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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderators: Torie, ON Progressive)
  Realigning elections (search mode)
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Author Topic: Realigning elections  (Read 74265 times)
Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement
Beef
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 7,563
United States


Political Matrix
E: -2.77, S: -8.78

« 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.
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Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement
Beef
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 7,563
United States


Political Matrix
E: -2.77, S: -8.78

« Reply #1 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:


2000:
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Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement
Beef
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 7,563
United States


Political Matrix
E: -2.77, S: -8.78

« Reply #2 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.
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Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement
Beef
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 7,563
United States


Political Matrix
E: -2.77, S: -8.78

« Reply #3 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.
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Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement
Beef
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 7,563
United States


Political Matrix
E: -2.77, S: -8.78

« Reply #4 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.
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Pestilence Comes Out of Retirement
Beef
Concerned Citizen
*****
Posts: 7,563
United States


Political Matrix
E: -2.77, S: -8.78

« Reply #5 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."
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