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bb8 - Chapter 8 A New Party System in the South I Relying...

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Chapter 8: A New Party System in the South I. Relying exclusively on party identification exaggerates Democratic strength and underestimates Republican strength. By using ideology (conservative, moderate, liberal) as well, we see that conservative independents are a reliable GOP pillar, while conservative Democrats are swing voters. II. Race, religion, gender, and economic class profoundly shape and channel partisan divisions in the modern South. III. Core Voting Groups in the Southern Electorate A. Among whites core Republicans include all Republicans plus conservative independents, core Democrats consist of liberal and moderate Democrats, and the swing vote is made up of conservative Democrats and moderate plus liberal independents. B. Between 1968 and ’96 core Republicans expanded from 31 to 53 percent of the southern white electorate; core Democrats have declined to 27 percent of the southern white voters. C. Also from ’68 to ’96 the white swing vote fell from 33 percent to 20 percent, and conservative Democrats in the white southern electorate collapsed from 23 percent to 6. D. According to the ’96 exit poll, 44 percent of southern voters were core Republicans, 38 percent were core Democrats, and the rest of the electorate – 18 percent – were swing. E. So…winning seriously contested statewide elections requires unifying core partisans while attracting swing voters. IV.The Racial Chasm Trumps the Class Gap A. Without question the racial divide remains the most important partisan cleavage in the South. Blacks are by far the most united of the three
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