In the analysis of United States voting behavior, the term "realignment" refers to fundamental turnabouts in the existing power relationships between the two major political parties. These radical transformations of the party system either strengthen the governing party or produce a new majority party. Generally, they also cause sharp alterations in the political agenda. In particular, realignments arise from the persistence of a massive shift of partisan allegiance concomitant with an unusual intensity in political conflict as well as a relevant increase in voter turnout. 1