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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 74258 times)
Oldiesfreak1854
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« 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.
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Oldiesfreak1854
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« Reply #1 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.
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Oldiesfreak1854
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« Reply #2 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.
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Oldiesfreak1854
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« Reply #3 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
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