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The Transformation of the Southern Democratic Party

Authors

  • Merle Black

    Corresponding author
    1. Emory University
      Merle Black is Asa G. Candler Professor of Politics and Government, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, (pblac01@emory.edu).
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Merle Black is Asa G. Candler Professor of Politics and Government, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, (pblac01@emory.edu).

Abstract

The transformation of the Democratic party during the past century is an important institutional change in southern politics. Once the unchallenged majority party of the region, Democrats have declined to the level of a competitive minority party in the South as majorities of white conservatives and many white moderates have abandoned it. Even more consequential changes have occurred in its racial, ethnic, and gender composition. A party originally created by racist southern white men to enhance and maintain their perceived interests has now become the political home of African Americans, liberal and moderate whites, and Hispanics.

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