Social Change, Realignment, and Party Polarization
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Diverging Parties by Jeffrey M. Stonecash
Book DescriptionParty polarization in the House of Representatives has increased in recent decades. Explaining this development has been difficult, given current interpretations of American elections. The dominant framework for interpreting elections has been to see them as candidate-centered, or individualistic. This framework may have seemed appropriate as a way to see elections during the 1970s and 1980s, when identification with parties declined and split-ticket voting increased. With increasing party differences, however, the presumptions that campaigns focus on candidates separate from parties, and that voters are less partisan in their voting, do not provide a satisfactory framework for understanding our current situation. This proposed book explains the emergence of party polarization by focusing on how the constituencies of House districts affect partisan outcomes and the subsequent voting behavior of House members. This proposed analysis is premised on the simple argument that members are elected from districts, and an explanation of polarization must begin with districts. The origins of polarization lie in the realignment of the electoral bases of the parties, and the shifting demographic composition of America. Liberal voting is more likely among members from urban, lower-income, largely non-white districts. Conservative voting is more likely among members from higher-income, largely white districts. Realignment has resulted in Democrats representing urban, lower-income, heavily non-white districts, while Republicans are more likely to come from suburban-rural, more affluent, white districts. Perhaps most important, the percentage of districts with a substantial proportion of non-whites is steadily increasing in the United States. The analysis will focus primarily on changes since the 1960s.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780813398433
(229mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Imprint: Westview Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 31-Jul-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jeffrey M. Stonecash
Polarization and the Politics of Personal Responsibility, Hardback (October 2015)
It is now beyond question that contemporary American politics is highly contentious and divided. We argue that deep disagreement over the idea of personal responsibility lies at the heart of this polarization.
Party Pursuits and the Presidential-house Election Connection, 1900-2008, Hardback (December 2012)
Stonecash analyzes election results arguing that the separation of presidential and House results occurring from the 1960s to 1980 was a party-driven process.
Understanding American Political Parties, Paperback (September 2012)
Noted scholar Jeffrey Stonecash gives us a big picture analysis that helps us understand what is happening in contemporary party politics. He explains that parties behave the way they do because of existing political conditions and how parties adapt to those conditions as they prepare for the next election.
Counter Realignment, Paperback (January 2011)» View all books by Jeffrey M. Stonecash
Counter Realignment explains how the Republican Party lost the northeastern United States as a region of electoral support.
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Author Biography - Jeffrey M. Stonecash
Jeff Stonecash is professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School. He is the author of Diverging Parties and Class and Party in American Politics. Mark D. Brewer is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Government at Colby College. Mack Mariani is Director of Special Projects for the Monroe County Department of Communications and a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Previously, he served as an aide to U.S. Representative Bill Paxon and a staff member for the Monroe County Legislature.
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