Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Democrat Southern Strategy

Today's Republican primaries in Alabama and Mississippi open the way for a Democratic southern strategy to win the Presidential election this fall. A clear majority of Republicans in the South don't like Mitt Romney. He's getting only about 30% or less of the vote in these two primaries. He got 26% of the vote in the Georgia Republican primary earlier this month. Yet he is best positioned to win the Republican nomination.

Assuming, as do many political mavens, that Romney is the GOP nominee, the Democrats have an opening to skim off critically important electoral votes in the South. Romney, for all his recent rhetoric, is hard to distinguish in terms of policy from Barack Obama. He won't inspire the hard line conservatives that form the core of the Republican South. They, the true believers, might have a hard time remembering polling hours, and many might have to pick up the dry cleaning before they vote. And perhaps tend to 20 or 30 other errands.

Democrats, by contrast, with their large and growing war chest, can win over moderates, blacks and the growing Hispanic population of the South. Obama will lose in most of the former Confederate states. But he has a chance in Virginia, Florida and, who knows, maybe North Carolina or another state that once flew the bonnie blue flag. With the economy improving, Obama could be competitive in the Midwest, especially because Republican governors of Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana have been vitriolically anti-union.

Republicans have become terribly PC, not in a liberal sense but in a rabidly conservative sense. And just as the mindless liberal PC of the Democratic Party of two and three decades ago drove out moderates, the bug-eyed, drool-at-the-corner-of-the-mouth ideologues of the Republican Party are alienating folks that just want a decent living and a good education for their kids. The Democratic Party of FDR dominated the South during the 1930s. Barack Obama is no FDR, but expect him to be making a lot of campaign stops in Dixie.

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