American Political Parties: Decline or Resurgence?

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Edited by: Jeffrey E. Cohen, Richard Fleisher & Paul Kantor

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Dedication

    To Robert Himmelberg, for his support, encouragement, and leadership

    Copyright

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    Tables and Figures

    Tables
    • 1-1 Partisan Loyalty in Presidential Voting, by Time of Vote Decision, 1952–1996 17
    • 1-2 Partisan Loyalty Among Late-Deciding Partisans Who Had Stable Preferences During the Campaign, 1952–1996 20
    • 1-3 Partisan Loyalty Among Late-Deciding Partisans Who Changed Preferences During the Campaign, 1952–1996 22
    • 1-4 Partisan Loyalty Rates Based on the Vote Intentions and Reported Votes of Party Identifiers Who Changed Their Votes from Their Preelection Vote Intentions, 1952–1996 23
    • 2-1 Trends in Strength of Partisanship, 1952–1996 33
    • 2-2 Party Identification and the Vote Choice, 1952–1996 36
    • 5-1 Contact by Party Committees 112
    • 5-2 Total Contacts by Party Committees 113
    • 5-3 Correlations with Likelihood of Running in 1998 114
    • 6-1 Activists' Ideological and Issue Positions 130
    • 6-2 Party Identifiers' Ideological and Issue Positions 131
    • 6-3 Ideological and Issue Positioning of Activists and Members, by Party 132
    • 6-4 Policy Coherence Between Activists and Mass Party Members, by Year and Party 132
    • 6-5 Party Votes on Budgetary Resolutions, 1985–1996 133
    • 6-6 Party Voting for President's Programs, 1985–1996 134
    • 6-7 Party Unity Scores in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, 1985–1996 135
    • 7-1 National Party Hard Money Receipts, 1976–1998 142
    • 7-2 Federal Campaign Contribution Limits 144
    • 7-3 National Party Soft Money Receipts, 1992–1998 147
    • 8-1 Status of the Recommendations of the APSA's 1950 Committee on Political Parties 166
    • 8-2 Retrospective Judgment in the 1996 Election 176
    • 9-1 Seniority Before and After 1900 190
    • 10-1 Size of the Policy Agenda, 1947–1996 212
    • 10-2 Determinants of Policy Gridlock, 1951–1996 224
    Figures
    • 2-1 National Election Study Party Identification Scale 32
    • 2-2 Party and Issues: Cross-Pressures, 1952–1996 41
    • 2-3 Resolution of Cross-Pressures: Party and Vote, 1952–1996 44
    • 2-4 Party and Candidates: Cross-Pressures, 1952–1996 47
    • 2-5 Resolution of Cross-Pressures: Party and Candidate Orientation, 1952–1996 48
    • 2-6 Impact of Party Identification on Vote Choice, 1952–1996 49
    • 2-7 Impact of Party Identification on Vote Choice: Different Strengths of Partisanship, 1952–1996 51
    • 3-1 Party Polarization on Parties and Candidates, 1968–1996 60
    • 3-2 Democratic and Republican Identifiers' Evaluations of Own and Opposition Parties, 1968–1996 62
    • 3-3 Party Polarization on Issues and Ideology, 1972–1996 64
    • 3-4 Difference in Presidential Approval of Democrats and Republicans, 1953–1996 66
    • 3-5 Partisan Differences in the Evaluation of Candidates and Parties, by Strength of Partisan Identification, 1968–1996 68
    • 3-6 Partisan Differences in Issues and Ideology, by Strength of Partisan Identification, 1972–1996 69
    • 3-7 Partisan Differences in the Evaluation of Candidates and Parties, by Region, 1968–1996 70
    • 3-8 Partisan Differences in Issues and Ideology, by Region, 1972–1996 71
    • 3-9 Partisan Differences in the Evaluation of Candidates and Parties, by New Deal/Post-New Deal, 1968–1996 72
    • 3-10 Partisan Differences in Issues and Ideology, by New Deal/Post-New Deal, 1972–1996 73
    • 8-1 Content of Democratic Platforms 171
    • 8-2 1996 Platform Fulfillment 172
    • 8-3 Perceptions of Party Differences 173
    • 8-4 Sources of Partisanship 175
    • 10-1 Level of Policy Gridlock, 1947–1996 213

    Acknowledgments

    The seeds of this book were planted in conversations among the three coeditors, whose offices are just down the hall from each other's. In those conversations, we began to evaluate the conventional view that the American parties of the last quarter of the twentieth century were feeble. Our conversations led us to another conclusion, that the state of the parties was more complex and multifaceted than we had initially thought, showing signs of strength alongside signs of weakness.

