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Beyond the New Deal: Ideological Differences between Eleven State Democratic Parties, 1956-1980
The Western Political Quarterly
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Mar., 1990), pp. 181-190
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/448512
Page Count: 10
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Ideological differences between eleven state Democratic parties are examined during a period in which the New Deal party system was declining. The study addresses two central questions: (1) to what extent did state Democratic parties address the supposedly divisive non-economic issues of the 1960s and 1970s? and (2) were non-economic issues actually more divisive than economic issues, as much of the literature suggests? Democratic platforms from eleven states were content analyzed. A scale was developed to measure the nature and degree of intraparty ideological differences. Two major patterns of intraparty differences were identified: a division over civil rights before 1964, and a split over social and foreign policy issues between 1968 and 1976. Non-economic issues were indeed more divisive, but they tended to be minor parts of the state party platforms. At a time when the national Democratic party apparently suffered from a conservative countermobilization against the social and cultural changes of the 1960s and early 1970s, many state Democratic organizations avoided the most divisive issues on the political agenda.
The Western Political Quarterly © 1990 University of Utah