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This study proposes and assesses an alternative explanation of the changes in the relationship between presidential and House of Representatives election results during the last century. Jeffrey M. Stonecash argues that the separation of presidential and House election results that occurred from the 1960s to 1980 was a party-driven process, with both parties seeking to change their electoral base. Republicans sought a more conservative electoral base to counter what they saw as disturbing liberal trends in the nation. Democrats sought to reduce their reliance on the South and its conservativism. Presidential and House election results changed at different rates, creating an appearance that they were unconnected, but they eventually came together. Although many saw these changes in election results as evidence of parties' decline, this study reaffirms their position as central actors in bringing about change.Read more
- Provides a theoretical explanation of party behavior over a century
- Marshals accessible evidence to support the argument
- Presents data in a nontechnical format
Reviews & endorsements
"A valuable historical perspective … Stonecash demonstrates that the decline and reemergence of the connection between presidential and US House elections over the past sixty years was a product of shifts in the ideological underpinnings of the American party system - driven by party leaders. A must read for anyone wanting to understand our current polarized party system."
Alan Abramowitz, Emory UniversitySee more reviews
"Stonecash has unified previously divergent findings by taking a simple but often untried tack. His book looks at elections from the point of view of the parties that shape campaigns, instead of merely from the point of view of voters who respond to them."
Hans Noel, Georgetown University
"Stonecash challenges the notion that the connection between presidential and congressional elections has been irrevocably frayed by the advent of candidate-centered politics … This is a well-researched book that creates a new interpretation of events … Highly recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, graduate students, and research faculty."
A. D. McNitt, Choice
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- Date Published: December 2012
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107616752
- length: 232 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 153 x 12 mm
- weight: 0.32kg
- contains: 67 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Part I. Election Patterns and Interpretive Frameworks:
1. Disconnecting and reconnecting presidential-House election results
2. The study of presidential-House elections
3. Reconsidering conclusions: a critique
4. Explaining change: the role of party pursuits
Part II. Explaining a Changing Relationship:
5. The Democratic pursuit of the North
6. Expanding the Democratic base
7. Republican and Democratic pursuits of new constituents
8. The consequences of changing electoral bases
9. Regional patterns of change
10. Realignment and converging election results
11. Party pursuits and American democracy
Appendix I. Presidential-House election data by House districts
Appendix II. The presidential-House relationship and uncontested House races
Appendix III. Alternative explanations of change.
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