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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2005, 03:02:48 pm »

Yes.  Before 1968 you could be a socially conservative Democrat (Strom Thrumond) and a socially liberal Republican (Eisenhower).  To some extent you could be either between 1968 and 1980.  But after Reagan took office the social lines were set in stone.  That's what's so significant about 1968.

Agreed and fits neatly into the earthquake metaphor. Thinking about that if 1968 was the most recent Big One, which elections where smaller tremors?
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« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2005, 03:06:45 pm »

Uh, the parties don't have to get more polarized to have a realignment. The most recent big one was 2000 (much bigger than 1968, anyway).
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2005, 03:57:57 pm »

Uh, the parties don't have to get more polarized to have a realignment.

I didn't say they did

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You like being contrary don't you?
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A18
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« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2005, 04:02:53 pm »

Uh, I don't even agree that 1968 was one. Perhaps 1964.

The election of 2000 was a drastic change, in which cities started going >90% Democrat, and rural areas barely managed to outvote them.
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Beef
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« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2005, 04:03:53 pm »


Agreed and fits neatly into the earthquake metaphor. Thinking about that if 1968 was the most recent Big One, which elections where smaller tremors?

2000 is highly significant.  I think, though, that what sets 2000 apart is that it wasn't a realignment of parties, it was a realignment of voters.  There were no significant platform changes between 1984 and 2000.  If anything, the parties were converging, and Bush and Gore were nearly identical on most issues. 

But during the 1990s some very significant movement happened at the grassroots level.  Gay rights, more sexual openness in the media, lowering of standards, combined with enormous growth of conservative Christianity (often at the expense of liberal Christianity), the Culture Wars and all that.  I don't think the GOP really is responsible for this shift, or even was active in it.  It happened at the grassroots and kind of fell into the GOP's lap.

So 1968 and 2000 are very different.  If 68 was a "Big One," 2000 isn't a "small tremor."  It's more like a "volcanic eruption."
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2005, 04:20:06 pm »


Yes and No

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What makes it especially interesting is that it hasn't *really* spread down the ballot at all... the difference between Presidential and State voting patterns in 2004 was striking (where's that map thing I made... find it in a minute...). Especially as we're in an age of 24 hour news and very national campaigns (sort of) and all that. Differences as large as that shouldn't be happening nowadays.

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Perhaps that was one reason for it? 

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Yep, very true. And at the same time the Democrats failed to take advantage of potential new support for government intervention over poverty etc (abroad and/or at home). From the *same* voters often. Some very interesting stuff in some surveys actually.

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I'm not sure what it is. Some of it makes me think of a very large aftershock (especially the culture wars element) but the fact that that didn't happen sooner is odd.
I have half an idea of what might be going on... I'll post more on it when I find out more and think a bit more...
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2005, 04:27:53 pm »

Here we are:



Almost like there's two (maybe three) sets of parties really. Something odd is happening.
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jfern
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« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2005, 04:29:45 pm »

Here we are:



Almost like there's two (maybe three) sets of parties really. Something odd is happening.

Ever heard of gerrymandering? That's why the NYS Senate and House look so different.
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RJ
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« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2005, 04:32:42 pm »

Every election to some point is a realigning election. Certainly 1976 doesn't quite fit the mold as far as how elections have gone since 1968. The entire south broke Carter's way(except VA) which is what won him the election. The midwest was split about 50-50, the Northeast went to Carter by a wide margin and every other major area went to Ford. We haven't seen anything like that since. That's just 1 example. Clinton's victories didn't shape up quite the way traditional successful Democrats had, either. It's a little hard to tell what election trends have developed from Nixon's reelection or Reagan's two landslides, but lessons exist from them. Today, we can supposedly draw a red or blue circle around 35-40 states that will go into each party's column while the other 10-15 are contested, but who knows. Suppose the candidates are Bayh-Romney. How many southern states would Romney win? Would Bayh sweep the northeast? If they were Clinton-Owens or Warner-Jeb Bush, how would the map look different from today? What "solid" states would flip?

I do, however, consider the 1968 and 1932 elections to be realigning, but for a reason people don't generally consider. Both times, the winning party was really down on its luck heading into it and managed to turn things around dramatically. They used issues detramental at that point in time to sell their agenda and even changed it to meet the current circumstances. The net result of each of these two is that one party really established a dominance over the other. Think about it: the GOP couldn't run a hard right winger and get away with it between 1932-68. In an election between two moderate appearing candidates, the Democrats seemed to have the upper hand for the most part. The house and senate were heavily in favor of the Dems. Since 68', it's been the opposite. No Northeastern liberals have managed a win since then, the home of the party's left wing. The Senate has spent the majority of the time with the Republicans. Congress was finally wrestled away from the Democrats in 1994 and probably won't go anywhere soon. The list goes on. I'd concede that the urban rural split may have happened before 1932 or the Democrats lost control of the South before 1968, but these two elections really shaped the way political makeup is today IMO.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2005, 04:36:09 pm »

Jfern: New York isn't what's interesting. Have a look at all the blue collar small town areas. Such a sharp difference really isn't normal. Something is up.
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muon2
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« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2005, 06:49:50 am »

Beef makes some good points about 2000 as different from 1968.

