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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Unified v. Divided Government

In 2008, voters opted for unified Democratic control of the government. That outcome, however, guarantee the Democrats a lock on Washington for years to come. On the contrary, Gary Andres argues, divided government may loom.
[F]rom 1900-1952 unified government was the norm in Washington. During those years, the same party controlled the presidency and at least one branch of Congress 22 times, while Republicans and Democrats split power only four times, according to political scientist Morris Fiorina in his book Divided Government. But since 1952, unified party control--the conditions we face now--are more rare. Voters split control in 17 elections between 1952-2008 and opted for unified control only eight times. For the past 50 years, not too long after one party achieves unified control, Americans almost reflexively put the other in charge of at least one branch of government.