    We understood that it would be no easy task to explain the road the parties have taken over the past twenty-five years or so to reach their current state. To that end, we thought it would be useful to students of parties, and of American politics more generally, if we could gather some of the best research on the current state of the parties, analyses of patterns of change over the past quarter century, and projections concerning the future of the parties. To do so, we required the support of many individuals and institutions, and we were fortunate in securing that support.

    In preparation of this manuscript, we held a conference at the Rose Hill Campus of Fordham University entitled “American Politics at the Millennium: Political Parties and the Future of American Democracy.” We brought together a number of the leading scholars on the American parties to participate, present their ideas, and interact with each other and the larger community of those interested in American politics and its parties. That conference was part of a continuing series run by the graduate program of the Department of Political Science at Fordham, the Fordham University Forum on American Politics. The forum has been in operation since 1997, bringing scholars and commentators on American politics to campus to discuss important topics in their field. The forum, like our conference, is generously supported by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Fordham University as well as by the graduate program of the Department of Political Science.

    Besides those who were asked to present papers, a large number of interested people and scholars from around the region attended our parties conference. We want to thank all those who attended and, by their attendance and participation, added to the conversation and provided stimulation for all involved. Special thanks go to Robert Erikson and Robert Shapiro, both of Columbia University, who graciously served as session chairs.

    Our conference was the starting point for production of this book. A number of the chapters began as papers presented at that conference, although they have been substantially revised. These chapters include the contributions of James E. Campbell, Matthew Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg, William Crotty, Roger H. Davidson, David G. Lawrence, Theodore J. Lowi, L. Sandy Maisel, and Gerald M. Pomper. Not every paper presented, however, found its way into this volume, and we have added a number of other papers not presented at the conference (those by Sarah A. Binder, Richard Fleisher and Jon R. Bond, and Victoria A. Farrar-Myers and Diana Dwyre).

    Many other debts were accumulated in preparing this manuscript. The staff at CQ Press was especially important in shaping the final look of this book and seeing it through to completion. Brenda Carter, director of college publishing at CQ Press, offered many useful suggestions about the book that improved it greatly; Gwenda Larsen, associate editor at CQ Press, ably steered us through the publication and production processes; and Amy Marks diligently copyedited the manuscript, a daunting task considering the number of authors and their varying writing styles.

    Special thanks go to Patrick Bernardo, Erin Larocco, Alex Ott, and Flagg Taylor, all graduate students at Fordham University, who in one capacity or another ensured that our parties conference ran smoothly and that our manuscript got to CQ Press in one piece. Andria Bordenga, Maureen Hanratty, and Dawn Silvestri provided us with outstanding secretarial and administrative support. Without the help of all of these people, this project would not have been completed.

    We also incurred special debts to Deans Michael Gillan, Robert Grimes, S.J., and Jeffrey Von Arx, S.J., of Fordham University, for their support of this project, financial and otherwise, including the conference, preparation of this manuscript, and release time for Cohen to see to the book's timely completion.

    Although Fordham University has been especially generous to us, allowing us to fulfill our ambitious vision, our deepest thanks go to Robert Himmelberg, who served as dean of the Graduate School of Fordham University while this project was undertaken. Under Bob's stewardship we secured funding for both the conference and much of this book. Bob kept us in check but also provided large doses of encouragement. For all that he has done, we dedicate this book to him.

    Contributors

    Sarah A. Binder is assistant professor of political science at George Washington University and fellow in governmental studies at the Brookings Institution. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1995. She is author of Minority Rights, Majority Rule (1997) and coauthor, with Steven S. Smith, of Politics or Principle? Filibustering in the United States Senate (1997). Her work on congressional development, legislative gridlock, and Senate politics has also appeared in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, and Legislative Studies Quarterly.

    Jon R. Bond is professor of political science at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has published articles on presidential-congressional relations, congressional elections, and public policy in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, and other journals. He has published two books with Richard Fleisher, The President in the Legislative Arena and Polarized Politics: Congress and the President in a Partisan Era. Formerly an American Political Science Association congressional fellow, Bond has served as coeditor of the Journal of Politics. He is a member of the executive council of the Southern Political Science Association and the publications committee of the American Political Science Association.

    James E. Campbell is professor of political science at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He was an American Political Science Association congressional fellow and has served as political science program director at the National Science Foundation. He is author of Cheap Seats: The Democratic Party's Advantage in U.S. House Elections (1996), The Presidential Pulse of Congressional Elections (1993 and 1997), and The American Campaign: U.S. Presidential Campaigns and the National Vote (2000). He coedited Before the Vote: Forecasting American National Elections (2000). Campbell's research has also appeared in numerous scholarly journals.

