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  Why did Reagan do better in southeastern Mississippi than in the rest of...
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darklordoftech
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« on: November 21, 2019, 07:13:34 pm »

... Mississippi in 1980?
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Calthrina950
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2019, 07:37:52 pm »


Probably because of Carter's appeal to working-class, rural white voters in the northeastern regions of the state (and of course, the Black Belt). The same dynamic was true in Mississippi in 1976. The Gulf Coast, by that point in time, had already turned into a Republican bastion, being filled with the types of more prosperous, economically conservative voters that the Party catered to. Gerald Ford, for example, blew Carter out of the water in Biloxi, Rankin County, and in Jackson (Hinds County), which is why the state was so close. Carter's victory, similar to his victories throughout the remainder of the old Confederate South (except for Arkansas and Georgia, where he won by landslide margins), was made possible because he managed to build a coalition of rural, economically populist, evangelical whites (in the foothills), who were still voting Democratic downballot at that time, and black voters.

You'll notice this when you look at his victory map in 1976:


In 1980, Mississippi remained close, but Reagan was able to pickoff just enough white voters to narrowly win the state. Carter however, actually improved among black voters compared to 1976, which is why the same general dynamic still prevailed, in combination with the fact that he still possessed considerable appeal to the rural white voters in the North:


Reagan's weaknesses among black voters-seen also in 1984, when he did significantly worse among blacks than Nixon had in 1972, and worse than he had in 1980-are of course well known. And Reagan possessed a strong appeal to Southern white suburbanites, like he did with suburbanites elsewhere in the country.
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