Study Notes

New Deal Coalition

A Level
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

The New Deal Coalition was a group of voting blocs and interest groups, that supported Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, and voted for Democrat presidential candidates from 1932 through until the 1960s. Despite the overarching name, it is important to remember that this coalition was never formally established as a political group.

Political scientists often refer to the New Deal Coalition as the realignment of US Politics, allowing the Democrats to become the majority party in US Politics throughout the period. The New Deal Coalition encompassed members from all sections of US Society including: unions, blue collar workers, industry, minorities, intellectuals, Southerners and Democratic party organisations in the states. The table below shows the percentage of Democrat voters within major groups of American Society between 1948-1964.

The New Deal Coalition collapsed in the late 1960s for a number of reasons. The big issues surrounding the collapse tend to be the Vietnam War and large scale riots. In addition to this many felt that the Democrats lacked an inspirational leader that could command the respect and authority that Roosevelt had done. Finally many from the coalition joined the Republicans during the late 70s and early 80s as Reagan Democrats.

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