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The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump

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Alan I. Abramowitz has emerged as a leading spokesman for the view that our current political divide is not confined to a small group of elites and activists but a key feature of the American social and cultural landscape. The polarization of the political and media elites, he argues, arose and persists because it accurately reflects the state of American society. Here, he Alan I. Abramowitz has emerged as a leading spokesman for the view that our current political divide is not confined to a small group of elites and activists but a key feature of the American social and cultural landscape. The polarization of the political and media elites, he argues, arose and persists because it accurately reflects the state of American society. Here, he goes further: the polarization is unique in modern U.S. history. Today’s party divide reflects an unprecedented alignment of many different divides: racial and ethnic, religious, ideological, and geographic. Abramowitz shows how the partisan alignment arose out of the breakup of the old New Deal coalition; introduces the most important difference between our current era and past eras, the rise of “negative partisanship”; explains how this phenomenon paved the way for the Trump presidency; and examines why our polarization could even grow deeper. This statistically based analysis shows that racial anxiety is by far a better predictor of support for Donald Trump than any other factor, including economic discontent.


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Alan I. Abramowitz has emerged as a leading spokesman for the view that our current political divide is not confined to a small group of elites and activists but a key feature of the American social and cultural landscape. The polarization of the political and media elites, he argues, arose and persists because it accurately reflects the state of American society. Here, he Alan I. Abramowitz has emerged as a leading spokesman for the view that our current political divide is not confined to a small group of elites and activists but a key feature of the American social and cultural landscape. The polarization of the political and media elites, he argues, arose and persists because it accurately reflects the state of American society. Here, he goes further: the polarization is unique in modern U.S. history. Today’s party divide reflects an unprecedented alignment of many different divides: racial and ethnic, religious, ideological, and geographic. Abramowitz shows how the partisan alignment arose out of the breakup of the old New Deal coalition; introduces the most important difference between our current era and past eras, the rise of “negative partisanship”; explains how this phenomenon paved the way for the Trump presidency; and examines why our polarization could even grow deeper. This statistically based analysis shows that racial anxiety is by far a better predictor of support for Donald Trump than any other factor, including economic discontent.

30 review for The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    After finishing this book this morning, I had a long think about how I felt about Alan I. Abramowitz's interpretation of America and recent events that have happened there, and although some of the commentary is still very much relevant today, some is not. This makes me believe that this book was written a while ago and is not as up-to-date as it may seem. That said, this is a world that is changing rapidly, it would be an impossiblity to keep on top of everything - especially with Trump who cha After finishing this book this morning, I had a long think about how I felt about Alan I. Abramowitz's interpretation of America and recent events that have happened there, and although some of the commentary is still very much relevant today, some is not. This makes me believe that this book was written a while ago and is not as up-to-date as it may seem. That said, this is a world that is changing rapidly, it would be an impossiblity to keep on top of everything - especially with Trump who changes his mind, and ideas on a daily basis but I would expect some recent events to take precedence over those that occurred longer ago. This is a great read for people wanting to learn how America got to the point it is now at but if you wish to read about more recent events this is probably not the book for you. I would like to thank Alan I. Abramowitz, Yale University Press, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    Whatever can be said about the rise of President Trump, it has brought about some great political science analyses. Abramowitz is a fantastic political scientist who offers a brief take on how the US came to elect Trump. Importantly, there were lots of trends coming about over the past couple decades that Trump was able to take advantage of. The Democratic and Republican parties were dividing and becoming increasingly ideological, conservative voters increasingly picked up geographic benefits, b Whatever can be said about the rise of President Trump, it has brought about some great political science analyses. Abramowitz is a fantastic political scientist who offers a brief take on how the US came to elect Trump. Importantly, there were lots of trends coming about over the past couple decades that Trump was able to take advantage of. The Democratic and Republican parties were dividing and becoming increasingly ideological, conservative voters increasingly picked up geographic benefits, but more importantly, white racial resentment and negative partisanship also increased. I loved that term, white racial resentment, as something different than racism, which implies a belief in white superiority. Lots of white, particularly in areas heavy with white working class folks, came to see blacks as getting all the breaks. Trump spoke to them. Also, lots of Americans, Dem and GOP alike, have come to hate the other party more than they love their own, and the fear driving that reality is quite motivating at the ballot box. Of course, there's much more to the book than I wrote here. But I think if folks are looking for an easy read that captures lots of modern political science to help understand how Trump became president, this is a fantastic book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    Interesting data, but it's just a deluge of data and stats that doesn't really say much of anything. Interesting data, but it's just a deluge of data and stats that doesn't really say much of anything.

