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December 11, 2019, 02:34:16 pm
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  Past Election What-ifs (US) (Moderators: Kutasoff Hedzoff, Apocrypha)
  1948 Laney the Dixiecrat nominee
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morgankingsley
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« on: November 12, 2019, 12:29:45 am »

How different would things have been if Laney did go with the original idea and nominate him? He certainly would have won Arkansas, maybe even Georgia, which would have given him six states. I feel like he would have done worse than Thurmond in the states Thurmond won, but much better in those two states mentioned above, and come much closer to winning the other five than Thurmond did. What would you say? Would he win more states than I think, less states, and how much closer or more spread out would the other states be to give him a higher or lower popular vote share than Thurmond?
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2019, 07:17:23 am »

How different would things have been if Laney did go with the original idea and nominate him? He certainly would have won Arkansas, maybe even Georgia, which would have given him six states. I feel like he would have done worse than Thurmond in the states Thurmond won, but much better in those two states mentioned above, and come much closer to winning the other five than Thurmond did. What would you say? Would he win more states than I think, less states, and how much closer or more spread out would the other states be to give him a higher or lower popular vote share than Thurmond?

The States Rights Democratic Party carried no states.

Thurmond and Wright won the states where they were named the Democratic Party's candidates for AL, MS, LA, and SC.  Their loss in other states had to do with those states choosing to name their Democratic electors for Truman and Barkley.  Georgia, coming off a "three Governors" controversy, saw a need to stick with the national Democratic Party, plus they had the most influential Southern Senator in Richard Russell.  In the end, their electors were named for Truman and Barkley.

The Border South stayed with the National ticket because they were concerned about Republican gains in the mountain areas of their states. 
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morgankingsley
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2019, 04:27:22 pm »

How different would things have been if Laney did go with the original idea and nominate him? He certainly would have won Arkansas, maybe even Georgia, which would have given him six states. I feel like he would have done worse than Thurmond in the states Thurmond won, but much better in those two states mentioned above, and come much closer to winning the other five than Thurmond did. What would you say? Would he win more states than I think, less states, and how much closer or more spread out would the other states be to give him a higher or lower popular vote share than Thurmond?

The States Rights Democratic Party carried no states.

Thurmond and Wright won the states where they were named the Democratic Party's candidates for AL, MS, LA, and SC.  Their loss in other states had to do with those states choosing to name their Democratic electors for Truman and Barkley.  Georgia, coming off a "three Governors" controversy, saw a need to stick with the national Democratic Party, plus they had the most influential Southern Senator in Richard Russell.  In the end, their electors were named for Truman and Barkley.

The Border South stayed with the National ticket because they were concerned about Republican gains in the mountain areas of their states. 

I still feel as if at minimum Arkansas would have picked laney instead of Truman for 9 more electoral votes. Maybe still Georgia due to the fact he was supposed to be the nominee and people would have been more willing to ballot him than Thurmond. I concede you are probably right on the other states, but I could still see him picking up 5 or 10 percent in those states. But Arkansas I have no doubt about
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 09:04:39 am »

How different would things have been if Laney did go with the original idea and nominate him? He certainly would have won Arkansas, maybe even Georgia, which would have given him six states. I feel like he would have done worse than Thurmond in the states Thurmond won, but much better in those two states mentioned above, and come much closer to winning the other five than Thurmond did. What would you say? Would he win more states than I think, less states, and how much closer or more spread out would the other states be to give him a higher or lower popular vote share than Thurmond?

The States Rights Democratic Party carried no states.

Thurmond and Wright won the states where they were named the Democratic Party's candidates for AL, MS, LA, and SC.  Their loss in other states had to do with those states choosing to name their Democratic electors for Truman and Barkley.  Georgia, coming off a "three Governors" controversy, saw a need to stick with the national Democratic Party, plus they had the most influential Southern Senator in Richard Russell.  In the end, their electors were named for Truman and Barkley.

The Border South stayed with the National ticket because they were concerned about Republican gains in the mountain areas of their states. 

I still feel as if at minimum Arkansas would have picked laney instead of Truman for 9 more electoral votes. Maybe still Georgia due to the fact he was supposed to be the nominee and people would have been more willing to ballot him than Thurmond. I concede you are probably right on the other states, but I could still see him picking up 5 or 10 percent in those states. But Arkansas I have no doubt about

V. O. Key's Southern Politics reveals that Laney was hardly a hardcore Dixiecrat.  Key pointed out that Laney "vacillated in and out of the rebellion", and most of his vacillation had to do with the concern of ongoing political viability.

Arkansas is different than the rest of the South.  It is the most anonymous and low-key of Southern states.  There were no great Civil War battles in Arkansas that people notice.  Arkansas did not produce any memorable Confederate leaders, either military or political.  More importantly, Arkansas was not a significant slave state; it had a significant mountain population that opposed secession, and it had the lowest black percentage of the population of any Southern state.  Arkansas had what Key called "Pure One Party Politics", but there were politicians of liberal bent (Sen. J. William Fulbright, Rep. Brooks Hays) and there were conservatives (Sen. John McClellan, Gov. Ben Laney). 

One of the things that happened in 1946 in Arkansas was the "G. I. Revolt", where many WWII veterans ran for office, challenging established politicians.  These veterans were, by and large, relatively progressive (by Arkansas standards) and would later with Truman.  Sid McMath, the most famous of these GIs, defeated conservative Jack Holt in the Democratic primary for Governor.  What's more, McClellan and Fulbright (Arkansas's Senators) were tied into the National Democratic Party, and they did not want to become part of that rebellion.  They knew that if they bolted, their prospects for leadership in the Democratic Party would forever be damaged. 

Then, there was Laney, himself.  I can't really imagine a guy who spent the Dixiecrat convention hiding in his hotel room as a guy who would be the guy who'd carry Solid Arkansas as a third party candidate.  Laney was amazingly non-confrontational.  The reason people looked at Laney was that (I kid you not!) some feared that Strom Thurmond was a stooge for the CIO.  (Yes, THAT Strom Thurmond was viewed as a secret Labor Goon by some.)  Thurmond was able to disprove that, and Thurmond was able to get his state to bolt (which certainly helped).  There is no reason to believe that Laney would have been able to convince Arkansas's Democratic Party to name electors pledged to him as their nominee.
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