Obama and the Solid South

Solid South.

Solid South.

Andrew Sullivan made a post comparing states leaning strongly McCain and states that seceded during the Civil War, there’s a lot of overlap between the two.  This comparison was around for the 2004 and 2000 elections as well, with similar results, GOP red states often being the same states that chose slavery over the union in 1861.

With 4-5 days of waffling left, and an increasingly likely Obama presidency, the question becomes why the Southern Strategy that worked for Reagan and Bush began to fall apart for McCain.  One explanation could be some kind of demographic shift over the last 4 years that saw key GOP constituencies becoming relatively smaller, or it could be a simple economic trend – “it’s the economy stupid” seems to be the winning theme of this election.

Or it could be a framing issue, where Obama successfully bucked the ‘egghead-elite-big-government liberal’ tag that made Democrats so unpopular in the South, partially by pinning McCain as a more extreme out-of-touch elitist (with 7 houses and 13 cars), and tying him back to Georgey.  Either way, Obama may not have broken the solid-south, but he did enough of an end-run around it to take another path to the Presidency (we think).

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One response to “Obama and the Solid South

  1. Interesting take on the referenced comparisons between these two, historical elections. How do voter’s frame their opinions for the candidates, besides based on demographic influences?
    It’s great to see bloggers keeping their attention on the important issues, like the economy, as we approach next week’s election. It is, without a doubt, an important and complex issue facing our country right now.

    Here at Public Agenda we’ve put together an informative, non-partisan guide that focuses on the facts and the plethora of perspectives surrounding the economic debate in America. Be sure to check it out at http://publicagenda.org/citizen/electionguides/economy and feel free to contact us with any questions. The federal deficit clock is at $10.3 trillion, and is still ticking – learn more about taxes, spending and the national debt by also visiting http://publicagenda.org/citizen/electionguides/taxesdebt.

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