Public opinion towards government involvement in the area of welfare and economic security has shifted over time. Public preferences on the government's role in providing jobs and health insurance have moved in a conservative direction for every region of the country. Differential party mobilization of the electorate, or changes in public attitudes towards government and public policies, may potentially explain the variation observed in election outcomes across region and over time. National survey data since 1964, with the exception of the surge in support for the Republican party, suggests dealignment and drift as the major trends in partisanship. The Pacific Coast states, by comparison, first moved towards the Democrats during the 1952-64 period, but since then they have shifted back toward the Republicans. The Democratic and Republican parties have been clearly differentiated on the welfare dimension since the New Deal era.