Harold Meyerson is a very accurate prophet. Everything that he wrote on October 24 has been fulfilled by destiny on November 4. Elizabeth Dole finally lost her seat in the Senate. And Obama took Virginia and North Carolina.
The American Prospect
October 24, 2008
Is the Southern Strategy Dead?
Vicente DuqueElizabeth Dole is fighting hard for her Senate seat, Democrats have significantly outpaced Republicans in new voter registrations, and unions have put organizing muscle in North Carolina for the first time.......................In less than two weeks, we may well see the election in which the Southern Strategy -- the strategic doctrine that has underpinned the rise of the Republican Party over the past four decades -- dies an inglorious death. Since 1968, Republicans have exploited the racial and cultural resentments of Southern whites brilliantly. Their control of the White House for 24 of the last 40 years, and of Congress from 1994 through 2006, was rooted in the overwhelming support they won from Southern whites...............The strategy was premised on the South's distinct identity -- that it was home to a more rural, less educated, more militaristic, more churchgoing, less tolerant, more racist white population than the nation's other regions. It has worked like a charm in areas where Southern backwardness has been immutable. The problem for the GOP is that modernity, in the form of internal development, greater racial diversity, and migration from -- oh, the horror -- the North, has finally begun to alter the political identity of key Southern states..............Clearly, that's what has happened to Virginia, in which the southward creep of an increasingly cosmopolitan Washington, D.C. into the Virginia burbs (both sub- and ex-) has altered the state's racial and cultural make-up. Since 2000, Republicans have fared well in what Sarah Palin termed the "real Virginia," only to see their numbers dwarfed by the successively bigger margins racked up by such Democrats as Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, and Jim Webb in the northern part of the state...............The thought of Virginia, which has not gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1964, casting its electoral votes for Barack Obama is mind-boggling enough. But North Carolina? Could a black presidential candidate carry a southern state that hasn't had a northern metropolis disrupt its demographics? Could a relatively unknown Democratic senate candidate unseat a nationally known Republican incumbent?...............