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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Democrats’ Grip on the South Continues - The Southern white Democrat is at risk of being pushed one step closer to extinction.

From The New York Times:

The Southern white Democrat, long on the endangered list, is at risk of being pushed one step closer to extinction.

From Virginia to Florida and South Carolina to Texas, nearly two dozen Democratic seats are susceptible to a potential Republican surge in Congressional races on Election Day, leaving the party facing a situation where its only safe presence in the South is in urban and predominantly black districts.

The swing has been under way since the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, when President Lyndon B. Johnson predicted that his fellow Democrats would face a backlash of white voters that would cost the party the South. It continued with Ronald Reagan’s election and reached a tipping point in the Republican sweep of 1994, with more than one-third of the victories coming from previously Democratic seats in the South.

For the first time since Reconstruction, Republicans also are well-positioned to control more state legislative chambers and seats than Democrats in the South, which would have far-reaching effects for redistricting.

Should a large number of Democratic candidates lose, it would be a significant step in one of the most fundamental, if slow-moving, political realignments in American politics.

Former President Bill Clinton . . . spent his career navigating between his party’s liberal sensibilities and the far more centrist instincts of Democrats in his home region . . . .

Rick Crawford, a farm broadcaster here in Jonesboro, [Arkansas,] is the Republican candidate seeking to replace Mr. Berry, who was elected to the House in 1996 after working on agriculture policy in the Clinton White House. Mr. Crawford said that a cultural and generational change was under way, with voters willing to give a Republican candidate a chance that years ago they would not have.

“It’s getting easier to run as a Republican here,” Mr. Crawford said in an interview. “We have a lot of folks who have moved into Arkansas who were not necessarily brought up with the idea that they had to vote Democrat because their daddy did it and their granddaddy did it that way.”

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