THE VOTE: Splintering the Great Coalition

PRESIDENT Nixon's massive victory splintered a once dominant force in national politics: the Democratic coalition. Welded together by the despair of the Depression and the charisma of Franklin D. Roosevelt, it consisted of an unlikely amalgam of minorities: Southern whites, Jews, "ethnic"* blue-collar workers, blacks and campus-oriented intellectuals. Despite the disparate backgrounds and views of these blocs, the coalition was remarkably durable. It produced 20 consecutive years of Democratic Administrations, survived the virtually unbeatable heroic appeal and victories of Dwight Eisenhower,...

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