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Scholarly Horizons: University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Journal

Abstract

This paper sought to provide one answer to the question: when do parties incorporate centrist ideas in a platform? This question came about from the 1988 election: the Democrats controlled the Congress, but they wanted to regain footing in the presidency. Their previous election performance was fraught with inter-partisan conflict: the liberal House of Humphrey had fallen victim to the Vietnam War and Ronald Reagan had effectively poisoned the word “liberal.” Centrist Democrats fought with liberal Democrats over trivial issues, and the 1984 convention ended in fiery disunity. After being out of power for a long time, to reconcile their differences, the Democrats came together and created a short, concise, and agreeable party platform which would lay the groundwork for the renewed confidence of the American people and secure a “win” in the 1992 presidential election.

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