Weekly Standard writer Jay Cost notices that over the past century or so, the base of the Republican Party has shifted from the North and Midwest to the South and South and Southwest. Do tell.
What’s remarkable about this is that in his analysis, Cost utterly ignores the two main reasons for this. Which are (you guys know this; I’m just explaining it in case any righties drop by):
!. White Flight. During Reconstruction and for decades afterward, the old “party of Lincoln” was pretty much shut out of the South. “Solid South” used to refer to the fact that the southern states were a reliable block of votes for Democrats. Beginning in the early 1950s, however, a new generation of Democrats embraced desegregation, civil rights and equal opportunity for African Americans. The old southern Dixiecrats began to shift out of the party, a trend much accelerated by the Southern Strategy. Southern white supremacists and segregationists stampeded out of the Democratic Party and into the loving arms of Republicans.
2. The party is getting older, and retired voters often move to warmer states.
But neither of these factors is even mentioned by Cost. Here is his explanation for the shift:
The booming postwar economy sent voters South and West, and eventually transformed all of the Sunbelt states into either swing states or safely Republican enclaves (with California having now swung back to the Democrats).
That doesn’t tell us how the North and Midwest became less Republican. Of course, record numbers of African Americans moved North in the mid-20th century, but until the 1960s or so I believe most African Americans voted for Republicans. Party of Lincoln, and all that. But yes, migrations of voters probably were a factor, but IMO not the most significant factor.
Anyway, Colt goes on to speculate that the reason Republican voters are not terribly happy with the field of potential presidential candidates is that the southerners have all dropped out. Yeah, that must be the reason. Can’t think of any other ones. (/sarcasm)
Other Stuff to Read:
World Will End Tomorrow. Party on!
Huntsmania! Doesn’t seem voters are catching it, though; just media.
The Gingrich implosion continues. Newt may be wishing the world will end tomorrow.
Hey, if believers are raptured tomorrow, wouldn’t that sew up the election for President Obama? And maybe we can take back the House!