The theories of conservative shift argue that Americans have grown more conservative and that the election victories of Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972 and of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984 were the product of this right turn in public opinion; Americans embraced conservative policies, conservative symbols, and the conservative party. But the evidence reviewed in the previous chapter calls into question the ideological interpretation of electoral change. At no point did white Americans move overwhelmingly and unambiguously to endorse conservative issue positions, nor was there any lasting growth in symbolic conservatism. In short, if the Republican domination of the White House since 1969 is indeed the product of growing conservatism within the electorate, then it is not a conservatism rooted either in issue preferences or in ideological symbols.