George C. Wallace and the Politics of Powerlessness
The Wallace Campaigns for the Presidency, 1964-76
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This is the only complete study of the Wallace phenomenon. It covers all of the presidential campaigns and views wallace from a variety of vantage ints: historical context, content anal-ysis of speeches, and analysis of elec-tion data, including voting statistics and attitudinal patterns of supporters. Poli-tics of Powerlessness examines na-tionwide support for George C. Wal-lace in the presidential campaigns of 1964, 1968, 1972, and 1976. A number of election and candidate preference surveys are used as sources of data on supporters. An understanding of Wal-lace's appeal is provided through an examination of themes noted through-out his speeches and an analysis of his political history from biographical sources, personal interviews, and newspaper accounts of the time. The picture of Wallace that emerges is one of a man who saw himself as a crusader for his supporters' interests, while de-liberately heightening and intensifying their feelings of powerlessness as a means of getting votes.
Carlson shows that Wallace voters were not marginal. They did not reflect a loss of status, nor were they simply outside the mainstream of political life. They were very much like major party voters, with the exception of their feel-ings of political powerlessness that me about by increased government ..rticipation in state politics. This work informed not only by a careful anal-ysis, but by interviews with Wallace, many of his followers, and people active in his campaigns. The work has the additional advantage of having follow-up analyses and interviews as, late as 1978. In this sense, it represents not only a scholarly analysis of the Wallace phenomenon, but the most up-to-date analysis as well.