bb7 - Chapter 7: Reagans Realignment of White Southerners...

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Chapter 7: Reagan’s Realignment of White Southerners I. The Great White Switch in presidential voting for southerners appeared immediately after Congress passed and Democratic president Lyndon Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. II. Not until Reagan's presidency did more southern whites begin to think of themselves as Republicans than as Democrats. Ran on strategy of attracting substantial majorities from conservative whites, while implicitly conceding the votes of blacks and liberal whites. Reagan made the Republican party reputable for southern whites. III. Republican approach to "top-down party" building: modeled upon successful presidential elections, realigned white conservatives and neutralized white moderates as a reliable source for Democratic strength. Attracted conservatives to Republican party and convinced other moderate conservatives to think of themselves as independents, rather than Democrats. This caused a partial realignment of the southern white electorate IV.Presidential Republicanism and the Partial Realignment A. Greater white support for GOP presidential candidates commenced in 1964 but the more fundamental GOP advantage in partisan identification emerged 2 decades later B. Reagan persuades many other conservatives to think of themselves as independents rather than as democrats C. By realigning white conservatives and dealigning white moderates Reagan produced a partial realignment of the southern white electorate D. The most important departure from southern democratic solidarity in presidential elections occurred in 1948 after democratic Truman reversed the party’s historical priorities and began to advocate civil rights legislation Nixon positioned himself to southern voters as opposed to segregation but favoring only voluntary integration E. During the first half of the 20th century, most southern whites considered themselves Democrats. The first important departure from southern Democratic solidarity occurred in 1948 after president Truman began to advocate civil rights legislation. Ultraconservative white democrats left the party and formed the States’ Rights party commonly known as Dixiecrats, but could not get enough southern electoral votes to deny the Democrats the White House. This did not produce Republican gains, however, because for southerners concerned with preserving white supremacy, the Republican
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2010 for the course GOV 335N taught by Professor Karch during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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bb7 - Chapter 7: Reagans Realignment of White Southerners...

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