Moreover, in all four regions, close to a third of voters were dealigned
. Not only were these new parties attracting support from such "floating voters," they were also pulling in votes from LDP and DPJ supporters.
This stalemate has inspired a number of theories, including most prominently: 1) we have been temporarily "dealigned
," until the next realignment; 2) we have been permanently dealigned
due to unique features of modern political life; 3) because of the new power of congressional incumbency, Republicans gained an unsual "split realignment" starting in 1968, first at the presidential level and only many years later at the congressional level; and 4) while partisan realignment was elusive, conservatives gained something of a "philosophical realignment" by changing the terms of the public policy debate.
Rather than realigning in favor of a single dominant party, voters and interests have dealigned
from any party, (75) The New Deal coalition has broken down, but the long-awaited new majority has yet to emerge to take its place.
Similarly, Skowronek points to 1980 and the Reagan revolution as a major change in political eras, not 1968 and the dawn of a postpartisan, candidate-centered, dealigned
The eighties' modernization also confused and dealigned
the old cleavages by loosening the traditional party ties and encouraging protest and issue voting.