woodard8 - Chapter 8: The Democratic Response in Statewide...

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Chapter 8: The Democratic Response in Statewide Races I. Political loyalty in the south began to deteriorate in the postwar years and by the 1980s there was two-party politics in virtually all southern states II. Republican message of lower taxes and less government build a strong GOP majority base III. The Republican strength trickled down to state elections but they did not enjoy total control: between 1990 and 2000 Republicans had 60/40 control over Democrats but they did not enjoy the power of the “Solid South” as the Democrats had previously IV. 1970s- only Tennessee and Virginia were two-party competitive at the state level V. Democratic state legislatures redistricted to favor themselves in face of increasing urbanization VI. Republican surge gathered momentum with the 1994 election A. GOP leaders included Newt Gingrich, Phil Gramm and Trent Lott B. Many Southerners decided to start voting republican VII. Democratic strengths in the fight against Republican realignment in the 1990s A. Issue of poor education system i. Democrats wanted to fund schools from lottery revenue- gambling opposed by Religious Right ii. Democratic strategy was to take middle-class white voters away from the Republicans by insisting that free market economics and Religious Right Values were unhelpful to them iii. After 1994 all Democratic governors had education at the center of their platform iv. Some Republicans followed this lead (George W. Bush) B. Rebirth of grassroots allegiance stemming from New Deal C. Black vote is the foundation of Democratic strategy when it comes to statewide elections D. Increase in outside-of-the-south migration into the region VIII. Democrats divided the states into three categories based on state competition (these aren’ A. Reliably Republican i. Republican in state and national races ii. Texas, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi iii. Democrats can win if the Republicans make a mistake or get wrapped up in a scandal a. 1998- SC governor David Beasley (R) advocated removal of Confederate Flag- angered conservatives- Democrat Jim Hodges won B. Two-party competitive i. Ranney index ~.5- no party has an advantage ii. Democratic victory relies on uniting base vote with dissident Republicans and newcomers to form a minimal winning coalition iii. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia C. Traditionally Democratic i. Remain Democratic despite cultural, urban and political change ii. Louisiana, Arkansas IX. Democratic strategy in all southern elections involves:
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A. Collecting rural counties B. Attaching them to the downtown black vote C. Getting the suburban vote D. To remain competitive Democrats must have the same amount of money as the Republican candidates i. A competitive budget and media campaign doesn’t guarantee Democratic victory but not having it guarantees their defeat ii. Only once had a Democrat been able to defeat a better funded Republican (1996 in Georgia) X. National States A. Georgia- Two-party competitive
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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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woodard8 - Chapter 8: The Democratic Response in Statewide...

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