  4. 4 out of 5

    columbialion

    Even if you were a loyal supporter of the GOP in October of 2016, (don't lie) you were shocked to learn of the election's outcome. In "The Great Alignment: Race, Party, Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump" political science professor Abromowitz connects the convergent dots of the POTUS elections from the '70s, '80s, and '90s and the subsequent repositioning of the American body politic which we are now experiencing. A word of warning to the reader; the author's discussions are heavily l Even if you were a loyal supporter of the GOP in October of 2016, (don't lie) you were shocked to learn of the election's outcome. In "The Great Alignment: Race, Party, Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump" political science professor Abromowitz connects the convergent dots of the POTUS elections from the '70s, '80s, and '90s and the subsequent repositioning of the American body politic which we are now experiencing. A word of warning to the reader; the author's discussions are heavily laced throughout with political science speak, complete with data charts, probability statistics, and standard deviation calculations. But if you are willing to push through to the core meat and potatoes of the author's primary axioms, he will deliver to you clear explanations of the internal political trends that lead to the current place we now occupy on the national political spectrum. According to professor Abramowitz, we are in uncharted territory. At no other time in recorded political history has the American electorate been as polarized as it is now. And that includes the contentious election of 1800 and the pre-Civil War election of 1862. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 saw, for the first time, a total upheaval of political norms and standards that had been long established since the countries inception. Not only had a complete outsider been nominated by one of the two major parties. But his nomination was also captured within a mostly unanimous disdain of the GOP's party elites and candidates. So what lead to this most unexpected result? Well, I'm not going to spoil the story for you, you'll just have to read the book. However, I will provide a few essential clues that solidly conform along the path that gave us POTUS 45. These touchstone trends were long incubating within America way before Trumps' legendary escalator descent in Trump Tower. Along their path in history was the destruction of the New Deal Coalition and the ravaging of unions and the working class. (Ironically the vicious handiwork of the GOP) But more importantly, and even more disturbing, is the author's central conclusion that the primary factor (supported by truckloads of real-time electoral statistics) in the election of Donald Trump was; race. Author Abramowitz distills down the supporters of both the Democrats and Republicans in essentially two camps: Democrats- primarily made up of people of color, voters under 30 years old, and college-educated whites that embraced a national direction of racial diversity and extended social rights for minorities. Women, immigrants, and support for alternative lifestyles were also factored into by Democratic voters. Republicans- overwhelmingly white, mainly white men, over 40 years old, regionally compressed into the former confederacy, and live in suburban and rural areas. These voters coalesce around, and fundamentally fear the emerging demographic and racial morphing of America into a brown society. Along with that, the corresponding fear of the loss of white supremacy and social dominance that has been the enduring status quo. Added to this mix are staunch religious objections to the perceived liberalization of gay rights and abortion. Although I would classify this book primarily as a classic academic study in modern political science. I heartily recommend it be read by everyone, regardless of political persuasion. It will most certainly provide the reader with explanations of how the current electoral processes shake out now, and will for the foreseeable future.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karel Baloun

