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View Diary: How To Run The Table In 2006--And Beyond (24 comments)

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  •  1968 Was Dealignment (none)
    There's an entire literature on this, but there's pretty broad consensus that both '68 and '94 were critical elections.

    What happened in '68 was not a classic realignment, because there wasn't a mass desertion of the Democratic Party. Instead, what you had was a lot more ticket-splitting, with Rep votes for President, and GOP votes for House and Senate.  Hence, it's been called a dealignment.

    What happened in '94 was that the House shifted hands and stayed Republican for the first time since the Great Depression. That's got to count as a realigning election.  It created a new--albeit bare--Congressional majority.

    The guy who invented this subfield of political science, Walter Dean Burnham (with a 1971 paper titled "Critical Elections and the Mainsprings of American Politics"), wrote an article about the 1994 election, which happens to be available online, here.  It's a very detailed, very subtle article, well worth the read.

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