Democrats have a new Southern strategy

With Doug Jones’ upset victory in last week’s Alabama US Senate race, Democrats are solidifying a new model for rebuilding their tattered competitiveness in the South. Jones benefited from the unique vulnerabilities of his opponent, Republican Roy Moore, who was a deeply polarizing figure even before he was besieged by […] Read more »

Roy Moore’s Alabama

… I have closely studied Winston County history and have long been proud of my ancestral ties. I wanted to explore whether traditional Republicanism could fully explain how the Old South’s most independent thinkers became Trump zombies willing now to send a plausibly accused pedophile to the Senate rather than […] Read more »

Before Breitbart, there was the Charleston News and Courier

Political reporter William D. Workman speaks at a GOP event in 1962. Courtesy of South Carolina Political Collections, University of South Carolina, CC BY Sid Bedingfield, University of Minnesota Conservatives who dislike Donald Trump like to blame the president and his Breitbart cheering section for the racial demagoguery they see […] Read more »

Beyond Virginia: How America’s Big Counties Are Reshaping Politics

Whether they want it or not, the last year has given Americans a master class in political polarization. But the terminology commonly used to describe the peeling apart of the country’s Republican and Democratic factions — “red states and blue states,” “coastal elitists vs. flyover country” and the like — […] Read more »

What Happened to Mountain Republicans in the South?

Even when Democrats dominated the so-called Solid South, the GOP showed strength in mountain areas of the region. Northwestern Arkansas, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and western Virginia all had substantial Republican sympathies. But now that the national Republican Party has transitioned from the Party of Lincoln to the party […] Read more »

Among White Americans, Limits to Empathy for Poverty-Related Issues Run Along Class Lines

A survey released today by PRRI finds that white Americans’ support for policies to address poverty is limited in different ways by education level—by perceived social distance to racial minorities among non-college-educated whites and by lower commitments to equal opportunity among college-educated whites. The survey was conducted by PRRI, a […] Read more »

Differences, in black and white: Rural Americans’ views often set apart by race

… A new nationwide Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted this spring finds that although rural Americans are more likely to see their communities as neighborly, safer and having better public schools than people in large cities, those opinions come with wide racial disparities. Black rural Americans — most of […] Read more »

How race and identity became the central dividing line in American politics

In 2016, race and identity has emerged as the central dividing line in American politics. Though race has always lived close to the surface of politics in the US, it has rarely been so explicitly front and center in political campaigns. So how did this happen? The easy answer is […] Read more »