RIP: Southern strategy | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

RIP: Southern strategy

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 6:46 AM

Given the underlying message, I'd be thrilled if the New York Times is right about the diminishment of the old Southern bloc vote.

The region’s absence from Mr. Obama’s winning formula means it “is becoming distinctly less important,” said Wayne Parent, a political scientist at Louisiana State University. “The South has moved from being the center of the political universe to being an outside player in presidential politics.”

One reason for that is that the South is no longer a solid voting bloc. Along the Atlantic Coast, parts of the “suburban South,” notably Virginia and North Carolina, made history last week in breaking from their Confederate past and supporting Mr. Obama. Those states have experienced an influx of better educated and more prosperous voters in recent years, pointing them in a different political direction than states farther west, like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, and Appalachian sections of Kentucky and Tennessee.

The uncharitable might interpret this to say the dumb and poor are left on the fringe. But the rejoinder would be that the dumb and poor in at least one obvious case seem to prefer Democrats in state offices. We wouldn't want to say that, would we?

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