As a student during the 1968 election and run up to 1972, I can say that the pundits at the time did not consider 1968 realigning. Because Carter restored much of the traditional Dem areas in 1976, there was still no declaration of a realignment until well after Reagan was elected. At the time, 1980 seemed to be the critical election. It was really during the Clinton era that the importance of 1968 as a realignment began to be discussed.

By the same token, 2000 may be difficult to measure as a realignment so soon after the fact. Realignments like 1860 or 1932 that are immediately obvious are balanced by 1896 and 1968 that were clearer in hindsight. The generational pattern of 28-36 years for a realignment plus the polarization of the electorate makes 2000 a good candidate for a realignment. The next two presidential elections will help tell if 2000 fits the model.
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A18
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« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2005, 11:47:35 am »

I still don't consider 1968 a realigning election.
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WMS
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« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2005, 03:51:46 pm »

Jfern: New York isn't what's interesting. Have a look at all the blue collar small town areas. Such a sharp difference really isn't normal. Something is up.

Maybe the two parties are de facto devolving into the 4+ parties they've really always been? I notice there are Democrats in western Kansas, for one thing...
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dazzleman
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« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2005, 08:39:24 pm »

the Northeast went to Carter by a wide margin

Is that really true?  Ford won New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, while Carter won New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It seems as if Ford and Carter more or less split the northeast.  It was not the way it is today.
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RJ
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« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2005, 10:57:20 pm »

the Northeast went to Carter by a wide margin

Is that really true?  Ford won New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, while Carter won New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It seems as if Ford and Carter more or less split the northeast.  It was not the way it is today.

I guess that would depend on whether or not you consider Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Delaware northeastern states. If you do, Carter took them by a count of 99EV's to just 36 for Ford. If you don't, it's 59-36. Others consider Maryland as a Southern state and Pennsylvania as a Midwestern/Mid Atlantic/whatever; I think voting patterns in these states are more similar to the Northeast than anywhere else.
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dazzleman
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« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2005, 11:03:34 pm »

the Northeast went to Carter by a wide margin

Is that really true?  Ford won New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, while Carter won New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It seems as if Ford and Carter more or less split the northeast.  It was not the way it is today.


I guess that would depend on whether or not you consider Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Delaware northeastern states. If you do, Carter took them by a count of 99EV's to just 36 for Ford. If you don't, it's 59-36. Others consider Maryland as a Southern state and Pennsylvania as a Midwestern/Mid Atlantic/whatever; I think voting patterns in these states are more similar to the Northeast than anywhere else.

I guess I had a more limited view of what constituted the northeast.  But you're right that Carter carried Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.  At this point, I consider them northeastern states, but as you go further back in time, Maryland and Delaware become more like southern states.  I was thinking of them as southern states in 1976, and I was thinking of Pennsylvania as more of a mid-western state like Ohio.
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MaC
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« Reply #41 on: August 19, 2005, 11:08:52 pm »

I consider the 1980 a re-alignment.  Granted Reagan won almost every state, but it stays consistant that the states that he won the least amount of vote (yet still won) are the ones that Gore and Kerry won more recently.  And same applies to what George W Bush has (the Reagan states with most support).  

1964-a realignment that turned around the south.

1932-Democrats became the mainsteam.  The states that voted Republican in the Roosevelt elections were more New England states.  Up until this point the south voted Democratic and never got much of anywhere.  Most elections were the south (with the west) v. the rest of the states.  After this, New England voted the polar opposite of the south (barring landslides) and it still happens today.
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Virginian87
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« Reply #42 on: August 19, 2005, 11:10:19 pm »

I still don't consider 1968 a realigning election.

We know.  Why don't you consider it a realigning election?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2005, 02:25:59 am »

Why don't you consider it a realigning election?

Because he's contrary
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dazzleman
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« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2005, 05:35:30 am »
« Edited: August 20, 2005, 03:38:47 pm by dazzleman »

I consider the 1980 a re-alignment.  Granted Reagan won almost every state, but it stays consistant that the states that he won the least amount of vote (yet still won) are the ones that Gore and Kerry won more recently.  And same applies to what George W Bush has (the Reagan states with most support).  


That's not entirely true.  Reagan barely squeaked by in a lot of southern states that Bush carried with large majorities, states like South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, etc.  In fact, 1980 was the last election in which the Democrats had a larger percentage of the vote in the south than in the nation as a whole.

