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| | |-+  Why were SC and MS always more "Solid South" than GA and AL.
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Author Topic: Why were SC and MS always more "Solid South" than GA and AL.  (Read 627 times)
Solid4096
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« on: December 02, 2017, 04:53:42 pm »

In SC and MS, presidential elections back then were basically almost always decided by over 90% of the vote and county defections were almost non-existent, while GA and AL were always somewhat less lopsided, and some counties often defected.

What was so different?
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 04:58:31 pm »

Could it be because they had slightly larger black populations, and thus the few whites who could vote were even more loyal to the (at the time) white supremacist Dixiecrats than those in Georgia and Alabama?
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AMB1996
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 06:33:04 pm »

My impression, at least in the case of Georgia, is that the population was wealthier and more urban/suburban in those states.

Wealthy white suburbanites have historically been a stronger group for Republicans than poor whites, even (maybe especially) in the South, though this may obviously be changing after 2016.

For example, look at county maps in the second half of the 20th century. Rural, white counties prefer the populist Democrat (Wallace, Carter, Clinton) while major metro areas were leaning toward Republican candidates. So, a state with a low suburban percentage of the white population (like Mississippi) wouldn't see real extreme movement until probably around 2000, when rural voters began to see the Democrats as more cosmopolitan and less representative of their interests.

This explanation holds true for South Carolina though I think you're overestimating it by putting it in the same category as Mississippi, given the size of the Charleston and Columbia suburbs compared to Mississippi's. A better example might be Arkansas, which was considered moderately competitive for GWB and continued to elect Democrats to Congress until 2010.
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tara gilesbie
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 06:38:53 pm »

More white hoods at the polling stations.
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RFKFan68
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2017, 07:30:09 pm »

I've always figured because there were more blacks there. MS and SC had huge numbers of slaves at the height of the cotton boom. 90 percent of the Africans that came to this country went through Charleston.
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NOVA Green
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2017, 08:45:18 pm »

What historical time period are we talking about?

Difficult to make a statement on the topic w/o more context....
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Pennsylvania Deplorable
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2017, 09:36:01 pm »

Northern Georgia and Alabama were historically not as involved in slavery, and didn't have quintessential Dixie culture to the same degree as the rest of the deep south. They weren't as distinct as Eastern Tennessee, but that still may have been enough to influence it. 
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Solid4096
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2017, 10:16:10 pm »

Northern Georgia and Alabama were historically not as involved in slavery, and didn't have quintessential Dixie culture to the same degree as the rest of the deep south. They weren't as distinct as Eastern Tennessee, but that still may have been enough to influence it.  

Example:



All SC Counties voted more than 90% Roosevelt.

All MS Counties voted more than 90% Roosevelt (except 2 that voted more than 80%).

GA and AL had a wider variety of County outcomes and each had a single County to defect and vote for Landon.

Example:



All SC Counties voted more than 80% Cox (except 1 that voted more than 60%).

All MS Counties voted more than 60% Cox.

A large number of GA and AL Counties voted for Harding.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 10:28:27 pm by Solid4096 »Logged

Del Tachi
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2017, 11:36:51 pm »

Northern Georgia and Alabama were historically not as involved in slavery, and didn't have quintessential Dixie culture to the same degree as the rest of the deep south. They weren't as distinct as Eastern Tennessee, but that still may have been enough to influence it. 

This is correct.

Most of North Georgia and North Alabama were not heavily invested in the plantation culture. 
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2017, 11:16:09 pm »

In addition to reasons already mentioned, could the more rural nature of SC and MS have had something to do with it?  GA an AL had Atlanta and Birmingham, respectively, and attracted industry and maybe some of the business-oriented Republicans that came along.  Perhaps the more rural nature of SC and MS allowed the state Democratic machines to more easily maximize their control over the electoral process.
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shua
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 04:19:57 pm »

One issue here is: who could/did vote in these states. There were some differences.

1920 vote turnout
SC - c.10k per CD, black pop: 51%
MS - c.10k per CD, black pop: 52%
GA - c.13k per CD, black pop: 42%
AL - c. 26k per CD, black pop: 38%

1940 vote turnout
SC - c. 17k per CD, black pop: 43%
MS - c. 25k per CD, black pop: 49%
GA - c. 31k per CD, black pop: 35%
AL - c. 33k per CD, black pop: 35%

Some of the lower turnout can be explained by MS and SC having both higher black populations, and generally more stringent restrictions on those blacks. But these numbers also suggest that in 1920, AL had much greater white voter participation than SC, MS and GA.  In 1940, SC seems to have had significantly less white voter participation than AL, GA and MS.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 04:21:35 pm by shua »Logged

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