    A strong data focused antidote to living in our bubble, in a very readable short format. Nothing here is rocket science, or even advanced data science, but Abramowitz still presents a historically significant conclusion: our national divide is persistent and meaningful. This alignment may become as meaningful historically as FDR’s 50 year working man coalition (which included southern whites). If true and therefore persisting, one major implication is that we will not see >60% consensus behind pr A strong data focused antidote to living in our bubble, in a very readable short format. Nothing here is rocket science, or even advanced data science, but Abramowitz still presents a historically significant conclusion: our national divide is persistent and meaningful. This alignment may become as meaningful historically as FDR’s 50 year working man coalition (which included southern whites). If true and therefore persisting, one major implication is that we will not see >60% consensus behind progressive, big government, soak the rich policies. Even IF there were a level money and speech playing field. 30-40% of the country is firmly aligned and indoctrinated. The Senate requires 60% for legislation, so even just 20 rural conservative states can obstruct effectively. The confederate South delivers about 14 alone, and with the Dakotas/Idaho/Utah/WY/KS alone we hit 20. And even 30% of CA votes reliably Republican. Amazingly, as recently as 1965, in the five states of the deep South where blacks formed 1/3 of the eligible electorate, only 4% reported voting. (p23-25) The "White Resentment” chapter (p130 +-5) proving it THE leading in Trump’s political success has both a triumphant application of statistics and a tragic reflection on the American people. As a progressive who for 2 decades has wondered why the DLC/DNC, blue dogs and conservadems have so much institutional power.. it is because they were central to Dem’s control of congress all throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s up until Gingrich turned the tables. I guess 20 years are necessary for realignment, as human leaders need to retire or be replaced. The GOP realignment started with Goldwater, succeeded first in Congress in the 90s and in 00s with the Tea Party, and depends on feeding the base, while keeping a bare sliver enough of an edge to win the electoral college. I thought Obama killed it, but the Upper Midwest wanted to believe Trump and got criminally engineered. (okay, that entire paragraph is me venting, and has nothing to do with the book!) In the 20 years starting with Clinton, voting split tickets declined, especially among people who had a negative view of the other party. Smart yet evil political consultants had found the way to maximize “loyalty”. (p62) Destroying democracy one hate-filled the voter at a time. Details of the stability of voter preferences, as well as the limited impact of gerrymandering as a factor, are both rather depressing as far as having an easy way out (p95-98). With respect to social media is a factor in polarization of the electorate, the data show that the polarization and ideological radicalization of the electorate was already nearly complete by 2012. Cable media had already fully indoctrinated people before the bubbles reinforced those beliefs. (p102-4)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Jones

    This was an unusual read for me. I am fascinated by American politics and particular how it has gotten to the point it is at now. This seemed like the perfect read to learn more about how the political parties have changed over time. I think that Alan Abramowitz had a brilliant concept and, mostly, it was executed well. However, it was very statistics heavy and listening to it on audiobook meant that I feel I didn't retain any specific numbers. Despite this, I understood the trends in the statist This was an unusual read for me. I am fascinated by American politics and particular how it has gotten to the point it is at now. This seemed like the perfect read to learn more about how the political parties have changed over time. I think that Alan Abramowitz had a brilliant concept and, mostly, it was executed well. However, it was very statistics heavy and listening to it on audiobook meant that I feel I didn't retain any specific numbers. Despite this, I understood the trends in the statistics and this book provided me with a great overview of how race and political parties intersect in the US. Overall I think this would have been better to read in a physical copy. If I ever need to write an essay on the topic, this would be a great source and I would recommend it for specific readers.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Konikowski

    This is great analysis, but I like a bit more of a story mixed in with my nonfiction. This book was about 75% statistics.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jim Twombly

    A convincing argument about realignment that will likely change how I talk about the subject in class. Abramowitz uses relatively simple analysis to make a strong case so be aware that the book contains lots of description of numbers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Canaan

