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The 2008 presidential election in California resulted in a landslide of historic proportions. Barack Obama’s victory, fueled as it was by 2.1 million firsttime voters, seemingly portends a realignment in California. At the same time, outside the presidential election, the results in 2008 were well within the norms of California politics. Utilizing an original dataset, we unravel this conundrum by examining whether these “surge voters” were substantially different from habitual voters, whether they have stayed engaged in electoral politics, and what might that tell us about the future partisan and political alignment in California?


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This article was published by De Gruyter in California Journal of Politics and Policy

DOI: 10.1515/cjpp-2012-0006