Two-Party System

August 4, 1952

Report Outline
Coming Election and the Two-Party System
American Party Changes and Party Rivalry
Future of the American Two-Party System
Special Focus

Coming Election and the Two-Party System

Republican View of Threats to Two-Party System

If The Voters decree in November that control of the federal government shall be transferred from Democratic to Republican hands, the victors in the contest will consider that their success at the polls has removed a grave threat to survival of the American two-party system. Republican leaders have been warning the nation that the 1952 election may determine the fate of that system in the United States. They fear that if the Democrats, already in power for 20 years, are kept in office any longer, they will become so firmly entrenched that it will be impossible to dislodge them, organized political opposition will fade away, and the country will be saddled with one-party rule and its attendant evils. Republicans accordingly contend that a turnover is necessary, if for no other reason, to revivify the two-party system and assure preservation of the benefits and safeguards inherent in political competition and in the occasional shifting of power from one party to another.

Gen. Eisenhower, opening his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, declared at Abilene, Kans., June 4 that “a genuine two-party system” was “essential to America's political health today”. He said that “No other device in our particular form of government can be so effective in preserving the best of the past, in testing the new of the present, in deciding upon the possible of the future”. Reverting to the same theme at Dallas on June 21, Eisenhower added: “I am convinced that if the Republican party should not win, we should see the end or risk the end of the two-party system in the United States—a system that is vital to us. But it is no more than an empty phrase when any party remains too long in power. That point we have now reached”.

Although former President Hoover did not refer specifically to the two-party system in his address at the Republican national convention in Chicago on July 8, he told the delegates that “This election may well be the last chance for the survival of freedom in America”. Earlier the same day Sen. Kem (R., Mo.) asserted before the convention: “The very structure of our government is threatened. The two-party system, which is its foundation, is in danger. Our country must not be delivered over to the ruthless rule of a single party”.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jun. 08, 2007  Democrats in Congress
Apr. 30, 2004  The Partisan Divide
Dec. 22, 1995  Third-Party Prospects
Jan. 11, 1985  Post-1984 Political Landscape
Nov. 09, 1984  Democratic Revival in South America
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Dec. 19, 1980  Future of the Democratic Party
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Jan. 04, 1974  Future of Conservatism
May 03, 1972  The New Populism
Feb. 02, 1956  Foreign Policy in Political Campaigns
Dec. 22, 1954  Divided Government
Aug. 04, 1952  Two-Party System
Jun. 06, 1952  Party Platforms
Sep. 05, 1951  Southern Democrats and the 1952 Election
Oct. 06, 1948  Voting in 1948
Aug. 27, 1948  Republicans and Foreign Policy
Jul. 16, 1947  Third Party Movements
Aug. 22, 1940  Political Realignments
Jan. 13, 1938  The G. O. P. and the Solid South
Jul. 22, 1936  Third Party Movements in American Politics
Jul. 07, 1936  The Monopoly Issue in Party Politics
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