    Abramowitz offers an explanation for why I loathe Republicans and why they loathe me and my fellow Democrats: it's not just that we have a few policy disagreements, but that we are fundamentally separated by ideology, religion, culture, (views on) race and ethnicity, (views on) sex, geography. And these differences are structural, features of the world we inhabit and in which our views are shaped -- the result of 60+ years of political, social, and cultural realignment in the United States follo Abramowitz offers an explanation for why I loathe Republicans and why they loathe me and my fellow Democrats: it's not just that we have a few policy disagreements, but that we are fundamentally separated by ideology, religion, culture, (views on) race and ethnicity, (views on) sex, geography. And these differences are structural, features of the world we inhabit and in which our views are shaped -- the result of 60+ years of political, social, and cultural realignment in the United States following the collapse of the New Deal coalition. As Abramowitz says, "The central argument of this book is that... polarization is not an elite phenomenon. Its causes can be found in dramatic changes in American society and culture that have divided the public into opposing camps -- those who welcome those changes and those who feel threatened by them," (p. 2). I like this way of framing the issue: that polarization comes down to fundamentally different responses to changes in American society -- different visions of the nation's past, present, and future. This framing seems to have more scope and makes more sense to me than merely saying that polarization is an elite-driven or electorate-driven process. It seems that polarization is not driven by any of these elements alone, but that political elites and the electorate form a feedback loop that increases the polarization of these already polarized responses to the nation's history. Abramowitz summarizes the current makeup of the Democratic and Republican parties following the great post-New Deal realignment: "In the 21st Century, to a large and growing degree, the Democrats have become the party of nonwhites and white liberals, while the Republicans have become the party of white conservatives." In line with this, Abramowitz argues persuasively that racial resentment, not merely “economic anxiety,” was the central factor in Trump’s popularity with white voters in 2016. A consequence of polarization is that people on one side see people on the other as enemies, as people who would take the country in a terrible direction. Hence we despise one another. Affective polarization and negative partisanship are, therefore, potent factors in the polarization process -- what some call tribalism. I certainly feel this way about Trump and the Republican Party. In my view, if Trump wins a second term, the country will continue towards dissolution and authoritarianism, and I increasingly cannot stand people who continue to support Trump, who have unfailingly defended him over the last five years of his candidacy and presidency, who share his dark vision of the country, his vision of success, who speak as if they are the only true patriots or the truly enlightened ones. And it's very difficult to see a way through this -- in part, to "take the high road" when Trump and his supporters not only stoke division and hatred through rhetoric, but act and implement policies that harm and demonize others. One thing I've thought about since reading two other books on polarization earlier this year -- Ezra Klein's Why We're Polarized and Lilliana Mason's Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity -- is what role the fact of polarization should play in my beliefs and commitments. That is, I accept the fact that American politics and society are fundamentally polarized, that I inhabit this polarized world, and that my views have been shaped and are categorizable within it. What then? Should I attempt to moderate my views or mute them so as to help decrease polarization? I don't think so. For one thing, on independent grounds I think my political views and commitments are right (though constantly evolving). And I think my negative view of Trump’s base and those who have supported him and enable him is correct. In other words, there's a truth interest against letting the mere fact of polarization change my views. More practically, I don't see my attempts to moderate or mute my views actually helping with polarization; I don't even know what sense that makes as a solution. This would seem to be no more than capitulation. On this (tangle of) issue(s), I really like this essay by U. Chicago philosopher Agnes Callard, "The Philosophy of Anger": http://bostonreview.net/forum/agnes-c.... In sum, what to do or how to act in a polarized environment that seemingly isn't going away any time soon is a live question for me. There's a lot to think about here. That being said, I think this is probably the last book on the fact of polarization I'll read (although I'll be interested to see how trends develop). I need to think more about how to live given this well-established fact.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mannie Liscum

