he finalized the dissolution of Democratic power in that region began by Goldwater and expanded it out of the Deep South (he won Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina, all states Goldwater failed to carry). Without Nixon to solidify and re-align that region, it's very possible that Reagan could have lost it to Carter, who ran more strongly in the South than he did in any other area of the nation in 1980.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Mr.Phips on January 08, 2009, 05:41:03 pm
Nixon actually delivered very little in terms of a traditional realignment.

But he did break up the strangle-hold the Democrats had over the South prior to that time; or, more appropriately, he finalized the dissolution of Democratic power in that region began by Goldwater and expanded it out of the Deep South (he won Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina, all states Goldwater failed to carry). Without Nixon to solidify and re-align that region, it's very possible that Reagan could have lost it to Carter, who ran more strongly in the South than he did in any other area of the nation in 1980.

He did almost nothing downticket for the Republicans. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Matt Damon™ on January 08, 2009, 05:42:26 pm
Traditional bigotries/social division have been the biggest block to economic liberalism. As racism declines, arguments against economic liberalization vanish. I could see the GOP first moving to populism in a realignment but then becoming a moderate/somewhat lefty party on the model of many latin american christian democratic parties.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Scam of God on January 08, 2009, 05:43:05 pm
Nixon actually delivered very little in terms of a traditional realignment.

But he did break up the strangle-hold the Democrats had over the South prior to that time; or, more appropriately, he finalized the dissolution of Democratic power in that region began by Goldwater and expanded it out of the Deep South (he won Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina, all states Goldwater failed to carry). Without Nixon to solidify and re-align that region, it's very possible that Reagan could have lost it to Carter, who ran more strongly in the South than he did in any other area of the nation in 1980.

He did almost nothing downticket for the Republicans. 

I don't really take that into consideration - Congressional and Presidential re-alignments seem to happen in different elections, one as the aftershock of another (case in point: 1994, which almost certainly culminated in the election of 2000).


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Mr.Phips on January 08, 2009, 06:30:54 pm
Nixon actually delivered very little in terms of a traditional realignment.

But he did break up the strangle-hold the Democrats had over the South prior to that time; or, more appropriately, he finalized the dissolution of Democratic power in that region began by Goldwater and expanded it out of the Deep South (he won Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina, all states Goldwater failed to carry). Without Nixon to solidify and re-align that region, it's very possible that Reagan could have lost it to Carter, who ran more strongly in the South than he did in any other area of the nation in 1980.

He did almost nothing downticket for the Republicans. 

I don't really take that into consideration - Congressional and Presidential re-alignments seem to happen in different elections, one as the aftershock of another (case in point: 1994, which almost certainly culminated in the election of 2000).

Reagan saw a big Congressional wave in his 1980 election. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: pbrower2a on February 21, 2009, 01:57:28 pm
For midterm elections, 1994 demonstrated that the Democratic party had lost much of rural America, particularly in the South. Clinton, trimmer that he was, was able to buck the trend and avoid electoral defeat the next year. But the GOP established how it would govern if given the chance.  By 2006 the GOP would lose its Congressional majority due to its misbehavior -- but had it acted differently or had less of a turkey of a President to drag it down, it might not have crashed and burned in 2006.

I look at the 1930 elections (failing economy that repudiated the extant paradigm of political life in 1920s America) and 2006 (culture of corruption) as the real realignments that made the rises of FDR and Obama more relevant or likely. Those Congressional midterm elections gave FDR and Obama opportunities that they might otherwise not have had.

Realignment may come in stages. Some Congressional seats are very solid; some aren't. Roughly one third of the Senate is up for re-election in every second year, so should the GOP lose two or three Senate seats in 2010, which election -- 2006, 2008, or 2010 -- is the real realignment election?

I can't be sure that 2008  represents a realignment in Presidential politics.  The 2008 election demonstrates no obvious and permanent re-alignment of the States from 1992:


()

In deference to Leip's use of "red" for Democrats and "blue" for Republicans, one finds a clear group of states that have not voted for a Democratic nominee for President since 1988 and one that has never voted for the Republican candidate for President since 1988. In that one finds that the Democrats lead 248-95 (that includes the District of Columbia for the Democrats but excludes NE-02, greater Omaha, which voted for a Democrat in 2008 from the solid-Republican areas, and makes no allowance for reapportionment of electoral votes in elections after 2010). This could be a secularist-fundamentalist divide, or a reflection of the reality that Catholics, Jews, and African-American Protestants vote very differently from Christian Protestant fundamentalists and Mormons. All of the states colored red voted for Obama by double-digit margins, some of those margins very large.

It would take a very strong Republican candidate to pick off even one of those states -- someone like Ronald Reagan, a conservative from California, or perhaps a moderate Republican able to allay liberal fears. Does anyone see any such political figure? I don't. It is not enough to have someone who continues Reagan's ideology without having Reagan's political skills; Obama has Reagan's skills, if not the ideology. Dubya had much of the ideology, but few of Reagan's skills (and few otehr positive attibutes) 

Green reflects the states that have voted only once for a Republican candidate in those years -- New Hampshire,  Iowa, and New Mexico -- in one of the two really-close elections, 2000 and 2004. These are tough states for Republican nominees to win -- and they were close in 2000 and 2004.  Some might contend that because Dubya came close to winning Wisconsin in 2004 it belongs in this category... but Wisconsin looks like a tough state for a Republican nominee to win. States in this category account for 264 electoral votes; that leaves five to tie in electoral votes and six to win for a Democrat.

Yellow, in contrast, is for states that might go Democratic for a southern centrist Democrat (like Carter or Clinton) but not for a northern liberal or barely went for Obama in 2008. West Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina went for Clinton twice, but all went decisively for Dubya -- or for Indiana and NE-02 that, although going for Obama went for narrow margins, show themselves more Republican-leaning than the nation as a whole. Clinton never won Indiana, and never got close even though all states surrounding Indiana voted for him. Obama actively campaigned in Indiana, had an unusually-strong campaign and is from a neighboring state (Illinois); the Republicans neglected the state and Indiana started to feel economic distress similar to that in Michigan and Ohio. Obama wins Indiana only in a 400-vote landslide in 2012; he won't be actively campaigning in Indiana in 2012 even if he is in political trouble. Those states account for 66 electoral votes and can't be ruled out as part of a Republican firewall in 2012 -- yet. Because the Democratic nominee for President will NOT be a southern centrist, Obama has little chance at those that Clinton or Carter carried in the South except for Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.   

White is for two states (Florida, Ohio) that were close in 2000, 2004, and 2008, and that Republicans must both win to win the Presidency. If the Democrat wins either of these two states, he wins the Presidency in 2012. Clinton won both states both times, and Obama won both once. 

Gray is for the others -- states that voted for Clinton or Obama from two or three times altogether and were close to going for Obama in 2008 or went for him in 2008 -- and Virginia, which went for Obama by about 7 points. Clinton never won Virginia, but Virginia has been drifting toward the Democrats as it has lost many of its Southern characteristics.

