Chapter

4 Classes, Unions, and the Realignment of US Presidential Voting, 1952–1992

Michael Hout, Jeff Manza and Clem Brooks

in The End of Class Politics?

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780198296348
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599194 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198296347.003.0004
  4 Classes, Unions, and the Realignment of US Presidential Voting, 1952–1992

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Class voting in US presidential elections underwent a historic realignment (rather than dealignment) during the 1960s and 1970s. The middle class split their allegiance: professionals and routine white‐collar workers switched from supporting Republican candidates to backing the Democrats, while the self‐employed converted from fence‐sitting to strong Republican support. At the same time, the Democrats lost their former blue‐collar base. This chapter investigates the role of the demise of the trade unions during the realignment of class voting in the US. It concludes that the drop in union membership hurt Democratic candidates, but it does not explain the realignment of class voting in US presidential elections.

Chapter.  5349 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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