The Partisan Sort: How Liberals Became Democrats and by Matthew Levendusky

By Matthew Levendusky

As Washington elites drifted towards ideological poles over the last few many years, did usual americans persist with their lead? within the Partisan type, Matthew Levendusky unearths that we've got replied to this trend—but no longer, for the main half, by way of turning into extra severe ourselves. whereas polarization has filtered right down to a small minority of citizens, it additionally has had the extra major impact of reconfiguring the way in which we style ourselves into political events.  In a marked realignment because the 1970s—when partisan association didn't rely on ideology and either significant events had powerful liberal and conservative factions—liberals this day overwhelmingly determine with Democrats, as conservatives do with Republicans. This “sorting,” Levendusky contends, effects without delay from the more and more polarized phrases during which political leaders outline their events. Exploring its far-reaching implications for the yank political panorama, he demonstrates that sorting makes electorate extra loyally partisan, permitting campaigns to concentration extra consciousness on mobilizing dedicated supporters. eventually, Levendusky concludes, this new hyperlink among celebration and beliefs represents a sea swap in American politics.

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Extra info for The Partisan Sort: How Liberals Became Democrats and Conservatives Became Republicans (Chicago Studies in American Politics)

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But how do they learn these positions? Voters use a combination of five general mechanisms to learn where the parties stand on the issues of the day. First, and most importantly, there are the campaigns themselves. During the election season, news and advertisements about the candidates saturate the airwaves, and voters are bombarded with position-specific information from politicians (Franz et al. 2007). One does not have to be a political junkie to find out information about the candidates during an election—it is almost impossible not to.

Although it may be hard to 26 chapter two recall this in today’s political environment, until a generation ago evangelicals did not think religion and politics should mix. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, evangelicals and other conservative religious leaders felt their mission was to focus on the next world, not this one. Jerry Falwell—later the founder of the Moral Majority, one of the important early “Religious Right” groups—noted in 1965: “We have few ties to this earth. . Believing in the Bible as I do, I would find it impossible to stop preaching the pure saving Gospel of Jesus Christ and begin doing anything else, including fighting communism or participating in civil rights reforms.

Strategic elites would be needed to capture the allegiance of religious voters. The social turmoil and changing mores of the 1960s and 1970s gave the political operatives a way to recruit evangelical leaders — and their congregations—to the Republican flock. The Supreme Court’s decisions on school prayer and abortion, combined with the women’s movement and the new permissiveness of popular culture, convinced evangelicals that they could no longer stay removed from politics: they needed to enter the fray on behalf of traditional values and to combat the secularization of America (Sinclair 2006).

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