Activists and Partisan Realignment in the United States

  title={Activists and Partisan Realignment in the United States},
  author={Gary J. Miller and Norman Schofield},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  pages={245 - 260}
In this paper, we contend that party realignments occur due to the interaction of candidates and activists. We examine independent party candidates who are motivated primarily to win elections but who use activist contributions to increase vote shares. In a two-dimensional policy space, such candidates will on occasion engage in “flanking” moves so as to enlist coalitions of disaffected voters, at the risk of alienating some of their traditional activist supporters. We argue that a result of… 
Demonization as an Electoral Strategy
In recent decades, Americans who identify with a political party have grown more disdainful of the out-party, but have gained no fondness for their in-party, while an increasing share of Americans
The Cultural Realignment of State White Electorates in the 21st Century
Since the beginning of the new millennium, the partisan leanings and presidential voting of state white electorates have been changing. Drawing on party realignment theories and analyses of cultural
Political Activism and Polarization
  • R. Venkatesh
  • Political Science
    Journal of Public Economic Theory
  • 2020
I develop a model of activism and polarization in the context of electoral competition. Two candidates simultaneously announce policy platforms and seek the support of ideologically inclined
Leadership U . S . Electoral Politics
Formal work on the electoral model often suggests that parties or candidates should locate themselves at the electoral center (or origin). Recent research has found no evidence of such convergence.
Don’t Blame Donors for Ideological Polarization of Political Parties
Are campaign contributors to parties and candidates in the United States becoming more ideological? Popular and scholarly accounts suggest that political contributors have disproportionate influence
Cracks in the Opposition: Immigration as a Wedge Issue for the Reagan Coalition
The absence of a core means that a majority coalition can never choose a policy that will keep it safe from minority appeals to its pivotal members. In two dimensions, strategic minorities will
Activists and Conflict Extension in American Party Politics
Party activists have played a leading role in “conflict extension”—the polarization of the parties along multiple issue dimensions—in contemporary American politics. We argue that open nomination
Linking Citizens and Parties
Do political parties respond to shifts in the preferences of their supporters, which we label the partisan constituency model, or to shifts in the mean voter position (the general electorate model)?
PARTY POLARIZATION IN AMERICAN POLITICS: Characteristics, Causes, and Consequences
▪ Abstract Recent commentary points to clear increases in ideological polarization between the major American political parties. We review the theoretical and empirical literature on party
Critical Elections and Political Realignments in the USA: 1860–2000
The sequence of US presidential elections from 1964 to 1972 is generally regarded as heralding a fundamental political realignment, during which time civil rights became as important a cleavage as


A spatial model with party activists: implications for electoral dynamics
The purpose of this paper is to develop a multidimensional spatial model akin to the standard one of elections but also to study here the impact of a second category of decisions open to citizens:
A Downsian Spatial Model with Party Activism
A unidimensional spatial model is proposed in this article. Although its formal structure parallels the spatial model of electoral competition, this model examines the decisions of individuals as
Economic theory of democracy
Buchanan and Tullock (chapter 6), in the exposition of economic theory of democratic constitutions, argue that the individual expects zero external costs when collective decisions are made under an
Dimensions in Congressional Voting
  • K. Koford
  • Psychology
    American Political Science Review
  • 1989
While dimensional studies of congressional voting find a single, ideological dimension, regression estimates find several constituency and party dimensions in addition to ideology. I rescale several
Valence Competition in the Spatial Stochastic Model
The mean voter theorem of the stochastic spatial electoral model provides no explanation as to why multi-party systems under proportional representation display such diversity. Here, we extend the
Multiparty electoral competition in the Netherlands and Germany: A model based on multinomial probit
A typical assumption of electoral models of party competition is that parties adopt policy positions so as to maximize expected vote share. Here we use Euro-barometer survey data and European
U.S. Presidential Elections 1968-80: A Spatial Analysis
A methodology is presented for empirical estimation of spatial models of voting in mass elections. The basic choice model posits utility functions that depend on spatial distance and a random error
The Spatial Theory Of Voting
This book provides an introduction to an important approach to the study of voting and elections: the spatial theory of voting. In contrast to the social-psychological approach to studying voting
A Model of Candidate Location When One Candidate Has a Valence Advantage
that, under some fairly weak assumptions, for all levels of the valence advantage, the advantaged candidate chooses a more moderate position than the disadvantaged candidate. Empirical studies of