2008 may be a realignment year in Presidential politics... if Virginia has become a part of the political North, if Indiana is no longer a lock for the GOP in all but Democratic blowouts, and if the double-digit Obama win in 2008 in Nevada reflects a permanent tendency. Colorado? It might be in the same category as Virginia, except that it did vote for Clinton twice. I might be more convinced that 2008 was a re-alignment year if Obama had won Colorado or Virginia with a double-digit lead as he won Nevada and New Mexico.

Obama's win in 2008 looks much like one of Clinton's wins -- with Virginia and Indiana instead of Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee. That's no obvious re-alignment.

A landslide is not itself a realignment; three consecutive landslides (such as 1980, 1984, and 1988)  mask demographic shifts and grass-roots reorganization of political life that allow political life to emerge very different from what it had been.
     

   


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Trends are real, and I f**king hate it on February 21, 2009, 02:40:09 pm
Great historical realignings have been elections like 1828, 1856, 1896, 1932 and 1980.
I don't think that 1968 was a realigning election. People consider that it was a beginning of a conservative realignment of the country, and a solid republican government period. It's true that republicans after that won 7 of the 10 next elections. However, it's important to consider that Nixon won by a very narrow margin ( 0,7% ) in a particular context ( racial and anti-war riots, Bob Kennedy's assassination, hardly fought primaries... ). In this time, the marority of the population was liberal or at least moderate. The real conservative realignment happened in 1980.
Is 2008 a realigning election ? Obama managed to make people accept very progressive ideas ( fiscal raising for more wealthy, dialogue with muslim community... ). People is gradually accepting social progresses like homosexual civil unions. Obviously there are still a lot to do... In political terms, democrats have a 2% structural advantage. We won't know if 2008 was a realigning election until several years, but for the moment it looks like.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Nym90 on March 04, 2009, 10:36:00 pm
… White is for two states (Florida, Ohio) that were close in 2000, 2004, and 2008, and that Republicans must both win to win the Presidency. If the Democrat wins either of these two states, he wins the Presidency in 2012. Clinton won both states both times, and Obama won both once. …   

Thoughtful analysis. One fact about Bill Clinton: he did not win both Ohio and Florida in his 1992 and 1996 elections. Clinton carried an Ohio-and-Georgia combination in 1992; he then won the Ohio-and-Florida combo in 1996.



Some more errors in the post were that Clinton only won Colorado once; he lost it in 1996. And also Clinton never won North Carolina, much less winning it twice, and as you pointed out, he also did not win Georgia twice, rather he lost it in 1996 too.

Otherwise though, certainly excellent analysis, I agree.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Kaine for Senate '18 on March 07, 2009, 03:39:14 pm

1856 was not a realigning election.  How do you make the case for it?


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Grand Mufti of Northern Virginia on March 07, 2009, 05:09:45 pm
1800: Democratic-Republicans take over, power shifts from New England to the South, and spells the end of the first two-party system as the Federalists never again regain either the presidency or Congress, and towards the end of this period, the latter shall dissolve entirely after the end of the War of 1812.  Also known as the period of the 'Virginia dynasty'.

1828: Andrew Jackson's presidency heralds the beginning of a more democratic era in American politics, and the second period of a two-party system as the Democratic and Whig parties battle it out. 

1860: With the dissolving of the Whig Party over slavery in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision, a new political era opens with the beginning of the third (and current) period of a two-party system as Republicans first begin to establish their ascendancy as they battle it out with Democrats during and after the Civil War.

1896: As Civil War-era issues begin to fade, a new paradigm is set as the industrial revolution and the Gilded Age shape a new era.  Democrats decisively side with populists with the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan, and Republicans under William McKinley and Mark Hanna side with business interests, and triumph twice decisively, marking the beginning of a period of Republican dominance in which all but eight of those years were presided over by a Republican president. 

1932: The Great Depression brings a sudden end to Republican ascendance, and the beginning of an era of Democratic dominance with the New Deal coalition brought together by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It is during this era that organized labor is at its strongest and most influential. 

1968: Richard Nixon wins and holds on to his presidency with a Southern Strategy that involved eventually turning the South Republican as the Republican Party turned more conservative to cater to disaffected Dixiecrats.  It marks the beginning of a period of conservative dominance, marked later on with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and the Republican Revolution in 1994, and the final full flowering of the conservative Republican coalition with President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, and final Republican consolidation in the South. 

2008: Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, the grinding quagmire of the Iraq War, the implosion of the conservative Republican coalition that had held together for forty years, a growing insecurity among Americans with and as a result of globalization (and free trade in particular), and the disaffection of the American people (particularly the Millennial generation as it grows older) with conservatism and the Republican Party in general will mark the beginning of another period of Democratic dominance as Americans turn once more to the left.  For their efforts to fight illegal immigration Republicans, rightly or wrongly, will be seen by Latinos as a den of nativists and xenophobes and generally unwelcoming to ethnic minorities.  As with blacks during the 1964 Goldwater campaign, the GOP will decisively cede the Latino vote as a whole to Democrats for at least a generation.  With the GOP so closely associated with the South and the Religious Right in the minds of most Americans, Democrats will find their greatest chance for expanding their power throughout the Rocky Mountain West, especially in the Southwest. 

The only way 2008 will be a realignment is that if Democrats not only win the White House, but also pick up at least a dozen seats in the House and five in the Senate.  Without that happening, the Democratic President will not be able to implement any progressive reforms(i.e. Clinton in 1993-1994).

What do you think now?


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Kaine for Senate '18 on March 07, 2009, 05:14:36 pm
1800: Democratic-Republicans take over, power shifts from New England to the South, and spells the end of the first two-party system as the Federalists never again regain either the presidency or Congress, and towards the end of this period, the latter shall dissolve entirely after the end of the War of 1812.  Also known as the period of the 'Virginia dynasty'.

1828: Andrew Jackson's presidency heralds the beginning of a more democratic era in American politics, and the second period of a two-party system as the Democratic and Whig parties battle it out. 

1860: With the dissolving of the Whig Party over slavery in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision, a new political era opens with the beginning of the third (and current) period of a two-party system as Republicans first begin to establish their ascendancy as they battle it out with Democrats during and after the Civil War.

1896: As Civil War-era issues begin to fade, a new paradigm is set as the industrial revolution and the Gilded Age shape a new era.  Democrats decisively side with populists with the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan, and Republicans under William McKinley and Mark Hanna side with business interests, and triumph twice decisively, marking the beginning of a period of Republican dominance in which all but eight of those years were presided over by a Republican president. 

1932: The Great Depression brings a sudden end to Republican ascendance, and the beginning of an era of Democratic dominance with the New Deal coalition brought together by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It is during this era that organized labor is at its strongest and most influential. 