    Jeffrey E. Cohen is professor of political science at Fordham University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1979. His major areas of interest are American politics and public policy, especially as they relate to the presidency. His book Presidential Responsiveness and Public Policy Making (1997) was awarded the 1998 Richard E. Neustadt Award of the Presidency Research Section of the American Political Science Association.

    Matthew Crenson is professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1969. His teaching and research interests are urban politics and American political development. His most recent book is Building the Invisible Orphanage: A Prehistory of the American Welfare System (1998).

    William Crotty is Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Public Life and director of the Center for Comparative Government at Northeastern University. He is author of a number of books and articles on political parties, campaigns, and elections and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Political Organizations and Parties Section of the American Political Science Association.

    Roger H. Davidson, emeritus professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland, is now visiting professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Among his books is Congress and Its Members, 7th ed. (2000), with Walter J. Oleszek. He has served on House and Senate committee staffs, consulted for the White House, and lectured or led workshops in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America.

    Diana Dwyre is associate professor of political science at California State University, Chico. She received her Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1994. Her research on campaign finance, political parties, and interest groups has been published in several journals and in books such as Financing the 1996 Elections and The State of the Parties. Her book Legislative Labyrinth: Congress and Campaign Finance Reform (2001), written with Victoria A. Farrar-Myers, was published by CQ Press. Dwyre was the 1998 American Political Science Association Steiger Congressional Fellow.

    Victoria A. Farrar-Myers is assistant professor of political science at the University of Texas, Arlington. She received her Ph.D. from the University at Albany, SUNY. Her research on Congress, the presidency, and campaign finance has been published in Congress and the Presidency and American Review of Politicsand will appear in the forthcoming book The Presidency and the Law. Farrar-Myers is coauthor with Diana Dwyre of Legislative Labyrinth: Congress and Campaign Finance Reform (2001). She has received such honors as the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship and a research grant from the Dirksen Congressional Center.

    Richard Fleisher is professor and chair of the political science department at Fordham University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His articles on presidential-congressional relations, congressional elections, constituency influence in roll-call voting, and electoral realignments have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, American Politics Quarterly, and Political Science Quarterly. He is coeditor of Polarized Politics, published by CQ Press, and coauthor of The President in the Legislative Arena. Fleisher is continuing his research on party polarization in American politics.

    Benjamin Ginsberg is David Bernstein Professor of Political Science and director of the Center for the Study of American Government at Johns Hopkins University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1973. Ginsberg was professor of government at Cornell University before joining the Hopkins faculty in 1992. He is author or coauthor of a number of books, including Politics by Other Means; American Government: Freedom and Power; The Captive Public; The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State; We the People; The Consequences of Consent; and the forthcoming From Citizen to Customer: How America Downsized Citizenship and Privatized Its Public. The Hopkins class of 2000 awarded Ginsberg the George E. Owen prize for outstanding teaching and devotion to undergraduates.

    Paul Kantor is professor of political science at Fordham University and president of the Urban Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Among his most recent works are The Dependent City Revisited (1995) and The Politics of Urban America: A Reader (1998), coedited with Dennis R. Judd.

    David G. Lawrence is professor of political science at Fordham University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1975. His major area of interest is political behavior, with specific attention to voting, party systems, public opinion, and empirical democratic theory. He is author of The Collapse of the Democratic Presidential Majority (1996).

    Theodore J. Lowi has been John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions at Cornell University since 1972. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1961. Lowi has contributed to the study of politics in a variety of areas, including political theory, public policy analysis, and American political institutions. Author of The End of Liberalism (1969, 1979) and The End of the Republican Era (1995), Lowi is coauthor of one of the leading American government texts, American Government—Freedom and Power, 6th ed. (2000). The 1991 president of the American Political Science Association, he served as first vice president of the International Political Science Association from 1994 to 1997 and president from 1997 to 2000.

    L. Sandy Maisel is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government at Colby College, where he has taught for three decades. A graduate of Harvard College, he received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1971. He is author of Parties and Elections in America: The Electoral Process (2001), editor of The Parties Respond (2001), and general editor of Jews in American Politics (2001). His current research involves an examination of why potential candidates do and do not decide to run for the House.

    Gerald M. Pomper is Board of Governors Professor of Political Science at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Author or editor of sixteen books, his publications include Passions and Interests, Elections in America, and Voters' Choice. His next book will be The Election of 2000, the seventh volume in a twenty-four-year series on U.S. national elections. Educated at Columbia and Princeton Universities, Pomper also has been a Fulbright scholar and visiting professor at the University of Oxford, Tel-Aviv University, and Australian National University.

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