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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 74269 times)
Filuwaúrdjan
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« 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #1 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #2 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #3 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #4 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?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #5 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

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You like being contrary don't you?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2005, 04:20:06 pm »


Yes and No

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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.

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Perhaps that was one reason for it? 

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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.

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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...
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #7 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #8 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2005, 02:25:59 am »

Why don't you consider it a realigning election?

Because he's contrary
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #10 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #11 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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Posts: 63,025
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« Reply #12 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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Posts: 63,025
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« Reply #13 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.
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Filuwaúrdjan
Realpolitik
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Posts: 63,025
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« Reply #14 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!
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