A Bush Mandate or the Long Term Decline of the Democratic Party?

Does George W. Bush have a mandate to reshape U.S. foreign and domestic policy?  Is the Republican party surging to the status of the permanent majority party?  Or is it the Democratic Party that is in long-term decline? Here is some data and analysis that bears on these questions.

Two Images of the 2004 Electoral College Map: By State and By Population

                  By State                                     By Population


The second map shows size of the states by the size of their population.
The blue states don't cover much territory, but they have a lot of people.

More data on Electoral College Results, the Changing Regional Bases of the Parties
, and the American Political System

     A Short Lesson in American Political Geography
   The Historic Shift in the Regional Bases of American Political Parties
   The Electoral College and the 2000 Election

More general information on the American Electoral System

    A Primer on the Presidential Nomination Process
    Understanding the 2004 Election

Popular Vote in 2004 and 2000

Bush Vote
Bush Percentage
Democrat vote
Democrat Percentage
Nader/Other Percentage

Party Strength in Congress in the Clinton and Bush Years


More data on the changing strength of American political parties

    Party Strength in Congress under Historical Party Systems
    Eras of Party Government and Divided Government
    Party Control of Congress and the Presidency (1921-2000)

My Academic Articles on the American Party System 

The 2002 American Midterm: The Bush Victory in Historical Perspective

This article appears in the Journal of Asia Pacific Affairs, Spring 2003

The Bush administration won an historically unusual victory in the 2002 midterm elections, picking up 8 seats in the House of Representatives and gaining 2 seats in the Senate.  The two major issues in the 2002 campaign were coping with terrorism in the aftermath of September 11 and the dismal state of the U.S. economy.  Bush's hard line on terrorism proved to be decisive.  This triumph put the Republicans in control of the presidency and both houses of Congress for the first time in almost half a century.  Pundits agree that this bolsters the power of the Bush administration, although it is difficult to judge to what degree.  This articles discusses the changing patterns of midterm elecitons in order to put the 2002 midterm in historical perspective.  It then assess in what ways it might strengthen the Bush administration in domestic and international policy making.

Leadership and Hegemony in the 2000 American Presidential Election:
Issues Affecting East Asia

This paper was published in the Journal of American Studies in Winter 2000.  It was presented at the American Studies Association of Korea meeting in October 2000 in Wonju, Korea.

The Clinton Administration in Historical Perspective

Reflections on the key trends in the Clinton years

The Historic Shift in the Regional Bases of American Political Parties

This article first appeared in the Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies, Winter 1999.  It documents the massive change in the regional support for the Democratic and Republican parties that began in the 1960s and continues up to the present day.

Ideological Majorities, Presidential Initiatives, and Policy Change

The American political system is biased against major policy change. It has inherent tendencies toward incremental policymaking and even gridlock. Major presidential initiatives can overcome these tendencies toward incrementalism, but only under certain political conditions. The concept of an "ideological majority" is introduced to describe the conditions that have allowed a few presidents and their parties to successfully enact major changes in domestic policy since the establishment of the New Deal party system. The historic policy effects of ideological majorities can be seen in the enduring changes in the composition of the federal budget they produce. Four conditions are necessary to produce an ideological majority: 1) presidential leadership, 2) unusually large or ideologically cohesive delegations of the president's party in Congress, 3) the incubation of innovative ideas, and 4) an electoral mandate.

The Power of Presidential Ideologies

In 1992 I published a study of  how political ideas influenced presidential policies from Franklin Roosevelt through the first George Bush.  I have updated and greatly expanded the original version with new text, graphics, and links that make use of the power of the internet as a research and educational tool.  
A Wry Meditation on the Meaning of the 2004 Election