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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
The South, the tail that wags the Republican dog, is losing its political influence
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By Pat Cunningham
Jan. 14, 2013 11:05 a.m.





When I first gained an embryonic political consciousness in the 1950s, I learned that the “Solid South,” as it was called, was a reference to the Democratic Party’s stranglehold on the states of the old Confederacy.

Southern Republicans were as rare as hen’s teeth in those days. Gradually, however, the situation began to change just as I moved into adulthood. Northern Democrats increasingly embraced the cause of civil rights for blacks, and Republicans increasingly pursued what became known as a “Southern strategy,” a concerted effort to exploit the South’s political and cultural conservatism. Eventually, the “Solid South” became solidly Republican....

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