    ‘The Great Alignment’ is a tour de force piece of political science; an intensely scientific study of our American partisan politics. Prof. Abramowitz doesn’t shy from data-heavy statistical arguments, approaches this life scientist greatly appreciates. Having said that, this approach is likely to turn off some readers. However, if readers can set aside such aversions their reward is great indeed. The extensive data and Abramowitz’s analyses provide clear assessments of our current polarized ele ‘The Great Alignment’ is a tour de force piece of political science; an intensely scientific study of our American partisan politics. Prof. Abramowitz doesn’t shy from data-heavy statistical arguments, approaches this life scientist greatly appreciates. Having said that, this approach is likely to turn off some readers. However, if readers can set aside such aversions their reward is great indeed. The extensive data and Abramowitz’s analyses provide clear assessments of our current polarized electorate and how we got here in the past 50-60 years. Some of the most salient points are: 1) that much of our polarization grew out of strengthening ideological linkage to partisanship; 2) the days of moderates are gone, we are now sorted by ideology/partisanship in ways that social and economic positions align with each other along party lines; 3) that the Democratic and Republican parties and ideologies have largely sorted along both cultural, geographical and racial lines, with Republicans being dominated by conservative whites and the Democrats being represented as the primarily non-white oriented party; 4) within the racial sorting Abramowitz found that whites in the Republican ranks are becoming more conservative and trending toward less educated (eg, lacking a college education), while whites in the Democratic ranks are trending more liberal and more educated. Two of the findings Abramowitz explores late in the book relate directly to the rise of Donald Trump as a viable, and ultimately successful, Presidential candidate. The oft asked questions that Abramowitz’s analyses provide clear answers to is: why did Trump appeal and why were voters swayed to give him victory? Abramowitz addresses these questions not with biased judgement but through voter data. In brief, two popular explanations have emerged in the three years since the 2016 election: one rather innocuous, that Trump’s appeal was economic (people felt left out and behind economically), and the other more nefarious, that Trump’s support was ‘deplorable’ - pure racism. Abramowitz’s data analyses show that economic anxiety indeed played a role but that race was the key factor driving people to Trump. However, the data, as Abramowitz point out, do not support racism as the dominant or even major motivator. Instead his analysis point to ‘racial resentment’ as the driver. As the author explains, ‘racial resentment’ need not, and most often in Trump supporters, is not based on racism (a feeling of racial superiority). Rather white conservative voters who have lined up with Trump embraced his rhetoric of white victimhood (even as much of his rhetoric is racist) as an explanation for what they feel is a society and government paying scant attention to their feelings and needs, while courting the advances of non-white groups. This ‘racial resentment’ of perceived (it matters not if it is real for the perception) societal position based on race was, and is, the strongest motivator of Trump support. As Abramowitz also points out the data also indicate that economic anxiety and racial resentment can not be easily separated, not can we infer from the data which drives the other, but that racial resentment is much more present and persistent a motivator than economic anxiety. This is a fascinating and enlightening book. 4 of 5 stars (this reviewer is only deducting 1 star on expectation that the data-rich and statistic nature of the study will deter some readers - but I loved the book).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    The Great Alignment is a detailed review of patterns of ideology, party affiliation, and voting patterns over about the last 75 years. There is a lot of information documenting the changes in all three pieces of the USA's political scene since the rise of the voting coalition that passed the New Deal. Throughout this, the tone of the book is neutral and mostly ignores the 2016 presidential election in the interest of laying out the facts about historical alterations in the patterns that had extr The Great Alignment is a detailed review of patterns of ideology, party affiliation, and voting patterns over about the last 75 years. There is a lot of information documenting the changes in all three pieces of the USA's political scene since the rise of the voting coalition that passed the New Deal. Throughout this, the tone of the book is neutral and mostly ignores the 2016 presidential election in the interest of laying out the facts about historical alterations in the patterns that had extreme influence on the 2016 election. The Great Alignment doesn't start examining the 2016 election in any substantial way until the last three chapters of the book, but those last three chapters use the information provided over the previous seven chapter to coherently and thoroughly explain the influence of a variety of factors on the election (negative partisanship, economic discontent, racial/ethnic discontent. etc). The only complaint I have with The Great Alignment was that - perhaps in an effort to maintain a neutral tone, it was considered too tangential, there was little data, or something else - some issues are only mentioned in passing, such as the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on party platforms (and, thus, voter affiliation), voting barriers, and the demise of the Fairness Doctrine. Overall, though, The Great Alignment is a great book for understanding how the modern electorate has come to be so polarized and the actual history of how that polarization has come to pass.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Boyne

