American electoral realignment theory, as constructed in its classic form chiefly by Key, Schattschneider, Sundquist, and Burnham, can be sorted into 11 distinct empirical claims. These pertain to dichotomization of election types, periodicity, a cyclical dynamic, high voter turnout, durable new issue cleavages, ideologized elections, nationalization of issues, major changes in government policy, redistributive policy, effective and consequential voter voice, and the “system of 1896.” These claims are assessed for their empirical validity and illuminative power.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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