The 1994 electoral aftershock: Dealignment or realignment in the south

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Explanations of the 1994 election results seen through the lens of dealignment theory, however, become problematic when the focus centers on possession of 60 House seats that turned over from Democratic to Republican representatives. One reason to view dealignment explanations for the results of the 1994 elections with some suspicion is that a disproportionate number of the Republican House victories came from the South. With the huge Republican gains in 1994, that denied the Democrats a majority of the region's House seats for the first time since Reconstruction, it seems clear that realignment theory deserves at least a second look. Two factors have been critical in delaying realignment in the South: the lack of Republican Party challengers in southern Democratic districts and the ability of southern Democrats to differentiate them from the national party image. The aftershock has consequences for dealignment theory. It suggests that voter intentions may not be the primary reason for the continual occurrence of divided government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMidterm
Subtitle of host publicationThe Elections of 1994 in Context
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780429700965
ISBN (Print)0813328187, 9780367010317
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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