A reinstating election is one in which majority voters who crossed party lines in a previous election return to the party fold and vote the majority party candidate back into office. In other words, the majority party candidate is "reinstated."
Realignment Theory generates four categories of elections, grouping reinstating elections with maintaining elections, deviating elections and realigning elections. Deviating elections are when majority party voters cross party lines due to the influence of short-term variables. Maintaining elections are when majority voters are not pressured by short-term variables, and the majority party maintains control. There are seven conditions concerning realigning elections. An example is the 1932 election of Franklin Roosevelt after the onset of The Great Depression, in which there was a larger turnout of voters, and the Democratic party not only won the presidency but both houses of Congress.