It is time. The famed "southern strategy" of Richard Nixon and the 1968 Republican party should be as much of a dinosaur as the cold war. We can no longer cede the "solid south" to the republicans. We can no longer believe that southern America consists of only the under-educated, the biased, and the narrow minded. We, as democrats, and or progressives are looking at a valuable, vibrant area of our country, and thinking that we have lost them for generations. That's not true. The south is there for the taking. We just have to focus.
I am going to focus on eight states. For these states, I will list the number of electoral votes they cast, the percent of their populations that are minority, and the largest city or cities in that state. From there, I will try to make an argument for why those numbers put those states back into play.
- Alabama---9 electoral votes-----33% minority-----Birmingham
- Arizona----11 electoral votes---42.2% minority----Phoenix
- Florida----29 electoral votes---42.1% minority----Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville
- Georgia---16 electoral votes---44.1% minority----Atlanta, Savannah
- Louisiana---8 electoral votes---39.7% minority----New Orleans, Baton Rouge
- North Carolina---15 electoral votes---34% minority---Raleigh-Durham
- South Carolina---9 electoral votes---35.9% minority----Charleston
- Texas----38 electoral votes--- 54.7 minority----Houston, Dallas, Austin
These are not the numbers that represent lost states for the new democratic coalition. Minorities, immigrants, the LGBT community, women, the college educated, urban and sub-urban America, union members, the moderate left, and the left form the base for this new democratic party. When we look at the population of the new south, they are the new Democratic party. These states all have rapidly growing minority and immigrant populations. They are becoming the new research and education centers of 21st century America. These states are getting younger and better educated. They are ripe for becoming democrats.
Here is a place for the Obama for America organization. Begin to turn the south. Start with Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and Florida. These four states are there for us. We have to explain to voters in those states how democratic leadership would be better for them. We have to show them how to improve employment, fix the education system, provide governmental reform, etc. This is one of the most important goals that we have for the next four years. As we turn these states, there will be an ancillary effect. The right wing insanity of the republicans will disappear. Without these bases of power, we might see a return to republican normalcy.