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Blue_Tires

(55,445 posts)
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:30 PM Dec 2014

Can Democrats Win In the South by Being More Liberal?

It isn't accurate to call Mary Landrieu "the last Southern Democrat," as one headline after another put it in the days leading up to and following her defeat in Saturday’s runoff election in Louisiana. While it's true that Republicans now control almost all the Senate seats, governorships, and legislatures of the 11 states of the old confederacy (the exceptions are found in Virginia and Florida), there are quite a few Democratic elected officials left in the South—but few of them were elected statewide, and a large proportion of them are black.

For years, Democrats have tried to hold on in the South by appealing to the white voters who have steadily drifted away from them. That strategy has failed. Their future in the South—and they can have one—would start with black and Latino voters and work outward from there. It would be almost the exact opposite of how Democrats have been running statewide in recent years.

No one expected Landrieu to hold on for a third term in the Senate, notwithstanding her decades in office or her family's famous New Orleans name (her father is a former mayor; her brother is mayor now). Louisiana is a deeply Republican state, one that has only grown more Republican in recent years. Or it's more accurate to say that, just as in other states in the region, white Louisianans have grown more Republican. This may be the most telling piece of data about Landrieu's decline, from Politico: "During the open primary election last month, Landrieu won just 18 percent of the white vote, according to exit polls, compared to 33 percent six years ago."

Eighteen percent may be abysmal, but Barack Obama did even worse among Louisiana's whites. While there were no exit polls there in 2012, in 2008, he got only 14 percent of the white vote. Only in Alabama and Mississippi were his losses among whites more complete; he got 10 percent in the former and 11 percent in the latter.

Democratic chances are a function of two variables: the proportion of non-white voters, and the particular kind of white voters, in each state.

So is the South now lost for Democrats? The problem with that question is that it lumps together states that are very different. Some states may indeed be lost, at least in the near future. But others are not. Democratic chances are a function of two variables: the proportion of non-white voters, and the particular kind of white voters, in each state.

http://prospect.org/article/can-democrats-win-south-being-more-liberal

He may be right and he may be wrong; but at least someone is trying to look at the issue with a more nuanced, analytical viewpoint than "The south is just a bunch of bass-ackwards Cracker Barrel, rebel flag flying, gun-fondling loons"

18 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Can Democrats Win In the South by Being More Liberal? (Original Post) Blue_Tires Dec 2014 OP
The best Defense is a good Offense HockeyMom Dec 2014 #1
Not sure it's going to work The repubs got where they are today in the South because they CTyankee Dec 2014 #6
Good offense Ink Man Dec 2014 #12
If the final score is 0 to 0, nobody wins aspirant Dec 2014 #15
It's a damn cinch they aren't gonna win it by becoming more conservative. Jackpine Radical Dec 2014 #2
They have to appeal to their black and Hispanic bases in the cities, MoonRiver Dec 2014 #3
That is a good question. I don't think so because all the preachers, leaders and such are lined up jwirr Dec 2014 #4
I don't know if they can ever win, but if they do, it will not be by Erich Bloodaxe BSN Dec 2014 #5
Maybe MFrohike Dec 2014 #7
According to our "grown ups" the slaughter of rightwing Democrats is proof we need to go Warren Stupidity Dec 2014 #8
Landrieu strategy sure as hell didn't work. She admitted she didn't vote for Obama B Calm Dec 2014 #9
maybe if more Hispanics start to move in and there is a change in demographics JI7 Dec 2014 #10
we need Democrats who aren't afraid of being Democrats. Terra Alta Dec 2014 #11
Well, they can't win by being afraid to try being "liberal" tularetom Dec 2014 #13
Yes! But they have to work hard to sway people with ideas over long term on point Dec 2014 #14
Being more conservative has definitely been a long term losing strategy Generic Brad Dec 2014 #16
Well there is one way to find out. hrmjustin Dec 2014 #17
I dunno do liberal republicans still exist? That was a long long time ago. Rex Dec 2014 #18
 

HockeyMom

(14,337 posts)
1. The best Defense is a good Offense
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:34 PM
Dec 2014

That was the motto of all the sports teams my daughters played on growing up. It probably applies to politics too. Make no apologies, and state what has been done and WILL be done.