1968: Richard Nixon wins and holds on to his presidency with a Southern Strategy that involved eventually turning the South Republican as the Republican Party turned more conservative to cater to disaffected Dixiecrats.  It marks the beginning of a period of conservative dominance, marked later on with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and the Republican Revolution in 1994, and the final full flowering of the conservative Republican coalition with President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, and final Republican consolidation in the South. 

2008: Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, the grinding quagmire of the Iraq War, the implosion of the conservative Republican coalition that had held together for forty years, a growing insecurity among Americans with and as a result of globalization (and free trade in particular), and the disaffection of the American people (particularly the Millennial generation as it grows older) with conservatism and the Republican Party in general will mark the beginning of another period of Democratic dominance as Americans turn once more to the left.  For their efforts to fight illegal immigration Republicans, rightly or wrongly, will be seen by Latinos as a den of nativists and xenophobes and generally unwelcoming to ethnic minorities.  As with blacks during the 1964 Goldwater campaign, the GOP will decisively cede the Latino vote as a whole to Democrats for at least a generation.  With the GOP so closely associated with the South and the Religious Right in the minds of most Americans, Democrats will find their greatest chance for expanding their power throughout the Rocky Mountain West, especially in the Southwest. 

The only way 2008 will be a realignment is that if Democrats not only win the White House, but also pick up at least a dozen seats in the House and five in the Senate.  Without that happening, the Democratic President will not be able to implement any progressive reforms(i.e. Clinton in 1993-1994).

What do you think now?

I don't think we can call 2008 anything until at least 2020/2024.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: J. J. on March 07, 2009, 05:54:59 pm
We'll be able to tell if 2008 wasn't in 2010.  I think that might be the start of a re-alignment.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Kaine for Senate '18 on March 07, 2009, 06:07:32 pm
We'll be able to tell if 2008 wasn't in 2010.

I disagree.  People say that 1968 was a realignment, but the GOP didn't do so well in 1970.  Congressional elections are, I find, not a good way to tell if something was a realignment.  The Democrats could do poorly in 2010, but landslide in 2012/2014/2016.  Presidential elections matter a lot more in determining a realignment than Congressional elections do.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: J. J. on March 07, 2009, 06:28:38 pm
We'll be able to tell if 2008 wasn't in 2010.

I disagree.  People say that 1968 was a realignment, but the GOP didn't do so well in 1970.  Congressional elections are, I find, not a good way to tell if something was a realignment.  The Democrats could do poorly in 2010, but landslide in 2012/2014/2016.  Presidential elections matter a lot more in determining a realignment than Congressional elections do.

I actually know very few people, in academia, that claim 1968 was a re-alignment, after the fact.  It is very hard to tell a realignment at the start.

It won't be a question of the Democrats doing poorly, but how poorly.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: muon2 on March 08, 2009, 07:14:31 am
We'll be able to tell if 2008 wasn't in 2010.

I disagree.  People say that 1968 was a realignment, but the GOP didn't do so well in 1970.  Congressional elections are, I find, not a good way to tell if something was a realignment.  The Democrats could do poorly in 2010, but landslide in 2012/2014/2016.  Presidential elections matter a lot more in determining a realignment than Congressional elections do.

I actually know very few people, in academia, that claim 1968 was a re-alignment, after the fact.  It is very hard to tell a realignment at the start.

It won't be a question of the Democrats doing poorly, but how poorly.

Indeed. Many experts see the election of Carter in 1976 as a classic Democrat victory in the model of any post New Deal election. The Deep South returned to the Democrats after the civil rights upheavals of the 60's. CA, IL and MI were Republican in that close election.

For those experts 1980 is the realignment. After that TX, AL, MS, and SC have been strictly GOP for President.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Dr. RI on March 09, 2009, 04:11:45 pm
I would make the argument that 1932 was not a realigning election in and of itself. The realignment took place between the 1932 and 1936 elections. After analyzing the county maps between 1928 and 1932, the simple fact is this: Counties that were more strongly Democratic in 1928 were, by and large, more strongly Democratic in 1932 and vise versa. There was merely a vast shift in the baseline of the national popular vote during that time.

1928:
()
link: http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp131/rarohla/1928PresidentialElectionMap.png (http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp131/rarohla/1928PresidentialElectionMap.png)

1932:
()
link: http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp131/rarohla/1932PresidentialElectionMap.png (http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp131/rarohla/1932PresidentialElectionMap.png)

The 1936 election has a relatively similar margin (though wider) to 1932. However, a vast number of counties experienced radical shifts. A prime example of this is the "hollowing out" of the Great Plains. In 1932, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska were all 60%+ for Roosevelt while the surrounding states were almost unanimously only between 50% and 59%; however, four years later, it was the inverse. The Dakotas and Nebraska (plus Kansas-which saw a large increase in Republican counties in 1936) were the island of 50%s in a sea of 60%s.

Other shifts in allegiances were also notable. Northern Minnesota was the more Republican area of the state in 1932 while southern Minnesota was the Democratic stronghold. By 1936, this was flipped. Similarly, the base of the Democratic power in Wisconsin shifted from the eastern regions to the north of the state. Missouri, despite the national swing to the Dems, saw a massive increase in Republican counties in the western portions. Other notable changes can be seen throughout the West as in states such as Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington, California, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado. Subtles shifts also occured in Illinois, Ohio (partied largely changed sides of the state), and Michigan.

1936:
()
link: http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp131/rarohla/1936PresidentialElectionMap.png (http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp131/rarohla/1936PresidentialElectionMap.png)

Finally, the alignments from the 1936 election were, for the most part, long lasting. Compare the which parties are stronger where between the 1936 map and this 1960 map:

()
link: http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp131/rarohla/1960PresidentialElectionMap.png (http://i405.photobucket.com/albums/pp131/rarohla/1960PresidentialElectionMap.png)
(Obviously, the south was changing for other reasons by this point)


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Mr.Phips on March 09, 2009, 05:03:34 pm
We'll be able to tell if 2008 wasn't in 2010.

I disagree.  People say that 1968 was a realignment, but the GOP didn't do so well in 1970.  Congressional elections are, I find, not a good way to tell if something was a realignment.  The Democrats could do poorly in 2010, but landslide in 2012/2014/2016.  Presidential elections matter a lot more in determining a realignment than Congressional elections do.

I actually know very few people, in academia, that claim 1968 was a re-alignment, after the fact.  It is very hard to tell a realignment at the start.

It won't be a question of the Democrats doing poorly, but how poorly.

I dont quite get what you are saying here.  If Democrats do well in 2010, its a realignment in favor of them.  If its a neutral or only small Republican gains, its no realignment.  If its big Republican gains, its a realignment. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Beet on March 09, 2009, 05:22:19 pm
It's pretty amusing that A18 demolished realignment theory on this forum years ago and yet people still discuss it because it's such an entertaining concept.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: pbrower2a on March 09, 2009, 09:04:21 pm
1800: Democratic-Republicans take over, power shifts from New England to the South, and spells the end of the first two-party system as the Federalists never again regain either the presidency or Congress, and towards the end of this period, the latter shall dissolve entirely after the end of the War of 1812.  Also known as the period of the 'Virginia dynasty'.