Still, I agree that it was a realigning election.  Many of the southern states that Reagan won by the barest of margins have been voting Republican ever since, with increasing Republican majorities.

I have said that I thought 1992 was a realigning election, in that the Democrats picked up a lot of states that they hadn't been able to win for a long time, and have held onto them.  But on second thought, I consider 2000 to be the real realigning election.  It is in the 2000 election that the whole blue state-red state split became most apparent.  In both 1992 and 1996, the loss of Republican support in areas that they had long carried could be blamed on weak candidates, economic circumstances, etc., in other words, temporary factors, and not a real realignment.  But in 2000, it became apparent that certain states had strongly shifted to the Democrats, and would vote Democratic regardless of circumstances.

Tragically, this includes my current home state of Connecticut.  After being at worst a swing state, and leaning Republican in quite a few elections, Connecticut was a solid Democratic state by 2000.   New York went from being a left-leaning swing state to a strongly Democratic state, as the city became more strongly Democratic than ever, and the previously Republican suburbs switched to Democratic.  In 1988, Dukakis carried New York, with about 51% of the vote.  This was the old pattern in New York; it was under normal circumstances carried by the Democrats with a small margin, and was competitive under certain circumstances.  But by 2000, the Democrats were getting 60% of the vote.  By the same token, southern states shifted sharply to the Republicans.

I think this realignment tentatively began in 1992, as the end of the cold war lessened the perceived for many to vote Republican because they didn't trust the Democrats on national defense.  It accelerated during the Clinton years as certain issues that got the Republicans votes faded away, such as resentment of welfare and rampant crime.  I also think that the Lewinsky matter helped solidify this realignment, as it laid bare the huge differences in attitude toward religion and morality in different sections of the country.  I think the Clinton era emboldened aggressively anti-morality and anti-Christian liberals, and in certain states, discussion of right, wrong or character became taboo.  Liberals had been on the defensive for some time, and the Clinton era put them back on the offensive, in a nasty and hateful way.  This is one of the worst consequences of the Clinton presidency in my opinion, and has led to the divisive realignment of the 2000 election, with the 2004 election being basically a re-run of 2000.

Time will tell whether the current state of political affairs continues.  I hope it does not, because the number of states which are competitive in presidential elections is ridiculously low at this point.
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jokerman
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« Reply #45 on: August 20, 2005, 02:47:37 pm »

I consider the 1980 a re-alignment.  Granted Reagan won almost every state, but it stays consistant that the states that he won the least amount of vote (yet still won) are the ones that Gore and Kerry won more recently.  And same applies to what George W Bush has (the Reagan states with most support).  


That's not entirely true.  Reagan barely squeaked by in a lot of southern states that Bush carried with large majorities, states like South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, etc.  In fact, 1980 was the last election in which the Democrats had a larger percentage of the vote in the south than in the nation as a whole.

Still, I agree that it was a realigning election.  Many of the southern states that Reagan won by the barest of margins have been voting Republican ever since, with increasing Republican majorities.

I have said that I thought 1992 was a realigning election, in that the Democrats picked up a lot of states that they hadn't been able to win for a long time, and have held onto them.  But on second thought, I consider 2000 to be the real realigning election.  It is in the 2000 election that the whole blue state-red state split became most apparent.  In both 1992 and 1996, the loss of Republican support in areas that they had long carried could be blamed on weak candidates, economic circumstances, etc., in other words, temporary factors, and not a real realignment.  But in 2000, it became apparent that certain states had strongly shifted to the Democrats, and would vote Democratic regardless of circumstances.

Tragically, this includes my current home state of Connecticut.  After being at worse a swing state, and leaning Republican in quite a few electons, Connecticut was a solid Democratic state by 2000.   New York went from being a left-leaning swing state to a strongly Democratic state, as the city became more strongly Democratic than ever, and the previously Republican suburbs switched to Democratic.  In 1988, Dukakis carried New York, with about 51% of the vote.  This was the old pattern in New York; it was under normal circumstances carried by the Democrats with a small margin, and was competitive under certain circumstances.  But by 2000, the Democrats were getting 60% of the vote.  By the same token, southern states shifted sharply to the Republicans.

I think this realignment tentatively began in 1992, as the end of the cold war lessened the perceived for many to vote Republican because they didn't trust the Democrats on national defense.  It accelerated during the Clinton years as certain issues that got the Republicans votes faded away, such as resentment of welfare and rampant crime.  I also think that the Lewinsky matter helped solidify this realignment, as it laid bare the huge differences in attitude toward religion and morality in different sections of the country.  I think the Clinton era emboldened aggressively anti-morality and anti-Christian liberals, and in certain states, and discussion of right, wrong or character became taboo.  Liberals had been on the defensive for some time, and the Clinton era put them back on the offensive, in a nasty and hateful way.  This is one of the worst consequences of the Clinton presidency in my opinion, and has led to the divisive realignment of the 2000 election, with the 2004 election being basically a re-run of 2000.