    This was a very interesting book analyzing a wide range of political and economic data linked to the past seven decades of national elections in the United States. Any fan of statistical and polling data in politics would enjoy this read as the author, for the most part, sticks to the data as a means of telling the story. However, I found it difficult at times not to clearly see the author's own political biases coming out in terms of the analysis of the data and to which data was emphasized. Th This was a very interesting book analyzing a wide range of political and economic data linked to the past seven decades of national elections in the United States. Any fan of statistical and polling data in politics would enjoy this read as the author, for the most part, sticks to the data as a means of telling the story. However, I found it difficult at times not to clearly see the author's own political biases coming out in terms of the analysis of the data and to which data was emphasized. The last couple of chapters highlighting the 2016 election highlighted a line of thinking as to why Trump won to a very liberal and biased few of the racial stereotypes of white working class individuals who didn't complete a college education. I found that most unfortunate and was certainly limited by the timing of the book in terms of judging Trump's early policies in office. Still a good read to those interested.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    This is a very good short book that makes a compelling argument about how Trump succeeded. Abramowitz marshals a great deal of the core research insights of 70 years of American political science, and then adds his own new research into these short chapters to weave a story that explains how polarization along ideological and racial lines allowed for a manifestly incompetent, deeply flawed character to rise to the presidency. It was because Trump appealed to division and racial polarization, dee This is a very good short book that makes a compelling argument about how Trump succeeded. Abramowitz marshals a great deal of the core research insights of 70 years of American political science, and then adds his own new research into these short chapters to weave a story that explains how polarization along ideological and racial lines allowed for a manifestly incompetent, deeply flawed character to rise to the presidency. It was because Trump appealed to division and racial polarization, deepened those patterns, and benefited from anti-partisanship. What makes Abramowitz different from many similar books is that he shows, with new research and with old, that there is strong data to support what most people know to be true. I would put it second to the superb book by Tesler et al, Identity Crisis, as an explanation for 2016, but superior to that book in its terseness and in its historic sweep.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

    Abramowitz is a gifted political scientist whose expertise is the American electorate and elections. This book centers on his argument that the election of Donald Trump is the result of a deep divide in American politics and society and not the creator of this divide. Rather, the divide is the result of racial, ideological, and cultural divide that resulted from changes in the United States after the end of World War II. The book uses quantitative methods, polls, research surveys, etc. to demons Abramowitz is a gifted political scientist whose expertise is the American electorate and elections. This book centers on his argument that the election of Donald Trump is the result of a deep divide in American politics and society and not the creator of this divide. Rather, the divide is the result of racial, ideological, and cultural divide that resulted from changes in the United States after the end of World War II. The book uses quantitative methods, polls, research surveys, etc. to demonstrate these divisions as well as electoral data. The book is short, easy to read, and based on standard political science methodology making it a useful addition to courses on American politics or electoral politics.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Lunz Trujillo

