No one faction is likely to prevail. Instead we can probably expect years of modest and incremental policy agendas
Everyone agrees that American political parties are deeply polarized. However, last week’s elections point to a new political dynamic. While there’s no doubt that the two main parties remain bitterly hostile to one another, new fault lines within them will take center-stage.
Intra-party factions have a long history in American politics and have often been engines of change. Emerging now is a four-way struggle between ideologically distinct factions, which may render compromise difficult.
The American political landscape increasingly resembles European multi-party systems, which rely on delicate and shifting coalitions that inevitably have a strong centrist bias. Looking under the hood of America’s two big parties, it is evident that the current factions have the potential to yield similar outcomes.
Daniel DiSalvo is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Professor of American Politics at the City University of New York, and the author of Engines of Change: Party Factions in American Politics
Carlo Invernizzi Accetti is Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York and the author of Techno-Populism: The New Logic of Democratic Politics
Photo by FrankvandenBergh/iStock