Time will tell whether the current state of political affairs continues.  I hope it does not, because the number of states which are competitive in presidential elections is ridiculously low at this point.
Did my work for me, Dazzleman, Smiley

Yes, you are indeed correct.  Let me remind the forum of the county map in 1980:



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dazzleman
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« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2005, 03:48:49 pm »

thanks Preston
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MaC
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« Reply #47 on: August 20, 2005, 10:43:08 pm »

Dazzleman, I have to say with 1992, it is also a re-alignment that complemented 1980 to make 2000 competitive.  Reagan and Clinton will be remembered as the Republican and Democratic claims to fame of this era.  The 1980 laid framework and the 1992 filled in the blanks to give us a compelation of the 2000/2004 maps.  I do have to say however (and re-assert my point) that 1964 was a realignment for the south.  Barry Goldwater only won six states, but those who did vote for him, generally went landslide for him.  Without Goldwater, Reagan might not have won those southern states.
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« Reply #48 on: November 26, 2006, 02:52:46 pm »

1800 could be considered the first realigning election, as Jefferson broke the Federalist control on the Northeast by winning New York.  This set the Federalist into a decline from which they never recovered, and pushed the country towards the Era of Good Feelings.

1828 was the next realigning election.  Jackson's election to the presidency could be considered the first time a candidate was elected with support of the common people versus a candidate (Adams) who was supported by the rich and powerful.  In short, it was the first election along social lines and split the Northeast from the West and South.

1860 was a major realigning election, as for the first time the country was truly split in half along party lines.  The Deep South states voted for the Southern Democrat while the North voted for the candidate of the new Republican Party.  It also saw the end of the Whig Party and the Whigs' move to the Republicans.

1896 was a realigning election in that it pitted the farmers and populists against the big-business interests from the East.  Although the Republicans maintained control, they would continue to develop their stance as the party of business, and they would remain in power until the early 1930s.

1932 -Although PBrunsel marks 1928 as the realigning election, the fact is that after 1928 Republicans remained in control to some degree.  The 1932 election saw the formation of the New Deal coalition of Catholics, Southerners, Westerners, minorities, and labor unions.  This coalition would be the core of the Democratic Party until it began to unravel in the early '80s.

1968 I consider this to be also a realigning election because Nixon formally adopted the Southern Strategy for Republican presidential candidates and solidified those states that Goldwater won in '64 into the Republican column.  The South began its swing from Democratic stronghold to Sunbelt Republican territory, not fully transforming at the state level until 26 years later.


Republicans may argue that 1980 and 1994 midterms were also realigning elections, but I think they are just repercussions of the 1968 election.  1994 and 2002 might also have been signs that the Republican domination of politics is at its peak (like the Democrats in 1964 election and the 1974 midterms).  I expect that the next realigning election will occur in the next sixteen years or so, depending on what happens with Iraq and terrorism and also if the Dems can shift their strategy on social issues.

I agree with all of those.  1968 is probably the biggest realigning election in recent times.

Between 1968 and today there has been a gradual realignment of the Mississippi/Missouri Valley to the Republicans and the coastal suburbs to the Democrats.  SD, IA, WI, MN, MO, and AR and TN, especially the rural parts of those states, have shifted right.  NJ, CT, NH, DE, and CA, as well as suburban parts of NY, MI, and IL (the "third coast") have shifted left.

This is a consequence of Dem/Rep dichotomy shifting almost completely from an economic split to a social split.  This is the "realignment" of the last 30 years.  Therefore 2000 could be seen as a realigning election, as it solidified the Republican hold of the heartland, and the Democrat hold of the coasts.


I disagree -the 2000 election simply reflected the changes that had begun to occur thirty-two years earlier, as with 1980, 1994, 2002, and 2004. 

We have not seen a realigning election since 1968, as of yet, though it could be argued that what we witnessed this year with the return of working-class Reagan Democrats (or at least their progeny) back to the Democratic fold could portend a realignment either in 2008 or sometime within the next decade. 
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Gustaf
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« Reply #49 on: December 01, 2006, 11:14:42 am »

Some ideas here are absurd...1980 was hardly indicative of anything. It was just a result of running a popular Republican against an impopular Democrat in the environment that had existed since the 60s. The real realignements are 1968, when the South shifted away from the Democrats in a more definite manner and 1992, when Clinton realigned suburban social liberals, bringing states like California and New Jersey into the Democratic camp.

And counting the Northeast in a more traditional, reasonable manner, Ford did quite well there, winning 5 out of 8 states. Back in the 70s the country was dealigned, so that between 1964 and 1976 all states except Arizona voted Democrat at least once and all states except Massachusetts voted Republican at least once. In the Ford Carter election small regional shifts could have made the electoral map look very different than it actually did.
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