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Assessing the George W. Bush PresidencyA Tale of Two Terms$
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Andrew Wroe and Jon Herbert

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627400

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627400.001.0001

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A Lasting Republican Majority? George W. Bush's Electoral Strategy

A Lasting Republican Majority? George W. Bush's Electoral Strategy

Chapter:
(p.239) Chapter 15 A Lasting Republican Majority? George W. Bush's Electoral Strategy
Source:
Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency
Author(s):

Kevin Fullam

Alan R. Gitelson

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627400.003.0015

After becoming president of the United States, George W. Bush set his sights on no less than the Republican realignment of the national electorate and a new era of Republican congressional dominance. By the close of his administration, however, his presidency had failed to engineer this transformation, at least as measured by the success of the Democratic Party in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. Barack Obama captured the White House while Democrats increased the size of their majorities in both chambers of Congress. This chapter examines the nature of Bush's electoral legacy and, particularly, Republican designs to cement a lasting electoral majority. It explains how, by the end of his administration, Bush actually damaged the Republican Party's standing. In many respects, these failures can be tied to the ever-increasing blurring of the lines between campaigning and governing. The chapter also discusses the results of the 2006 and 2008 elections, Bush's shift from compassionate conservatism to partisanship, the Republican Party's successes in the 2002 and 2004 elections, Bush's second term, and the costs of Bush's partisan strategy.

Keywords:   George W. Bush, United States, Republican Party, elections, partisanship, compassionate conservatism, Democratic Party

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