Election Realignment

free essayAn eligible citizen has the right to vote and choose into public office any candidate they find. An election is known as a formal decision-making process which is used to demonstrate democracy in any country. Elections serve to ensure that the will of the people is represented, and should be held in a free and fair way. This has created the need for election reforms that aim at ensuring that people are made aware of their rights. Being denied the right to vote is against the rights of any individual. A country’s political election occurs during the time period specified in the constitution. It should, however, be noted that elections are used in different aspects of our lives, for example, when choosing a school president or even a captain of a club. Therefore, the use of elections to select representatives is considered a very effective means through which no one feels cheated of their rights.

In the United States, elections occur after every four years. The candidates conduct various campaigns to make them more appealing to the voters and show how choosing them is the best option for the office. However, campaigns have recently become controversial with candidates opting to play “dirty” politics by exposing their opponents’ failures, which, in many cases, have led to quitting of the exposed candidate or a decrease in his or her popularity. Some elections end up in victory landslides while some go down until the last minute (History). Election results can cause a shift in political power in the country since it depends on the choice of the voters. This change in choice may cause a re-alignment or de-alignment election, which might lead to a change in the power structure. It is important to analyze and understand the difference between a re-alignment election and de-alignment election, what could cause such a change, and the effects such changes have on a country.

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Re-alignment Election

A re-alignment election occurs when there is a shift in the voter’s choice leading to changes in parties, party leaders and regional change in power of the two political parties in America, Democratic and Republican parties, which results in a new political power structure in the country(Boundless, 2015). During this shift, a new coalition replaces a dominant coalition that has been ruling the country. The change may be for four years or for several decades.

Comparison between Re-alignment and De-alignment Election

While re-alignment occurs when there is a change in voter’s choice and preference that causes a power shift; de-alignment occurs when voters abandon a certain political party to become an independent party or avoid voting at all. The voters, in this case, abandon all political ties and try not to replace them. This change leads to a decrease in the number of voters who align themselves with the party. De-alignment is usually caused by such factors as poor performance of the political party and voters` declining interest in politics (Dorey, 2015).

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A Re-aligned Election

Frank Delano Roosevelt was elected into office in 1932 (Boundless, 2016), amidst the Great Depression, which had to become a pressing issue during President Herbert Hoover’s time in office. Winning for Frank Roosevelt, who was a democrat, is considered an election re-alignment since President Herbert was blamed for many challenges the United States faced at his time, which shifted the voters against his campaign.

Issues that brought the Election Re-alignment

The Great Depression left its mark on history as one of the most challenging periods for the economy of the United States. President Herbert policies and his administration were seen as the cause of the Great Depression. The high rate of unemployment, the crash of the stock market and hard economic times were the main reasons that caused a shift of voters against President Herbert and the Republican Party. In addition, the President encountered strong opposition from senators in his party and was unable to unite them (Edmondson, 2012). Frank Roosevelt campaigned for new policies that were appealing to voters, both the undecided and republicans. These policies aimed at improving and pulling the economy of America from the depression and made him a favorable candidate.

The Voting Population after the Election Re-alignment

Frank Roosevelt was elected through a political landslide, which had never happened in previous elections. He received support from states that were considered Republican territories, proving that the support of the Republican Party had decreased (Boundless, 2016). There was a coalition between the Southern whites, black Americans, ethnic Americans and farmers, which lead to the creation of the Fifth Party System. This shift is considered a re-alignment in American politics. The voters had shifted from supporting the Republican Party to supporting the Democratic Party, which led to the re-election of President Frank Roosevelt for 12 years, the longest servicing term in American history, proving that there was a change in American politics.

How It Works

Changes to the Country

After being elected into office, President Frank Roosevelt did enforce his new policies that were aimed at lifting the country from the Great depression. These policies really worked and made a difference in the social and economic stability of United States (Boundless, 2016). There was also political stability during his time in the oval office since every citizen was inspired to see the country relieved from the economic struggle it was in. Resources were equally distributed among American citizens, though the rate of unemployment did not reduce at a fast pace. However, the shift of voters during this election re-alignment did unite the country into one big political party.


Election re-alignment continues to occur in the United States, with the next realignment being expected to happen, as the country’s political stand continues to shift after President Barack Obama’s election into office. De-alignment should be discouraged and voter’s made aware of different political parties they can support instead of remaining independent. This is to ensure that their political stand can be voiced.

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