Lead:  The presidential election of 1980 is often called a “realignment election,” one of several in United States history. It represented a dramatic shift in political power.        

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: A “realignment election” is a plebiscite on the current party or philosophy dominating the national conversation. The American people decide they want to choose a new direction. These elections, 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932, and perhaps 1980, demonstrate a shift in political orientation due to new geographic bases of power and/or new philosophical coalitions. This change or “realignment” of political power results in a new status quo and resonates in the political climate for decades. For example, historians generally agree that the presidential election of 1932 was a classic realignment election. An alliance of interest groups - labor unions, racial and ethnic minorities, and white southerners – united behind the Democratic Party and the policies of FDR and dominated U.S. politics for the next fifty years - from the New Deal to the Great Society.

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