1828: Andrew Jackson's presidency heralds the beginning of a more democratic era in American politics, and the second period of a two-party system as the Democratic and Whig parties battle it out. 

1860: With the dissolving of the Whig Party over slavery in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision, a new political era opens with the beginning of the third (and current) period of a two-party system as Republicans first begin to establish their ascendancy as they battle it out with Democrats during and after the Civil War.

1896: As Civil War-era issues begin to fade, a new paradigm is set as the industrial revolution and the Gilded Age shape a new era.  Democrats decisively side with populists with the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan, and Republicans under William McKinley and Mark Hanna side with business interests, and triumph twice decisively, marking the beginning of a period of Republican dominance in which all but eight of those years were presided over by a Republican president. 

1932: The Great Depression brings a sudden end to Republican ascendance, and the beginning of an era of Democratic dominance with the New Deal coalition brought together by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It is during this era that organized labor is at its strongest and most influential. 

1968: Richard Nixon wins and holds on to his presidency with a Southern Strategy that involved eventually turning the South Republican as the Republican Party turned more conservative to cater to disaffected Dixiecrats.  It marks the beginning of a period of conservative dominance, marked later on with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and the Republican Revolution in 1994, and the final full flowering of the conservative Republican coalition with President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, and final Republican consolidation in the South. 

2008: Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, the grinding quagmire of the Iraq War, the implosion of the conservative Republican coalition that had held together for forty years, a growing insecurity among Americans with and as a result of globalization (and free trade in particular), and the disaffection of the American people (particularly the Millennial generation as it grows older) with conservatism and the Republican Party in general will mark the beginning of another period of Democratic dominance as Americans turn once more to the left.  For their efforts to fight illegal immigration Republicans, rightly or wrongly, will be seen by Latinos as a den of nativists and xenophobes and generally unwelcoming to ethnic minorities.  As with blacks during the 1964 Goldwater campaign, the GOP will decisively cede the Latino vote as a whole to Democrats for at least a generation.  With the GOP so closely associated with the South and the Religious Right in the minds of most Americans, Democrats will find their greatest chance for expanding their power throughout the Rocky Mountain West, especially in the Southwest. 

The only way 2008 will be a realignment is that if Democrats not only win the White House, but also pick up at least a dozen seats in the House and five in the Senate.  Without that happening, the Democratic President will not be able to implement any progressive reforms(i.e. Clinton in 1993-1994).

What do you think now?

2008 does not look like one of the biggest realignments of all time. 1992 was far bigger, and one can explain the 2008 election as having many patterns from 1992 and 1996. The only obvious differences are that Obama picks up three states that Clinton never won (VA, NC, and IN) and recognize that Obama loses several states that a Southern moderate populist like Clinton could win (AR, LA, KY, TN, WV, GA) but a Northern liberal Democrat does not win. If Obama wins Missouri instead of North Carolina (possible except for third-party candidates that took votes away from the loser from the same side of the political spectrum), then the difference between 2008 and 1992/1996 is the sort of candidate running as President.
Obama could conceivably pick up Missouri, Montana, and Arizona in 2012 in addition to what he won in 2008, and that would not suggest a realignment; Missouri and Montana were close in 2008, and a win of Arizona would show that the Republicans would not have won the state with anyone other than John McCain.  The Dakotas? Roughly the same thing.

But what happens if Obama picks up a raft of states in that Clinton won in the South but Obama got clobbered in, or Texas? Those would indicate a huge change in the political scene, one in which southern states can vote for a northern liberal. That would also signal at the least an Eisenhower-scale landslide that forces an electoral realignment of some kind -- either the Republican Party re-inventing itself or the eventual split of the Democratic Party after the GOP dies.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: J. J. on March 09, 2009, 09:16:35 pm
We'll be able to tell if 2008 wasn't in 2010.

I disagree.  People say that 1968 was a realignment, but the GOP didn't do so well in 1970.  Congressional elections are, I find, not a good way to tell if something was a realignment.  The Democrats could do poorly in 2010, but landslide in 2012/2014/2016.  Presidential elections matter a lot more in determining a realignment than Congressional elections do.

I actually know very few people, in academia, that claim 1968 was a re-alignment, after the fact.  It is very hard to tell a realignment at the start.

It won't be a question of the Democrats doing poorly, but how poorly.

I dont quite get what you are saying here.  If Democrats do well in 2010, its a realignment in favor of them.  If its a neutral or only small Republican gains, its no realignment.  If its big Republican gains, its a realignment. 

I expect Republican gains in 2010, but that will be expected.  I could see the Democrats losing 20-25 seats in the House, doing worse than the GOP did in 2008, and it not being an indication of a realignment.  The Democrats would still do poorly.

Realignments tend to be 6-8 year affairs, not just one election.  2010 might indicate the start.

If I would see results like 1994 in 2010, I think I'd be looking for a realignment in 2012.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Mr.Phips on March 09, 2009, 09:36:25 pm
We'll be able to tell if 2008 wasn't in 2010.

I disagree.  People say that 1968 was a realignment, but the GOP didn't do so well in 1970.  Congressional elections are, I find, not a good way to tell if something was a realignment.  The Democrats could do poorly in 2010, but landslide in 2012/2014/2016.  Presidential elections matter a lot more in determining a realignment than Congressional elections do.

I actually know very few people, in academia, that claim 1968 was a re-alignment, after the fact.  It is very hard to tell a realignment at the start.

It won't be a question of the Democrats doing poorly, but how poorly.

I dont quite get what you are saying here.  If Democrats do well in 2010, its a realignment in favor of them.  If its a neutral or only small Republican gains, its no realignment.  If its big Republican gains, its a realignment. 

I expect Republican gains in 2010, but that will be expected.  I could see the Democrats losing 20-25 seats in the House, doing worse than the GOP did in 2008, and it not being an indication of a realignment.  The Democrats would still do poorly.

Realignments tend to be 6-8 year affairs, not just one election.  2010 might indicate the start.

If I would see results like 1994 in 2010, I think I'd be looking for a realignment in 2012.

Losing 20-25 seats in the House for Democrats would be almost as bad as the 1994 results considering that there wont likely be so many open Democratic seats and there are fewer vulnerable incumbents than after 1992(which sent a record number of Democratic freshmen to Congress).  If we see a 1994 like result in 2010, it would actually mean that it is more likely that Obama will be reelected big in 2012 because Obama will be able to run hard against the Republican Congress like Clinton in 1996.  However, a Republican Congress after 2010 is almost impossible. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on March 10, 2009, 02:44:06 pm
Realignments tend to be 6-8 year affairs, not just one election.

