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View Diary: Can you trust political trends? (80 comments)

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  •  It occurs to me (9+ / 0-)

    that this might point to a better way of thinking about realignments and party systems: party systems are defined not by stability but by a certain trend.

    For instance, the 1896-1928 party system that favored republicans was not a period of stable republican dominance but one of increasing republican strength.

    Then that period came to a clanging halt in 1932. And then you have the New Deal party system, but perhaps this was actually a period of declining Democratic strength from the Depression era all the way until the 1980s, with Democratic strength falling below the midpoint around 1968.

    And since then there's been another reversal, with a shadow of growing Democratic strength emerging in the North in the 1980s (see Dukakis' map as a sort of adumbrated version of the electoral maps we've been seeing since Clinton).

    If this is right, and the prior two party systems are any guide, then this increasing Democratic strength could last for 50 years, all-told - meaning it could continue until 2040 or so.

    Of course, life intervenes...

    •  I think so too (6+ / 0-)

      I have refrained from commenting on the 'party system' classifications, because I feel like I'm missing something about how they are defined. But it seems to me they are defined based on which party has the power when, not so much the underlying why and how. I think the trends are just as important, too. And my next post will give you more data to ponder in that respect. (Yes, there is another lovely regression of decreasing Democratic party strength from 1932 until 1968.)

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