Southern strategy

Southern states Republican realignmentappealed to white Southern Democratsracial fearsSouthern Strategy’the Republican Party's appeal to southern white conservatives
In American politics, the Southern strategy was a Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans.wikipedia
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1968 United States presidential election

19681968 presidential election1968 election
The perception that the Republican Party had served as the "vehicle of white supremacy in the South", particularly during the Goldwater campaign and the presidential elections of 1968 and 1972, made it difficult for the Republican Party to win back the support of black voters in the South in later years. From 1948 to 1984, the Southern states, for decades a stronghold for the Democrats, became key swing states, providing the popular vote margins in the 1960, 1968 and 1976 elections. In the 1968 election, Richard Nixon saw the cracks in the Solid South as an opportunity to tap into a group of voters who had historically been beyond the reach of the Republican Party.
He also pursued a "Southern strategy" designed to win conservative Southern white voters who had traditionally supported the Democratic Party.

Democratic Party (United States)

DemocraticDemocratDemocratic Party
From 1948 to 1984, the Southern states, for decades a stronghold for the Democrats, became key swing states, providing the popular vote margins in the 1960, 1968 and 1976 elections.
After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the core bases of the two parties shifted, with the Southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics and the Northeastern states becoming more reliably Democratic.

Barry Goldwater 1964 presidential campaign

Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, 19641964 presidential campaignBarry Goldwater
The perception that the Republican Party had served as the "vehicle of white supremacy in the South", particularly during the Goldwater campaign and the presidential elections of 1968 and 1972, made it difficult for the Republican Party to win back the support of black voters in the South in later years.
The group also laid the foundation for the Southern strategy by essentially creating the Republican parties of the Deep South and overthrowing the Democratic patronage system.

Racism in the United States

racismracistracial discrimination
In American politics, the Southern strategy was a Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans.
As the civil rights movement and dismantling of Jim Crow laws in the 1950s and 1960s deepened existing racial tensions in much of the Southern U.S, a Republican Party electoral strategy – the Southern strategy – was enacted to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans.

Kevin Phillips (political commentator)

Kevin PhillipsKevin P. PhillipsPhillips, Kevin
Although the phrase "Southern Strategy" is often attributed to Nixon's political strategist Kevin Phillips, he did not originate it but popularized it.
Phillips also was partly responsible for the design of the Republican "Southern strategy" of the 1970s and 1980s.

Richard Nixon

Richard M. NixonNixonPresident Nixon
As the civil rights movement and dismantling of Jim Crow laws in the 1950s and 1960s visibly deepened existing racial tensions in much of the Southern United States, Republican politicians such as presidential candidate Richard Nixon and Senator Barry Goldwater developed strategies that successfully contributed to the political realignment of many white, conservative voters in the South who had traditionally supported the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. In the 1968 election, Richard Nixon saw the cracks in the Solid South as an opportunity to tap into a group of voters who had historically been beyond the reach of the Republican Party.
Through his first term, he pursued a Southern Strategy with policies, such as his desegregation plans, that would be broadly acceptable among Southern whites, encouraging them to realign with the Republicans in the aftermath of the civil rights movement.

Southern United States

SouthSouthernAmerican South
In American politics, the Southern strategy was a Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans.
National Republicans such as Richard Nixon began to develop their Southern strategy to attract conservative white Southerners, especially the middle class and suburban voters, in addition to migrants from the North and traditional GOP pockets in Appalachia.

Solid South

solidly Democratic Southwas a givena Democratic bastion
In the 1968 election, Richard Nixon saw the cracks in the Solid South as an opportunity to tap into a group of voters who had historically been beyond the reach of the Republican Party.
Republican President Richard Nixon adopted a "Southern Strategy" for the 1972 election: continue enforcement of the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, but be quiet about it, so that offended Southern whites would continue to blame the Democrats, while talking up the Democrats' increasing association with liberal views.

Southern Democrats

Southern DemocratDemocraticSouthern Democratic
The Southern Democrats mostly opposed the Northern and Western politicians regardless of party affiliation—and their Presidents (Kennedy and Johnson)—on civil rights issues.
Denouncing the forced busing policy that was used to enforce school desegregation, Richard Nixon courted populist conservative Southern whites with what is called the Southern Strategy, though his speechwriter Jeffrey Hart claimed that his campaign rhetoric was actually a "Border State Strategy" and accused the press of being "very lazy" when they called it a "Southern Strategy".

