In his landmark 1955 article “A Theory of Critical Elections”, V.O. Key posited that certain U.S. elections result in dramatic reconfigurations of political parties, or realignments. During these elections – which are typically preceded by intense periods of political and societal discord – Republican and Democratic platforms shift dramatically and there is a realignment of voting blocs. Elections generally accepted as realignments are 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932 and 1968. Given that the 1968 realignment is commonly viewed as the last widely-accepted realignment and foundational to contemporary politics, understanding the events surrounding it is important if we are to gain a better sense of our current division.