The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump

Alan I. Abramowitz. Yale Univ, $35 (216p) ISBN 978-0-300-20713-2
Abramowitz (The Disappearing Center) provides a clear and comprehensive analysis of the “growing alignment of partisan identities with deeper divisions in American society and culture.” As a result, “negative partisanship,” which Abramowitz defines as “voting based on hostility toward the opposing party,” has become a crucial factor in election outcomes, including Trump’s presidential victory. Abramowitz persuasively argues that this polarization developed because of growing ideological, cultural, racial, and geographic divides between the two parties “since at least the New Deal Era” and has led to viewing the party one opposes as a threat to the nation. He predicts that the far-reaching consequences of this polarization will pose “major obstacles to any politician seeking support across party lines.” His look at Trump’s victory places emphasis on Trump’s appeals to “white racial resentment,” which he argues has been a Republican ploy for at least 40 years. Drawing on relevant data, he debunks the myth that voters who propelled Trump to victory were mostly working-class and uneducated; he finds that the group also includes educated white voters who express “deep pessimism... based largely on unhappiness with the nation’s changing demographics and values.” Abramowitz’s detailed yet concise analysis is accessible even for novices, and it offers a critical lesson on the American electorate and politics in a polarized nation. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-300-24573-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-6652-2294-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-6652-2293-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-9773-6887-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-9773-1887-9
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