Dems Fight to Retake the South

Party is running the most competitive Dixie campaign in 40 years
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2008 10:21 AM CDT
Barack Obama and Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., left, wave during a rally at Nissan Pavilion, Thursday, June 5, 2008 in Bristow, Va.    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Democrats are mounting a full-scale assault on Southern congressional seats, the Wall Street Journal reports. By fielding socially moderate candidates, Democrats look like they might do the unthinkable: reverse the “Great Reversal,” the civil rights-era shift of the South from a Democratic stronghold to a Republican one. And a poll this month shows the South preferring a Democratic Congress 44%-40%.

Leading the way are candidates like Bobby Bright, a self-professed “Southern conservative” who looks like he could win in a deep-red southern Alabama district. Bright and his wave of Democrats hope to win on economic issues, which have mushroomed in importance. “Party means less today than it has in my lifetime in Alabama,” said one of Bright’s would-be challengers. “I tell you this: Bobby Bright is going to be the man to beat.”