Courting Dixie

Forget California or New York -- the South is a prize the Democrats must win to claim the White House

Like Katharina and Petruchio in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, the Democrats and the South have long had trouble deciding whether they would rather fight or make love. Beginning in 1948, Southern voters, traditionally Democratic, became increasingly embittered by the national party's liberal tendencies. As a consequence, while the South remained more or less true to local and congressional Democrats, it began playing the field where presidential candidates were concerned. The Democrats toyed with the idea of a divorce, hoping to capture the White House with just the North and the West. But the landslide defeats of 1984 and 1988...

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