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Samuel DeCanio and Corwin D. Smidt, "Prelude to populism: Mass electoral support for the Grange and Greenback parties," Party Politics, 19 (September 2013), 798-820. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
American third parties are somewhat of an enigma. With the exception of the Republican Party, third parties have simply failed as political organizations (Gillespie, 1993; Rosenstone et al., 1984; Sundquist, 1973). While they have been generally unsuccessful as political organizations, third parties have contributed critical ideas to American politics. As Richard Hofstadter (1955: 97) noted, third parties are like bees, once they have 'stung' the political system by advancing a new policy or idea, they 'die' as their ideas are appropriated by the dominant parties.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Party composition in Indiana (1874).
Table 2. Party composition in Illinois (1876-1877).
Table 3. Economic characteristics by party and occupation (Illinois, 1876-77).
Table 4. Party affiliation in Indiana (1874).
Table 5. Party affiliation in Illinois (1876-77).
Table 6. Influence of independent variables on party affiliation (Indiana 1874).
Table 7. Influence of independent variables on party affiliation (Illinois 1876-77).

Last Paragraph:
This particular issue configuration may have made Democrats sceptical of the Greenbackers' support for paper inflation, yet led affluent voters who had supported the Whigs more likely to endorse the Greenbackers' policy positions. By structuring voters' conceptions of their economic and political interests, these partisan considerations may have directly influenced their political behaviour. If correct, this may indicate that antebellum issue cleavages continued to influence the American party system well after the Civil War. Indeed, this finding may be testament to the enduring influence of partisan considerations long after the original associations between parties and specific issues were formed.

Last updated November 2013