DEINDUSTRIALIZATION AND THE REALIGNMENT OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THE 2016 ELECTION

dc.contributor.advisorSvensen, Eric P
dc.contributor.committeeMemberWaggener, Tamara A
dc.contributor.committeeMemberBussing, Greg A
dc.creatorTottser, Alex Richard
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-2436-7304
dc.date.accessioned2022-08-24T18:05:15Z
dc.date.available2022-08-24T18:05:15Z
dc.date.created2022-07
dc.date.issued2022-08-01T04:00:00.000Z
dc.date.submittedJuly 2022
dc.date.updated2022-08-24T18:05:16Z
dc.description.abstractIn recent years, scholars have tended to dismiss party realignment theory as impractical or insufficient to explain party politics in America. Critics complain there is insufficient evidence of a significant partisan transformation since the 1980s. While realignment in the traditional understanding is lacking, I argue this usual view overlooks the current ideological realignment, centered on macroeconomic theory, transforming both parties. In this thesis, I demonstrate how deindustrialization - a process which shifted how both parties view American economic policy - led to dramatic electoral changes that created growing factional elements that threaten the traditional party orthodoxy which has dominated politics since WWII. This change, though still ongoing, has led to populist-style politics that have exacerbated party polarization as both sides seek to consolidate their "new" brand of party. This thesis focuses on how deindustrialization helped shift the Republican Party away from traditional conceptions of Conservatism into a more populist direction led by Donald Trump. Using both qualitative approaches (case studies) and quantitative data (polls and other statistics) to support this view, I found the Republican Party’s ability to exploit the social and economic grievances of deindustrialization led to the party shifting both its own views and the base that supports them. Chief among my findings is this change is not temporary. Trump may have normalized talking about the issues related to deindustrialization during the 2016 Election, but the primary elections this year and the behavior of GOP voters and lawmakers after his administration strongly suggest that we are seeing a permanent change to the Republican Party.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.uri
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11875/3612
dc.language.isoEnglish
dc.subjectPolitical Science, General
dc.titleDEINDUSTRIALIZATION AND THE REALIGNMENT OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THE 2016 ELECTION
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.materialtext
thesis.degree.collegeCollege of Humanities and Social Sciences
thesis.degree.departmentPolitical Science
thesis.degree.disciplinePolitical Science
thesis.degree.grantorSam Houston State University
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Arts

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