Political tension is high. The major parties face a realignment, while the nation struggles with protests, riots, and rising crime. Democrats are divided over whether to embrace the new radical demands of an energized far-left faction or to keep to the traditional values of the coalition built by Franklin D. Roosevelt, which has sustained them for decades.
That was the American political scene in 1970, when Richard Scammon and Ben Wattenberg wrote The Real Majority: An Extraordinary Examination of the American Electorate . It is also the scene today, 50 years later. Scammon and Wattenberg’s book was a bestseller and the best examination of the rising Silent Majority. Many in that majority were former Democrats, repelled by their ancestral party’s growing radical fringe, who found a home in what would become Richard Nixon’s vast supermajority in 1972.
As we assess the results of the 2020 elections, we find ourselves in a similar place. The Democrats face a