A Democratic Left Realignment




Toren, Cuauhtemoc

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Utilizing realignment theory for an institutional analysis, I argue many American voters are discontent with the current positions of the two parties, are engaging in new voting patterns, and re-identifying their relationships with the two parties with a conscious choice for issues relating to inequalities. If these voters are organized by groups to vote a specific way over time, then the issues which the parties contest will change, and so will the policy priorities of the political parties. Scholars argue party realignment is an ongoing process of electoral contests and intra-party management debates. Therefore, the research conducted various case studies to analyze the varying events of contention that define the parties. Observations included electoral activity following the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders and the surprising victory of President Donald Trump in 2016, the structure and appointments to party leadership, and the priorities the parties commit to on their platform documents. Overall, the thesis confirms that the descriptive nature of politics and the party system are not as usual. An expanded electorate, changing voting patterns for national office, and a growth in Democratic party identification identified in both Arizona and Georgia, demonstrate a stark departure from the electoral arrangements prior to 2016. The successful contention of intra-party management by an insurgent left is evident in the growing number of candidacies, newly elected officials, and increased roster of Congressional Progressive Caucus in leadership positions. Lastly, the platform documents of both parties indicate both parties have begun to change their policy priorities to reflect the characteristics of insurgency.


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2020 Election, Democratic Party, Democratic Socialism, Partisan Realignment, Two Party System



Political Science and Geography