Faculty Publications

Title

The consolidation of the white southern congressional vote

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Political Research Quarterly

Volume

58

Issue

2

First Page

231

Last Page

243

Abstract

This article explores the initial desertion and continued realignment of about one-sixth of the white voters in the South who, until 1994, stood by Democratic congressional candidates even as they voted for Republican presidential nominees. Prior to 1994, a sizable share of the white electorate distinguished between Democratic congressional and presidential candidates; since 1994 that distinction has been swept away. In 1992, a majority of white southern voters was casting their ballot for the Democratic House nominee; by 1994, the situation was reversed and 64 percent cast their ballot for the Republican. Virtually all categories of voters increased their support of Republican congressional candidates in 1994 and the following elections further cement GOP congressional support in the South. Subsequent elections are largely exercises in partisanship, as the congressional votes mirror party preferences. Republicans pull nearly all GOP identifiers, most independents, and a sizeable minority of Democratic identifiers. Democrats running for Congress no longer convince voters that they are different from their party's presidential standard bearers - a group that has consistently been judged unacceptable to overwhelming proportions of the southern white electorate.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2005

DOI of published version

10.1177/106591290505800204

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