Title page for ETD etd-11112001-095221

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Underwood, Billie Jean
Author's Email Address bunderwo@wvu.edu
URN etd-11112001-095221
Title Dynamics in Elections: Studying Changes in West Virginia's Electoral Systme
Degree Master of Arts
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hult, Karen M. Committee Chair
Brians, Craig Leonard Committee Member
Walcott, Charles E. Committee Member
  • Elections
  • Campaigns
  • State and Local Elections
  • Partisan Competition
  • Voting
  • Realignment
  • Dealignment
Date of Defense 2001-09-07
Availability unrestricted
Among scholars in the field of state and local politics, the value of using the state and local levels of analysis cannot be overemphasized. Examining political trends at these levels often provides us with far more information about the United States than only looking at the national level. This is true particularly for subjects like elections, parties, and realignment. The research reported here adds to a body of literature that focuses on the state level when examining elections and party realignment. In this thesis I focus on the dynamics of elections in West Virginia.

The main focus of this research is to see to what to extent West Virginia has experienced a realignment of its political party system. Due to regional differences within the state I anticipate that more change will occur farther north and east. The data used here to explore these differences are at the county and state legislative district levels and were gathered from the Secretary of State's office in West Virginia (on-line) and from the 1980 and 1990 U.S. census. Such measures as turnout, registration and election results at the federal and state levels will be used to indicate changes in partisan competition.

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