Why Elections Matter

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If you think elections don't matter, historian Julian Zelizer would beg to differ. He tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson that elections, including midterms, can signal big changes in governmental philosophy and politics. He points to 1938 and 1958 as examples.

In 1938, a conservative coalition of Southern Democrats and Republicans was born and that stifled progress on civil rights. The 1958 elections brought to Washington an influx of liberals who led to the Great Society. In addition, he says, the results of the 2006 midterms paved the way for the Obama presidency.


  • Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and a fellow at the nonpartisan think tank New America. He tweets @julianzelizer.

This segment aired on November 3, 2014.


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