Republicans have been a minority party for all but twelve of the years since the Second World War, as voters have preferred Democratic promoters of the welfare state over Republican proponents of fiscal restraint. But the same electorate has reversed itself when it came to protecting the American homeland. They have regularly crossed party lines to support Republicans in every presidential election where national security was an issue.
Thus while voters made Democrats the majority party in the people's House for 38 of the 42 years of America's Cold War with the Soviet Union, in the majority of those years (28 of 42), they elected a Republican to be their commander-in-chief. Moreover, three of the four Democrats who did make it to the White House – Truman, Kennedy and Johnson – were militant anti-Communists and military hawks, holding views indistinguishable from Republicans on national security. The fourth, Jimmy Carter, was a former naval officer and beneficiary of the Watergate scandal. He was also a foreign policy disaster, who served only one term before being defeated by Ronald Reagan. In the entire post-war period from 1945 to the present, the only Republican presidential victory in which national security was not a major issue was the 2000 election of George W. Bush, and in that election Bush lost the popular vote.