Do Republicans Have a Southern Problem?
prospect.org — One of the more interesting elements of President Barack Obama’s re-election victory was his strong performance in the South. He won Virginia and Florida—again—and came close to a win in North Carolina, where he lost by just two points. “Obama’s 2012 numbers in the Southeastern coastal states,” writes Douglas Blackmon for The Washington Post, “outperformed every Democratic nominee since Carter and significantly narrowed past gaps between Democratic and Republican candidates.” Indeed, Blackmon—who won a Pulitzer for the book Slavery by Another Name—sees this as a crack in the Republican Party’s otherwise solid hold on the South. A growing African American population, combined with greater Latino immigration and a shrinking white electorate has allowed Democrats to make gains in states that were once GOP strongholds. Judging from Election Day, this is most true in the five states that hug the coast: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.