Back that up with evidence plz.

I'm actually quite serious. Back your argument up. You can't expect people to treat your opinions as factual anymore (and it's a bad habit to get into in the first place), not after last year.

Prove your point.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: A18 on March 10, 2009, 08:12:01 pm
The first and only "realigning election" will occur precisely two and a half days after the general public has finally abandoned the ridiculous paradigm. So in other words, never.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: giving birth to thunder on March 10, 2009, 10:16:09 pm
Realignments tend to be 6-8 year affairs, not just one election.

Back that up with evidence plz.

I'm actually quite serious. Back your argument up. You can't expect people to treat your opinions as factual anymore (and it's a bad habit to get into in the first place), not after last year.

Prove your point.

The first and only "realigning election" will occur precisely two and a half days after the general public has finally abandoned the ridiculous paradigm. So in other words, never.

()


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: J. J. on March 10, 2009, 10:40:01 pm
Realignments tend to be 6-8 year affairs, not just one election.

Back that up with evidence plz.

I'm actually quite serious. Back your argument up. You can't expect people to treat your opinions as factual anymore (and it's a bad habit to get into in the first place), not after last year.

Prove your point.

You can take a look at the election cycles in 1930-36, and 1978-84, for a start.  Even 1896-1904 and 1858-1864 would be examples.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: giving birth to thunder on March 10, 2009, 11:05:43 pm
I guess the concept of realigning elections is the new bullsh!t election theory for J. J. to worship now with the Bradley Effect being irrelevant.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Nym90 on March 11, 2009, 12:35:22 am
And of course, a sample size of 2-4 is relevant.

Kinda like how Bradley and Wilder "prove" something. :)


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: pbrower2a on March 11, 2009, 01:52:03 am


()

(EV counts are for 1992 -- not 1976)


Here is the Presidential election of 1992:

()

Sure, there was a strong third-party candidate in 1992, which makes the 1992 results "paler" with candidates winning states with as little as 38% of the vote.  But note the similarities between 1976 and 1992:

1. Both Ford and GHWB were successors of Presidents as VPs.

2. Ideologically, Carter and Clinton were nearly identical.

3. Both Carter and Clinton were from the South  (Arkansas and Georgia aren't that different)

4. Both Ford and GHWB were from the North.

It looks as if in 1976, most of the North would not vote for a Southern populist; in 1992 enough of the North could. In 1980 Carter's 1976 Southern support largely turned away from him after a less-than-stellar Presidency... but in 1996 Clinton won almost the same states that he won in 1992:

()

Note that the wins are more decisive for both Clinton and Dole due to the weakening of support for Ross Perot.

Realignment of Presidential politics happened while the Democrats were losing Presidential elections in landslides. It would seem that some regions of the country became disgruntled with the GOP. Parties can rarely hold contradictory interests together -- hawks and doves, big business and big labor, environmentalists and environmental ravagers, or as in the South since 1964, blacks and whites.   

Now what can we say of the shift from 1992/96 to 2008? (Ignore shades as they are irrelevant in 2008 as they are from 1992 -- and I am still using 1992 electoral vote counts ):

()


Green: Clinton won these states at least once, but Obama got clobbered in them.

Yellow: Clinton lost these both times, and Obama has won them.

Gray:  Clinton won these both times or once, but Obama came close to winning them or would have won except for a Favorite Son effect worth about ten percentage points.

Orange: Obama picked off an electoral vote in Nebraska, which is otherwise in the blue category.

The green and yellow categories say more about who was running than about long-term political support for Parties. Obama got clobbered in Arkansas and West Virginia despite the states having two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor, suggesting that whatever his strengths as a politician, Obama was the wrong sort of candidate to win Arkansas or West Virginia -- or any other state in green.   Gray? Just luck. Obama probably beats any imaginable GOP candidate except John McCain in Arizona in 2008, and Montana and Missouri were really close.

If Obama should win any of the states in gray or lose any of the states in yellow in 2012, then that says little about the political realities on the grand scale. If he picks up any of the states in blue (except perhaps the Dakotas) or green, then that says more about Obama as President. Should some Yankee liberal like Evan Bayh pick up essentially the same states that Obama won in 2008 and get clobbered in the states in green in 2016, then that says that 1992 really set political realities in Presidential elections in stone.



 

 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on March 11, 2009, 06:55:32 pm
You can take a look at the election cycles in 1930-36, and 1978-84, for a start.  Even 1896-1904 and 1858-1864 would be examples.

You could have picked (almost) any group of elections and claimed the same thing. Voting patterns always shift about a bit, American ones especially so. The changes between the 1936 and 1940 elections, for example, were pretty dramatic in some areas. Realignment? I've never heard anyone seriously suggest that. Or, say, compare 1948 to 1952; huge changes all over the place. Realignment?
I suppose you could argue that it's wrong to just consider Presidential elections, but you'd just be shooting yourself in the foot, given that you dredged up 1978-84.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Nym90 on March 11, 2009, 07:39:55 pm
First of all, we need a good definition of what a "realigning election" is.

It would seem the generally accepted definition is one that produces results very different from elections that preceded it, and very similar to elections that follow it (at least for up to a generation or so of time) such that it marks a clear and relatively permanent (as much as anything in poltics can be, at least) change.

No single election truly fits that definition if the results are examined closely enough.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: J. J. on March 13, 2009, 09:37:00 am
You can take a look at the election cycles in 1930-36, and 1978-84, for a start.  Even 1896-1904 and 1858-1864 would be examples.

You could have picked (almost) any group of elections and claimed the same thing. Voting patterns always shift about a bit, American ones especially so. The changes between the 1936 and 1940 elections, for example, were pretty dramatic in some areas. Realignment? I've never heard anyone seriously suggest that. Or, say, compare 1948 to 1952; huge changes all over the place. Realignment?
I suppose you could argue that it's wrong to just consider Presidential elections, but you'd just be shooting yourself in the foot, given that you dredged up 1978-84.

No, not really.  In the House, since 1980, even after bad years, the GOP has never reached the 1932-78 lows it had.  Even post war, the GOP had five worse election years before 1980 than after 1980 (inclusive).  In the Senate, same period, also had five lower years than after.  The range moved. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: J. J. on March 13, 2009, 10:05:46 am
The average (though someone please check my math, as it's hard reading off a screen) post 1980 GOP caucus in the House was 211.  Post war through 1980, it was 152.25.  It is a rather dramatic difference.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Mr.Phips on March 13, 2009, 11:37:26 am
The average (though someone please check my math, as it's hard reading off a screen) post 1980 GOP caucus in the House was 211.  Post war through 1980, it was 152.25.  It is a rather dramatic difference.

