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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Donovan, Todd

Second Advisor

Abedi, Amir, 1966-

Third Advisor

Cousins, Ken


This study examines the changes in partisan distribution across the states of the Rocky Mountain West. Previous research on realignment explained the movement of states toward the Democratic Party as an issue-based phenomenon and fracturing of the party in power. Specifically, research from scholars such as V.O Key and Sundquist find that a critical juncture normally triggers change in party system. This study tests whether the secular realignment in the region may perhaps be better explained by demographics. A longitudinal case study along with Lijphart's most similar design system will be used to consider three demographic variables to test if they affect voting trends: the migration of liberal voters moving to the region from California; percent of Hispanic/Latino voters present in the state and the number of Mormon/Catholic adherents in the region. The hypothesis that this is a demographic realignment and not issue-based is confirmed, although, further research on the migration from other parts of the United States and its impact on the region must be considered as well. My findings suggest that instead of voters abandoning their political ideology/party affiliation, what is occurring in the Rocky Mountain Region, is a watering down effect of Republican voters - tipping the balance in favor of the Democratic Party.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Party affiliation--Rocky Mountains Region--Evaluation; Political parties--Rocky Mountains Region

Geographic Coverage

Rocky Mountains Region




masters theses




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