Barry Goldwater

Barry M. GoldwaterGoldwaterBarry Morris Goldwater
As the civil rights movement and dismantling of Jim Crow laws in the 1950s and 1960s visibly deepened existing racial tensions in much of the Southern United States, Republican politicians such as presidential candidate Richard Nixon and Senator Barry Goldwater developed strategies that successfully contributed to the political realignment of many white, conservative voters in the South who had traditionally supported the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party.
All this appealed to white Southern Democrats, and Goldwater was the first Republican to win the electoral votes of all of the Deep South states (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana) since Reconstruction (although Dwight Eisenhower did carry Louisiana in 1956).

Reagan's Neshoba County Fair "states' rights" speech

1980 presidential campaign speech1980 speechdelivering a speech
His speech there contained the phrase "I believe in states' rights" and was cited as evidence that the Republican Party was building upon the Southern Strategy again.
The use of the phrase was seen by some as a tacit appeal to Southern white voters and a continuation of Richard Nixon's Southern strategy, while others argued it merely reflected his libertarian economic beliefs.

Republican Party (United States)

RepublicanRepublican PartyR
In American politics, the Southern strategy was a Republican Party electoral strategy to increase political support among white voters in the South by appealing to racism against African Americans.
Following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the party's core base shifted, with Southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics.

Virginia

Commonwealth of VirginiaVAState of Virginia
In the 1952, 1956 and 1960 elections, Virginia, Tennessee and Florida went Republican while Louisiana went Republican in 1956 and Texas twice voted for Dwight D. Eisenhower and once for John F. Kennedy.
While urban and growing suburban areas, including much of Northern Virginia, form the Democratic Party base, rural southern and western areas moved to support the Republican Party in response to its "southern strategy".

Roger Ailes

sexual harassment allegations against Roger Ailes
Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes worked on the campaign as George H. W. Bush's political strategists.
His pioneering work in framing national campaign issues, capitalizing on the race-based Southern Strategy and making the stiff Nixon more likable and accessible to voters was later chronicled in The Selling of the President 1968 by Joe McGinniss.

Dog-whistle politics

dog whistledog-whistledog-whistling
This tactic was described in 2007 by David Greenberg in Slate as "dog-whistle politics".
In 1981, former Republican Party strategist Lee Atwater, when giving an anonymous interview discussing Nixon's Southern Strategy, said:

Albert Gore Sr.

Albert Gore, Sr.Al Gore, Sr.Albert A. Gore Sr.
Republicans thereby managed to unseat Albert Gore, Sr. of Tennessee as well as Senator Joseph D. Tydings of Maryland.
Gore was one of the key targets in the Nixon/Agnew "Southern strategy."

Conservative coalition

coalitionconservative Congress
With the "Southern Strategy" of the 1970s and the "Republican Revolution" in 1994, Republicans took control of most conservative Southern districts, replacing many conservative Democratic congressmen with Republicans.

Civil rights movement

American Civil Rights Movementcivil rightscivil rights era
As the civil rights movement and dismantling of Jim Crow laws in the 1950s and 1960s visibly deepened existing racial tensions in much of the Southern United States, Republican politicians such as presidential candidate Richard Nixon and Senator Barry Goldwater developed strategies that successfully contributed to the political realignment of many white, conservative voters in the South who had traditionally supported the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party.

Kevin M. Kruse

Kevin Kruse
This view has been questioned by historians such as Matthew Lassiter, Kevin M. Kruse and Joseph Crespino, who have presented an alternative, "bottom up" narrative, which Lassiter has called the "suburban strategy".

Joseph Crespino

This view has been questioned by historians such as Matthew Lassiter, Kevin M. Kruse and Joseph Crespino, who have presented an alternative, "bottom up" narrative, which Lassiter has called the "suburban strategy".

De facto

de facto relationshipde-factode facto'' segregation
This narrative recognizes the centrality of racial backlash to the political realignment of the South, but suggests that this backlash took the form of a defense of de facto segregation in the suburbs rather than overt resistance to racial integration and that the story of this backlash is a national rather than a strictly Southern one.