Remember when the only winning Democrats were Southerners? Dixie’s desertion of the Democrats made Republicans the dominant party, and only when Democrats stole back part of the pivotal region could they win. Well, writes Adam Nossiter in the New York Times, the South is pivotal no longer. While running up his big total nationwide, Barack Obama actually lost ground in the white South, most likely because of race.
In the deep South, John McCain ran up numbers approaching 90% of the white vote. But conservative white southerners have rendered themselves irrelevant by breaking overwhelmingly for the candidate the rest of the country voted down. “They have maxed out on the South,” says an Emory political scientist of the GOP.