The pre-1980 average is probably skewed by the 1974, 1964, 1958, and 1930's results.  Those elections all gave Democrats a number of seats that was unsustainable long term. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on March 13, 2009, 12:16:17 pm
1946: 246
1948: 171
1950: 199
1952: 221
1954: 203
1956: 201
1958: 153
1960: 174
1962: 176
1964: 140
1966: 187
1968: 192
1970: 180
1972: 192
1974: 144
1976: 143
1978: 158
1980: 192
1982: 166
1984: 182
1986: 177
1988: 175
1990: 167
1992: 176
1994: 230
1996: 228
1998: 223
2000: 221
2002: 229
2004: 232
2006: 202
2008: 178

The apparent centrality of 1980 (even writ large to include all between 1978 and 1984) is not immediately obvious.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Nym90 on March 13, 2009, 01:07:23 pm
Al is right. 1980 was a response to Carter's perceived performance and Reagan's personal appeal, not any sweeping realignment. Democrats still remained quite strong at the Congressional level throughout the 1980's, despite Reagan's popularity.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: J. J. on March 13, 2009, 04:43:50 pm
1946: 246
1948: 171
1950: 199
1952: 221
1954: 203
1956: 201
1958: 153
1960: 174
1962: 176
1964: 140
1966: 187
1968: 192
1970: 180
1972: 192
1974: 144
1976: 143
1978: 158
1980: 192
1982: 166
1984: 182
1986: 177
1988: 175
1990: 167
1992: 176
1994: 230
1996: 228
1998: 223
2000: 221
2002: 229
2004: 232
2006: 202
2008: 178

The apparent centrality of 1980 (even writ large to include all between 1978 and 1984) is not immediately obvious.

You should take a look at this:

Republican Average (by decade) House numbers from 1890

147 1880-88  Base

170 1890-98  +037
219 1900-08  +049
187 1910-18  -032
256 1920-30  +070


139 1930-38  -145
196 1940-48  +055
165 1950-58  -034
174 1960-68  +009
163 1970-78  -011


178 1980-88  +015
204 1990-98  +026
212 2000-08  +008

Democratic         (Gap)

168 1880-88  Base (-021)

138 1890-98  -030 (-048)
158 1900-08  +020 (-029)
231 1910-18  +073 (+041)
176 1920-28  -055 (-060)

Since the 1980's there has been an increase in the average number of House Republicans, each decade; that hasn't happened since prior to 1890, if then (I stopped looking).  It wasn't a 1930's style Democratic knockout for the GOP.  It is weaker, but it is there and it's more pronounced in the Senate.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Filuwaúrdjan on March 14, 2009, 06:47:13 am
I dispute the significance of decades and of handling data like that; the patterns can be grossly misrepresented. For instance:

2000: 221
2002: 229
2004: 232
2006: 202
2008: 178

Your little tables show gradual Republican growth over this period. It's pretty obvious that that is not "the story" here.

In fact, your little tables basically work by fluke. Take the '80's; the only reason for the increase in the average compared to the '70's is the fact that there was a decent Republican year in 1980 (with many of the gains lost pretty quickly) and no ghastly 1974-like election during that decade. In fact, the Republicans held more seats in the early '70's than they did the late '80's!


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Grand Mufti of Northern Virginia on November 26, 2012, 10:24:15 pm
1800: Democratic-Republicans take over, power shifts from New England to the South, and spells the end of the first two-party system as the Federalists never again regain either the presidency or Congress, and towards the end of this period, the latter shall dissolve entirely after the end of the War of 1812.  Also known as the period of the 'Virginia dynasty'.

1828: Andrew Jackson's presidency heralds the beginning of a more democratic era in American politics, and the second period of a two-party system as the Democratic and Whig parties battle it out.  

1860: With the dissolving of the Whig Party over slavery in the wake of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision, a new political era opens with the beginning of the third (and current) period of a two-party system as Republicans first begin to establish their ascendancy as they battle it out with Democrats during and after the Civil War.

1896: As Civil War-era issues begin to fade, a new paradigm is set as the industrial revolution and the Gilded Age shape a new era.  Democrats decisively side with populists with the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan, and Republicans under William McKinley and Mark Hanna side with business interests, and triumph twice decisively, marking the beginning of a period of Republican dominance in which all but eight of those years were presided over by a Republican president.  

1932: The Great Depression brings a sudden end to Republican ascendance, and the beginning of an era of Democratic dominance with the New Deal coalition brought together by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  It is during this era that organized labor is at its strongest and most influential.  

1968: Richard Nixon wins and holds on to his presidency with a Southern Strategy that involved eventually turning the South Republican as the Republican Party turned more conservative to cater to disaffected Dixiecrats.  It marks the beginning of a period of conservative dominance, marked later on with the victory of Ronald Reagan in 1980, and the Republican Revolution in 1994, and the final full flowering of the conservative Republican coalition with President George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, and final Republican consolidation in the South.  

2008: Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination, the grinding quagmire of the Iraq War, the implosion of the conservative Republican coalition that had held together for forty years, a growing insecurity among Americans with and as a result of globalization (and free trade in particular), and the disaffection of the American people (particularly the Millennial generation as it grows older) with conservatism and the Republican Party in general will mark the beginning of another period of Democratic dominance as Americans turn once more to the left.  For their efforts to fight illegal immigration Republicans, rightly or wrongly, will be seen by Latinos as a den of nativists and xenophobes and generally unwelcoming to ethnic minorities.  As with blacks during the 1964 Goldwater campaign, the GOP will decisively cede the Latino vote as a whole to Democrats for at least a generation.  With the GOP so closely associated with the South and the Religious Right in the minds of most Americans, Democrats will find their greatest chance for expanding their power throughout the Rocky Mountain West, especially in the Southwest.  

I still hold to this, though I should have foreseen that we would make also make what looks to be lasting gains throughout the coastal South.  


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Oh Jeremy Corbyn! on November 26, 2012, 11:13:03 pm
1964 or 1968 was not a realigning election.  Yes, the South gave the Democrats and LBJ the middle finger, but once a Southerner such as Carter or Clinton were on the ticket, the South would vote for the Democrats again.  That tactic however didn't work in 2000 where Gore lost even his home state.  The two parties despite trying hard to sound moderate had officially the two opposites in a very polarized country.  Conservative Democrats became a rarity and Liberal Republicans became an oxymoron (Snowe and Collins are the last ones).

The map hasn't changed much since 2000.  In 3 elections we have only seen a small number of states flip back and forth while the two parties have built a wall, the Democrats on the Northeast, the Great Lakes and the Pacific Coast and the Republicans in middle America and the deep South.
This is why 2000 was a real realigning election.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Oldiesfreak1854 on November 27, 2012, 07:30:53 pm
1964 or 1968 was not a realigning election.  Yes, the South gave the Democrats and LBJ the middle finger, but once a Southerner such as Carter or Clinton were on the ticket, the South would vote for the Democrats again.  That tactic however didn't work in 2000 where Gore lost even his home state.  The two parties despite trying hard to sound moderate had officially the two opposites in a very polarized country.  Conservative Democrats became a rarity and Liberal Republicans became an oxymoron (Snowe and Collins are the last ones).

