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Partisan Realignments in the US (Schofield et al.). Two questions:. Is politics one-dimensional ? (i.e., is a Liberal-Conservative dimension sufficient?) Do you think that there is a good account of how electoral realignments in American politics actually occur?.

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Partisan Realignments in the US (Schofield et al.)

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Partisan realignments in the us schofield et al l.jpg

Partisan Realignments in the US (Schofield et al.)


Two questions l.jpg

Two questions:

  • Is politics one-dimensional? (i.e., is a Liberal-Conservative dimension sufficient?)

  • Do you think that there is a good account of how electoral realignments in American politics actually occur?


Partisan realignments in the us l.jpg

Partisan Realignments in the US

  • Party realignments have long fascinated scholars of American politics

  • However, no simple model has captured how these phenomena actually occur

  • Until now…


Political map of the us in 1896 mckinley republican vs bryan democrat l.jpg

Political Map of the US in 1896McKinley (Republican)vs.Bryan (Democrat)


Political map of the us in 2004 george bush republican vs john kerry democrat l.jpg

Political Map of the US in 2004George Bush (Republican)vs.John Kerry (Democrat)


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1896 vs. 2004

  • Red states turn blue, and vice versa

  • How did this happen?

  • Why did this happen?

  • Schofield et al.: politics is two-dimensional!


American politics is two dimensional l.jpg

American politics is two-dimensional

  • Economic dimension

  • Social dimension


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1896 vs. 2004

  • Why was the 2004 election the mirror image of the 1896 election?

  • Significant constituencies must have deserted each party, switching their allegiances


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Most likely candidates?

  • Populists (D → R)

  • Cosmopolitans (R → D)

  • Look at survey data see if it supports this


Evidence l.jpg

Evidence?

  • Populists: working-class, socially conservative voters

  • Cosmopolitans: middle-class, socially liberal voters


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“Operationalization”

  • Populists: individuals in the 16th percentile or below on annual income who oppose abortion regardless of circumstances

  • Cosmopolitans: individuals in the 68th percentile or above on annual income who support abortion


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Democratic vote, 1970s-2000s


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Conclusion?

  • Data shows that in recent years populists moved away from the Democratic Party toward the Republican Party

  • Also shows a movement of cosmopolitans in the opposite direction (R → D)


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Additional resources:

  • Note: if you are interested in finding more about this topic, see Norman Schofield’s papers athttp://schofield.wustl.edu/schofieldpapers.html

  • Especially  ACTIVISTS AND PARTISAN REALIGNMENT IN THE UNITED STATESAmerican Political Science Review, 97(2) May 2003, and CRITICAL ELECTIONS AND POLITICAL REALIGNMENTS IN THE USA: 1860-2000Political Studies, Vol 51, 217-240 2003


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