    3.5 stars As a preamble, I'm currently a political science PhD student studying American politics and public opinion, so I'm coming at this book with a pretty specialized knowledge of what he's talking about. I thought this book wasn't really that different from what others have been saying already, i.e. there wasn't much new that he was saying beyond what's been said by other political scientists already. However, the book does take up many points already made and fits them cohesively and coheren 3.5 stars As a preamble, I'm currently a political science PhD student studying American politics and public opinion, so I'm coming at this book with a pretty specialized knowledge of what he's talking about. I thought this book wasn't really that different from what others have been saying already, i.e. there wasn't much new that he was saying beyond what's been said by other political scientists already. However, the book does take up many points already made and fits them cohesively and coherently into a long-view of polarization and partisanship. I enjoyed some of his other works (such as The Disappearing Center) a little bit more.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    This is a wonky work of academic political science with lots of graphs, charts, etc. I really enjoyed this book. Basically he argues that two big issues dividing the electorate are negative partisanship (voting more against someone than voting for someone) and nationalization of politics (so much for Tip O'Neill's adage of "all politics is local."). Money matters, but it is not the focus of this book. Pairs well with Kaufman's The Fall of Wisconsin. This is a wonky work of academic political science with lots of graphs, charts, etc. I really enjoyed this book. Basically he argues that two big issues dividing the electorate are negative partisanship (voting more against someone than voting for someone) and nationalization of politics (so much for Tip O'Neill's adage of "all politics is local."). Money matters, but it is not the focus of this book. Pairs well with Kaufman's The Fall of Wisconsin.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Sternisha

    This is a first rate political science book with all of the data points to support the author’s conclusion that racial ideology was the most significant factor in Trump’s election. He illustrates the growing polarization, in which Republicans have more farther right than Democrats have move left while showing that local elections have become increasingly national over the last 40 years, with local results often being similar to presidential results.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    It took me a month to slog through "The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump." At times interesting and insightful ( I thoroughly enjoyed the analysis of how the two major political parties transformed since the end of World War II ) and at other times a bit dull (at least to me - I am not well versed in statistics or setting up statistical studies), it was still worth the read. It took me a month to slog through "The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump." At times interesting and insightful ( I thoroughly enjoyed the analysis of how the two major political parties transformed since the end of World War II ) and at other times a bit dull (at least to me - I am not well versed in statistics or setting up statistical studies), it was still worth the read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rik Converse

    I didn’t finish the book. It was a slog! I gave up midway through the 6th of 10 audio files. The writing is factual and detailed - but if I had to hear another percentage or date or state leaning I’d either fall asleep while driving or commit suicide. This not for listening to - it is a statistical manual that is an excellent insightful reference. But not a good read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Frank Brooks

    Definitely a political science book, but not too heavy on the statistics. Lots of charts and generally convincing. Lightly contests another big argument out there, focusing on gerrymandering as the primary culprit in the polarization of Congress and state legislatures.

  21. 4 out of 5

    SpaceBear

    An un-enlightening and brief read; looks at the divisiveness of contemporary American politics, and does more to highlight the difference in views (which is already well known) rather than explaining their origins or offering ways out.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    If the thesis of the book is correct this is a sad indictment of our two party system. Racial resentment is a key driver to our radical politicization. I believe in the strength of our country to be more open and accepting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    If you’re a fan of polls, you’ll love this book. Lots of data. I was hoping for more analysis to go with the data. Still worth the time.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Tedious, very data intensive, but a great dissection of how american politics aligned into the current monstrosity that it is today.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    Another voice in a cacophony of voices, all having the perfect explanation after a shallow observation.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Trey Malone

    There is something about an academic bragging about multiple regression analysis that makes me extremely skeptical about the quality of the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alice B

    Very interesting and unassailably argued but would have preferred a bit more subjective analysis although I understand that was not the point

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    This book is beyond illuminating - and based on careful research and a great amount of data, it's refreshing to read something so factual and carefully compiled in a world that's now so partisan. However, the incredible amount of figures sometimes made the book a little too dry to read for my taste... This book is beyond illuminating - and based on careful research and a great amount of data, it's refreshing to read something so factual and carefully compiled in a world that's now so partisan. However, the incredible amount of figures sometimes made the book a little too dry to read for my taste...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    PLS 495: Seminar in the Study of Politics Studies like this are useful for proving that nothing happens in a vacuum

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alis Franklin

    Lots of wonky stats, tl;dr Trump voters are racist.

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