The Southern Strategy Revisited: Republican Top-Down Advancement in the South

By Joseph A. Aistrup | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 1
Seeds of Change

FOR THIRTY YEARS, THE REPUBLICANS' SOUTHERN STRATEGY HAS BUILT winning coalitions for presidential elections in the South. For Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, this strategy was simply "to go hunting where the ducks are" ( Bass and De Vries 1976, 26). The ducks to which Goldwater referred were strongly ideological, racially motivated, white conservatives. In short, the Goldwater Southern Strategy was merely an attempt to attract states' rights voters to the Republican party ( Bass and De Vries 1976, 27-28).

In the Nixon years, the Southern Strategy evolved, melding economic conservatives with states' rights advocates. In large part, the Southern Strategy was packaged and sold as a hands-off approach to governing the nation and, more specifically, the South ( Lamis 1988, 26). The 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, Senator George McGovern (S.D.), cynically described it: "What is the Southern Strategy? It is this. It says to the South: Let the poor stay poor, let your economy trail the nation, forget about decent homes and medical care for all your people, choose officials who will oppose every effort to benefit the many at the expense of the few--and in return, we will try to overlook the rights of the black man, appoint a few southerners to high office, and lift your spirits by attacking the 'eastern establishment' whose bank accounts we are filling [up] with your labor and your industry. It is a clever strategy" ( Bass and De Vries 1976, 31).

In the Reagan years the Southern Strategy continued its evolution, reaching new heights. In 1980 and 1984, Reagan forged a Southern coalition that reflected elements from the old-time gospel hour, economic conservatism, and states' rights ( Black and Black 1987, 240-49, 315). Reagan's coalition was impressive, because he was the first Republican presidential candidate to bring together these diverse groups of white voters in successive elections ( Edsall and Edsall 1992). Reagan's efforts

-5-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Southern Strategy Revisited: Republican Top-Down Advancement in the South
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 302

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?