Fifty Years of Defeat: A Study of the Problems of the California Democratic Party

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California, Democratic Party, politics, United States history


American Politics | Political History | Political Science | United States History


In a sense this is a look back at the difficulties of the Democratic Party in California since the beginning of the Progressive Era. At the same time, the whole intent is to show what a history of defeat has done to the Democratic Party, not merely to recite historical data but to understand the reasons and more adequately evaluate the present. In other words, the fact that Upton Sinclair was defeated as the Democratic candidate for governor in 1934 means nothing in itself in this study. What is important is an understanding of the conditions that beat Sinclair and are still hampering Democratic candidates.

Fifty years of defeat are important to this study because of the Democratic Party that has grown out of them. Is there a viable Democratic Party in California today? Can the Democrats win? What are the conditions of victory? These are the real emphases of this study, not the history of the defeats.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Political Science

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