New Right in American Politics

September 29, 1978

Report Outline
Surge of Conservative Sentiment
Conservatism in Historic Context
Rise of Special Interest Politics
Special Focus

Surge of Conservative Sentiment

Movement of Voters Toward the Right

On Aug. 2, Rep. Philip M. Crane, R-Ill., became the first major party candidate to declare himself in the running for the 1980 presidential election. Crane, who is chairman of the American Conservative Union, said his campaign for the Republican nomination would be “a commitment to free people from excessive government” and unreasonable taxation. If Crane's name is not exactly a household word, his message struck a familiar chord. In a new wave of conservative sentiment — epitomized by the current “taxpayers' revolt” — a growing number of citizens across the country are voicing the same demands.

Although the swing to the right is something less than an organized action, conservative candidates and causes appear to be gaining voter support as the Nov. 7 general election approaches. Conservatives have won over liberals or moderates in recent primary elections in Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey. People are expressing “real anger,” said Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who lost his bid for renomination to conservative Democrat Edward J. King.

Dissatisfaction among voters covers a broad range of complaints from forced school busing and legalized abortions to reverse discrimination and homosexual rights. The aim of conservative strategists is to mobilize people unhappy over these and other issues into a nationwide coalition. In the past, liberals have discounted such efforts. However, recent opinion polls suggest that claims of a popular shift to conservatism should not be taken lightly.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jan. 06, 2023  Dark Money
Mar. 25, 2022  The Democrats' Future
Apr. 30, 2021  The GOP's Future
Oct. 13, 2017  Future of the Democratic Party
Sep. 09, 2016  Populism and Party Politics
Nov. 14, 2014  Nonprofit Groups and Partisan Politics
Oct. 24, 2014  Future of the GOP
Feb. 28, 2014  Polarization in America
Mar. 19, 2010  Tea Party Movement Updated
Mar. 20, 2009  Future of the GOP
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
Sep. 14, 1984  Election 1984
Dec. 19, 1980  Future of the Democratic Party
Sep. 29, 1978  New Right in American Politics
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
Nov. 12, 1935  Party Platforms and the 1936 Campaign
May 18, 1934  Political Trends and New Party Movements
Jan. 13, 1932  National Party Platforms, 1832–1932
May 16, 1928  Third Party Movements
Jan. 21, 1928  Major Party Platforms 1924–1928
Nov. 14, 1924  The Election and the Third Party
Sep. 05, 1924  Party Claims and Past Political Complexion of the States
Jun. 25, 1924  Third Party Platforms
Jun. 18, 1924  Thrid Parties: Past and Prospective
Congress Actions
Conservatism and Liberalism