Oklahoma Voices
10:14 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Changing Demographics May Help Recovery Of Southern Democrats

Three political scientists who study the politics of southern states in the U.S. say shifts in population from rural areas to urban centers could help Democrats win more elections.

Scott Buchanan of the Citadel Symposium on Southern Politics says there is evidence the move is already taking place in Florida and Virginia.

Buchanan also says the coast of South Carolina is seeing an influx of immigration from other states, changing the politics of the area.

The Democrats lost the south, in part, because they failed to develop their party, according to the University of Georgia’s Charles S. Bullock III. He says they took their dominance for granted and did not develop candidates in the face of a rising GOP presence.

Lloyd's new military map of the border & southern states from 1864.
Lloyd's new military map of the border & southern states from 1864.
Credit Author: Hall, Edward S. Publisher: H.H. Lloyd & Co. / Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL

Bullock says the struggle the Republican Party had in competing with the Democratic Party made them stronger.

But he also says the Tea Party had a slow start in southern states because the region was already conservative.

Buchanan says a type of “know nothingism” is a problem for the Tea Party.

For Keith Gaddie at the University of Oklahoma, Republicans will need to pay attention to the increasing diversity of southern states if they want their party to retain control.

The three political scientists were at OU as part of the annual meeting of the Oklahoma Political Science Association.

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