The map hasn't changed much since 2000.  In 3 elections we have only seen a small number of states flip back and forth while the two parties have built a wall, the Democrats on the Northeast, the Great Lakes and the Pacific Coast and the Republicans in middle America and the deep South.
This is why 2000 was a real realigning election.
One of my college PoliSci textbooks said that 1968 was a realignment and the beginning of the current party system, but I must respectfully disagree.  In 1968, the Democrats lost the South largely because Wallace split the Democratic vote (especially among Southern Democrats) on civil rights.  2000 was by no means a realignment, except maybe a partial one.  Many of the Southern states that voted for Clinton in 1992 and/or 1996 haven't voted for a Democrat for president since, and probably won't until Democrats nominate someone more moderate.  Many would also argue that 1980 was a realignment, and in a sense, they're right.  It was the first time that the South became solidly Republican in national elections, aside from Clinton.  However, the last real realignment was 1992.  Most of the states/regions that voted one way in 1992 have consistently voted that way since then (although many states that have voted for the same party in every election since then are still swing states because they've been close a few times.)  Clinton got the suburban women, moderates, and other similar voters to vote Democrat (largely because of social issues), and they've been doing it ever since.  I like the current party system the "Clinton Party System", which favors Democrats, because that's what it is.  The Clinton coalition is alive and kicking.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Skill and Chance on November 27, 2012, 08:00:38 pm
1964 or 1968 was not a realigning election.  Yes, the South gave the Democrats and LBJ the middle finger, but once a Southerner such as Carter or Clinton were on the ticket, the South would vote for the Democrats again.  That tactic however didn't work in 2000 where Gore lost even his home state.  The two parties despite trying hard to sound moderate had officially the two opposites in a very polarized country.  Conservative Democrats became a rarity and Liberal Republicans became an oxymoron (Snowe and Collins are the last ones).

The map hasn't changed much since 2000.  In 3 elections we have only seen a small number of states flip back and forth while the two parties have built a wall, the Democrats on the Northeast, the Great Lakes and the Pacific Coast and the Republicans in middle America and the deep South.
This is why 2000 was a real realigning election.
One of my college PoliSci textbooks said that 1968 was a realignment and the beginning of the current party system, but I must respectfully disagree.  In 1968, the Democrats lost the South largely because Wallace split the Democratic vote (especially among Southern Democrats) on civil rights.  2000 was by no means a realignment, except maybe a partial one.  Many of the Southern states that voted for Clinton in 1992 and/or 1996 haven't voted for a Democrat for president since, and probably won't until Democrats nominate someone more moderate.  Many would also argue that 1980 was a realignment, and in a sense, they're right.  It was the first time that the South became solidly Republican in national elections, aside from Clinton.  However, the last real realignment was 1992.  Most of the states/regions that voted one way in 1992 have consistently voted that way since then (although many states that have voted for the same party in every election since then are still swing states because they've been close a few times.)  Clinton got the suburban women, moderates, and other similar voters to vote Democrat (largely because of social issues), and they've been doing it ever since.  I like the current party system the "Clinton Party System", which favors Democrats, because that's what it is.  The Clinton coalition is alive and kicking.

1992 is compelling as a realignment because it was the first time a Democrat united the Northeast and West Coast in a non-landslide win.  However, there wasn't exactly a policy sea change under Clinton, like we saw with FDR and Reagan.  The other obvious candidate is 2008.  If universal health care is not challenged by the next Republican president, we will look back on 2008 as a realignment.  There were also several Southern states that went heavily for Clinton where Obama didn't even compete either time.  But the only Bush-Dole state that Obama won twice is VA, and that has an idiosyncratic explanation.  So it really could be 1992 or 2008.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Oldiesfreak1854 on November 27, 2012, 09:15:31 pm
1964 or 1968 was not a realigning election.  Yes, the South gave the Democrats and LBJ the middle finger, but once a Southerner such as Carter or Clinton were on the ticket, the South would vote for the Democrats again.  That tactic however didn't work in 2000 where Gore lost even his home state.  The two parties despite trying hard to sound moderate had officially the two opposites in a very polarized country.  Conservative Democrats became a rarity and Liberal Republicans became an oxymoron (Snowe and Collins are the last ones).

The map hasn't changed much since 2000.  In 3 elections we have only seen a small number of states flip back and forth while the two parties have built a wall, the Democrats on the Northeast, the Great Lakes and the Pacific Coast and the Republicans in middle America and the deep South.
This is why 2000 was a real realigning election.
One of my college PoliSci textbooks said that 1968 was a realignment and the beginning of the current party system, but I must respectfully disagree.  In 1968, the Democrats lost the South largely because Wallace split the Democratic vote (especially among Southern Democrats) on civil rights.  2000 was by no means a realignment, except maybe a partial one.  Many of the Southern states that voted for Clinton in 1992 and/or 1996 haven't voted for a Democrat for president since, and probably won't until Democrats nominate someone more moderate.  Many would also argue that 1980 was a realignment, and in a sense, they're right.  It was the first time that the South became solidly Republican in national elections, aside from Clinton.  However, the last real realignment was 1992.  Most of the states/regions that voted one way in 1992 have consistently voted that way since then (although many states that have voted for the same party in every election since then are still swing states because they've been close a few times.)  Clinton got the suburban women, moderates, and other similar voters to vote Democrat (largely because of social issues), and they've been doing it ever since.  I like the current party system the "Clinton Party System", which favors Democrats, because that's what it is.  The Clinton coalition is alive and kicking.

1992 is compelling as a realignment because it was the first time a Democrat united the Northeast and West Coast in a non-landslide win.  However, there wasn't exactly a policy sea change under Clinton, like we saw with FDR and Reagan.  The other obvious candidate is 2008.  If universal health care is not challenged by the next Republican president, we will look back on 2008 as a realignment.  There were also several Southern states that went heavily for Clinton where Obama didn't even compete either time.  But the only Bush-Dole state that Obama won twice is VA, and that has an idiosyncratic explanation.  So it really could be 1992 or 2008.
If I understand correctly, a realignment doesn't require any major policy change, it just requires a change in the voting patterns.  I realize that issues change over time, but the only thing you need is a change in the way people vote to see a major shift.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Cath on November 27, 2012, 09:58:32 pm
It's generally noted that for the most part, re-alignments happened every 36 years.

1824 (36 years after our first election), 1860, 1896, 1932, and 1968. I can't really call out anything special about 2004, though certain nuanced arguments could be made (I would never attempt to make them and if they could be made about '04, they can be made about any election).