CTyankee

(64,002 posts)
6. Not sure it's going to work The repubs got where they are today in the South because they
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:46 PM
Dec 2014

catered to Southern sensibilities . We've tried. We've failed. What to do?

 

Ink Man

(171 posts)
12. Good offense
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 09:01 PM
Dec 2014

sells tickets. Good defense wins games. IMO. hollywood/east coast social issues will not win in the south. Hillary is already moving to the right and leaving the left seat wide open.

aspirant

(3,533 posts)
15. If the final score is 0 to 0, nobody wins
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 09:16 PM
Dec 2014

You must have an offense to score at least 1 point to win. A thankful IMO back.

MoonRiver

(36,926 posts)
3. They have to appeal to their black and Hispanic bases in the cities,
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:42 PM
Dec 2014

plus the few liberals in each state.

jwirr

(39,215 posts)
4. That is a good question. I don't think so because all the preachers, leaders and such are lined up
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:43 PM
Dec 2014

to finance and tell their followers what to do. Koch Brothers and the like have a real hold on the South and the money to back them up. I would hope that someday that can be changed.

Erich Bloodaxe BSN

(14,733 posts)
5. I don't know if they can ever win, but if they do, it will not be by
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:43 PM
Dec 2014

pretending to be what they're not. We have to run honest candidates, who stand up for what they believe in, and don't try and 'run from' being Democrats.

MFrohike

(1,980 posts)
7. Maybe
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:50 PM
Dec 2014

Of course, it depends on what liberal means. That's a pretty amorphous label. All I do know that it Democrats are quite unlikely to win in red and purple states by moving to the right. If it was likely, the Blue Dogs would not be extinct (or nearly so).

 

B Calm

(28,762 posts)
9. Landrieu strategy sure as hell didn't work. She admitted she didn't vote for Obama
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:53 PM
Dec 2014

and you see what that got her!

JI7

(89,370 posts)
10. maybe if more Hispanics start to move in and there is a change in demographics
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:53 PM
Dec 2014

same way Democrats have been able to win Virginia in some recent elections.

Terra Alta

(5,158 posts)
11. we need Democrats who aren't afraid of being Democrats.
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 08:57 PM
Dec 2014

The last thing we need to do is move farther to the right. We need liberal Democrats who aren't afraid to stick with Democratic policies and stick by a Democratic President.

tularetom

(23,664 posts)
13. Well, they can't win by being afraid to try being "liberal"
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 09:11 PM
Dec 2014

But I have a feeling that one of our more prominent Democratic hopefuls is going to run for president by trying to appear to voters in jesusland to be less liberal.

I have hopes that this particular Dem fails to survive the primary (or just makes a graceful exit from the race) because that particular strategy is doomed to fail, just like it did for Landrieu. And Grimes. And Pryor.

Generic Brad

(14,284 posts)
16. Being more conservative has definitely been a long term losing strategy
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 10:13 PM
Dec 2014

Continuing to take the same approach pretty much guarantees more losses for the exact same reasons. It seems strange to me that a different approach is not pursued. After all, what's the worst that could happen? Losing by 5 points or 30 points remains a loss. There is no point spread here. Take a chance on going full on liberal in a few races and see what happens.

 

Rex

(65,616 posts)
18. I dunno do liberal republicans still exist? That was a long long time ago.
Mon Dec 8, 2014, 10:24 PM
Dec 2014

Up until the other day, I thought we were rid of all the Dixiecrats in the party. Now I'm not so sure. Up until 2008 I thought race relations were getting better in this country. Somewhere around Clinton getting impeached, I wondered what the fuck has happened to my countries governing body of people? Have they collectively all lost their minds?





The question you have to find out is true or false, do liberal republicans still exist and are the living in the south?

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