November 28, 2010

POLITICO: DEMOCRATIC SOUTH FINALLY FALLS. “For Democrats in the South, the most ominous part of a disastrous year may not have been what happened on Election Day but in the weeks since. After suffering an historic rout — in which nearly every white Deep South Democrat in the U.S. House was defeated and Republicans took over or gained seats in legislatures across the region — the party’s ranks in Dixie have thinned even further. . . . Protected by a potent mix of gerrymandering, pork, seniority and a friends-and-neighbors electorate, Democratic state representatives and senators managed to survive through the South’s GOP evolution—the Reagan years, the Republican landslide of 1994 and George W. Bush’s two terms. Yet scores of them retired or went down in defeat earlier this month. And at least ten more across three states have changed parties since the election, with rumors swirling through state capitols of more to come before legislative sessions commence in January. . . . Democrats lost both chambers of the legislature this year in North Carolina and Alabama, meaning that they now control both houses of the capitol in just two Southern states, Arkansas and Mississippi, the latter of which could flip to the GOP in next year’s election.”

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