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The Transformation of the Republican and Democratic Party Coalitions in the U.S.

  • Gary Miller (a1) and Norman Schofield (a2)

Because the space of policies is two-dimensional, parties in the United States are coalitions of opposed interests. The Republican Party contains both socially conservative and socially liberal groups, though both tend to be pro-business. The increasing dominance of the social conservatives has angered some prominent Republicans, even causing a number of them to change party allegiance. Over time, the decreasing significance of the economic axis may cause the Republican Party to adopt policies that are analogous to those proposed by William Jennings Bryan in 1896: populist and anti-business. In parallel, the Democratic Party will increasingly appeal to pro-business, social liberals, so the party takes on the mantel of Lincoln.

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Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
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