It was noted in a book I read about McKinley that the three eras of Republican dominance (1860-1884ish, 1896-1932, 1968-2008ish I guess) began with an alliance of sorts with labor. 1860 and 1896 are obvious. However, from what I've read, any hint of specific establishment labor figures going Republican happened in '72, not 1968. I think that could actually be labeled a sort of re-aligning election, though even Nixon's alliance with labor didn't last.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: pbrower2a on December 01, 2012, 03:39:01 pm
Here's my fresh pick for a Realigning Election -- 1952. Ignore electoral votes, as those shown are for 2012. As I show, 2012 and 2008 will be relevant.

()

Eisenhower won a bunch of states that Republican nominees just did not win in those days -- but that they won consistently after that. It may be hard to believe that such states as Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming used to vote for Democrats except in Republican blowouts -- but each one of those states has voted once each for a Democratic nominee for President. Virginia was in that category until 2008. (Indiana was close for Truman in 1948 and was in that category until 2008).

As is to be expected in a 442-89 landslide, Eisenhower won several states that usually went Democratic before and since. Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Rhode Island went twice for Eisenhower, but since 1960 they have gone at most three times for Republican nominees -- Nixon in 1972, Reagan in 1980, or Reagan in 1984.

Red -- Truman 1948, Stevenson 1952
Blue -- Dewey 1948, Eisenhower 1952
Green -- Thurmond 1948, Stevenson 1952
Gray -- Truman 1948, Eisenhower 1952
White -- Did not vote for President in 1948 or 1952

Oddly this map has some bearing on 2008 and 2012 -- exactly sixty years after "Dewey Defeats Truman*" and "I Like Ike, Part I". In  2008 Barack Obama won every state in blue or  gray to the east of the Mississippi River except Tennessee, only one state in red (North Carolina -- barely), and none in green -- and in 2012 he won every state east of the Mississippi in blue or gray except Indiana and Tennessee. I have no idea how Alaska, DC, or Hawaii would have voted in 1948 or 1952, so I shall remain silent about them. But I can graft on yellow to mark states that went Truman '48 - Eisenhower '52 - Obama '08/'12 to spare some verbiage:

()


Red -- Truman 1948, Stevenson 1952
Blue -- Dewey 1948, Eisenhower 1952
Green -- Thurmond 1948, Stevenson 1952
Gray -- Truman 1948, Eisenhower 1952, McCain 2008, Romney 2012
White -- Did not vote for President in 1948 or 1952
Yellow -- Truman 1948, Eisenhower 1952, Obama both 2008 and 2012

*Contrary to myth, the 1948 Presidential election wasn't all that close. Truman beat Dewey by about 4% of the popular vote and 114 electoral votes.


So why is 1952 a realigning election? Just look at the 31 (2012 count of electoral votes)   electoral votes that used to go reliably D in Presidential elections that went reliably R in Presidential elections (AZ, ID, OK, UT, WY) for at least sixty more years and  another 13 (VA) for fifty more years. 44 electoral votes is the equivalent now of 4/5 of those of California,  six more than Texas, one more than New York and Michigan together (or Georgia and Florida), four of Arizona or Indiana, or the combination PA-NJ-MD. That is six more than the five states that Clinton won twice but Obama lost by 10% or more (Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia) twice.  An election that swings 44 electoral votes (again, 2012 count) for 50 years, a period much longer than all but the longest political careers, is a huge realignment. 


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Blackacre on December 01, 2012, 06:30:38 pm
2006 could be something. That was the year the Republican dominance of power ended and the Democrats took back Congress for the first time since they lost it in 1994. If the Republican party never again achieves what they had from 2000 until that point, 2006 would be a huge "beginning of the end" case. If they do, then nevermind.

Alternatively, 2008, the first time someone won the Presidency without the White vote, establishing the Democratic party as the party of the minority-youth-LGBT-(single)women coalition, and the Republican party as the party of the older white men. 2012 was a reaffirming of both coalitions and sort of a magnifier for 2008.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Cory Booker on December 12, 2012, 03:47:35 pm
1800 Slavery/Jeffersonian era Whigs  and Southern Democrats
1860 Lincoln railroad era Nat'l GOP  and Democrats
1912 Wilson era Federal income tax Labor  v Torie
1932 FDR era Secular  v Trad'l

Red for Dem
Blue for GOP


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Small Business Owner of Any Repute on December 13, 2012, 08:32:21 pm
I will say that 2012 will largely be viewed as a major generational turning point -- Generation Y is finally old enough to care about voting, and Generation X is finally old enough to care about running for office. Public opinion finally tipped in favor of marijuana legalization and gay marriage. The youths finally have more voting power than the olds on two key cultural issues.

Those who oppose change are just dying too fast, and Baby Boomers aren't as resistant to social evolution as their (largely racist) parents were. And let's be honest, growing up as a child through the Bush and Obama eras isn't going to solidify a very conservative outlook on life. The voters coming online in the next 10 years are probably going to be even more liberal than those currently in the mix. Blame the war in Iraq and the perceived war on gays.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Oldiesfreak1854 on December 21, 2012, 10:48:31 am
Clearly 1992 was a realignment, since Democrats have won 4 out of 6 elections since then, and the way different regions have voted is largely the same since then, and it wasn't before.  Here's mine:

1932 Democrats won 8 out of 12
1980 Republicans won 3 out of 3
1992 Democrats won 4 out of 6

Just for kicks to prove that '92 was a realignment, let me show you what percentages of the elections from 1932-1988 and from 1992-2012 went for a given party.

1932-1988:
()

Electoral Vote Count (Using Today's EVs)
Republicans- 325
Democrats- 213

1992-2012:
()

Democrats- 284
Republicans- 216
Tie- 38

Granted, 1932-1988 was a much longer period of time, but if that's not a realignment, then I don't know what is.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: muon2 on December 21, 2012, 09:51:26 pm
Clearly 1992 was a realignment, since Democrats have won 4 out of 6 elections since then, and the way different regions have voted is largely the same since then, and it wasn't before.  Here's mine:

1932 Democrats won 8 out of 12
1980 Republicans won 3 out of 3
1992 Democrats won 4 out of 6

Just for kicks to prove that '92 was a realignment, let me show you what percentages of the elections from 1932-1988 and from 1992-2012 went for a given party.

1932-1988:
()

Electoral Vote Count (Using Today's EVs)
Republicans- 325
Democrats- 213

1992-2012:
()

Democrats- 284
Republicans- 216
Tie- 38

Granted, 1932-1988 was a much longer period of time, but if that's not a realignment, then I don't know what is.

You might make it more clearly by splitting that long stretch into 1932-1960 and 1964-1988. Then you'd have 8, 7, and 6 elections in your representative maps.


Title: Re: Realigning elections
Post by: Oldiesfreak1854 on December 22, 2012, 06:34:21 pm
1932-1960:
()

Electoral Vote Count (Using Today's EVs)
Democrats- 394
Republicans- 60
Tie- 84

1964-1988:
()

Electoral Vote Count (Using Today's EVs):
Republicans- 449
Democrats- 76
Tie- 16

1992-2012:
()

Democrats- 284
Republicans- 216
Tie- 38