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How Democrats in the South Will Rise Again

By       Message Thom Hartmann     Permalink
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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

From youtube.com/watch?v=WQeJK9KEA1U: Mary Landrieu
Mary Landrieu
(Image by YouTube)
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The "Southern Democrat" is dying, but it's not dead yet.

On Saturday, things got even worse for the Democratic Party.

As many expected, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu lost in a runoff race to Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.

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To make matters worse, it wasn't even close. With almost all votes tallied, as of earlier today, Cassidy was beating Landrieu by 14 percent of the vote.

Landrieu's loss isn't just another defeat for the Democratic Party. It's an historic defeat.

That's because Landrieu's Senate seat hasn't been held by a Republican since 1883, some 132 years ago.

And, Landrieu's loss also signifies the nearly complete swing in party control in the South.

As The New York Times points out, between 1930 and the early 1960s, nearly 100 percent of governors' mansions, senators' seats and state legislatures in the South outside of Florida and Virginia were controlled by Democrats.

However, since then, slowly but surely, Republicans have been picking up state and national seats throughout the South.

Now, the complete takeover of the South by the Republican Party is nearly complete.

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As Nate Cohn writes over at The New York Times, "In a region stretching from the high plains of Texas to the Atlantic coast of the Carolinas, Republicans control not only every Senate seat, but every governor's mansion and every state legislative body."

So, why is this shift happening?

Well, as Cohn writes, "The dramatic decline of the Southern Democrats represents the culmination of a half-century of political realignment along racial and cultural lines ... The shift has contributed to the polarization of national politics by replacing conservative Democrats, who often voted across party lines, with conservative Republicans who do not."

But, despite all of the doom and gloom surrounding Landrieu's loss and the demise of the Democratic Party in the South, all is not lost just yet.

The "Southern Democrat" can rise again.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)

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