Southern Voting Behavior Essay since the 1960sVoters in many areas of the U. S. are apt to vote differently as a whole from election to election. The nation has alsohad a decreased turnout rate for the presidential and local elections.
The South has typically not followed thesepatterns that the rest of has seemed to be following. The Southern whites of the U. S. have typically followed andvoted for the more conservative candidate and party.
Where as the Southern blacks have typically (when they havebeen able to vote) voted for the more liberal party or candidate. The South was at one time a Democratic strongholdand has in the past 30 years become a typically conservative voting electorate. This tendency of voting by race forthe liberal or conservative candidate has been a continuing occurrence. Southern turn out for elections has beensignificantly lower than the rest of the nation as well over the same time period. This bias of the past 30 years aswell as voter turn out has only recently began to change in the So!uth. In the beginning of and prior to the 1960s the South was a Democratic stronghold and it was rare for there to be anycompetition from Republicans in these non competitive states (Mulcahy p.
56). A poll taken in the 1960s showedthat ” the southern states were the obvious stronghold of Democratic identification. The extreme case was Louisiana,where 66% identified with the Democratic party”(Black p. 44). This all began to change as the Democratic partybecame more liberal in its national policy views. The Democrats became too liberal in their policies concerning civilrights for the white Southerners to continue voting for them.
(Mulcahy p. 40). This reason along with others is whatdrove the Southern whites to change there voting habits of the last 100 years. The white Southerners began to votefor presidents of the Republican party and for Independents such as the Dixiecrats, because they were moreconservative on a national scale. The Largest change of the Southern voters o!ccurred in 1960 when “the southern white Protestant presidential vote went Republican”(Wayne p62). This would ofallowed for the democrats to lose the south if the black electorate had not voted Democrat.
The black Southern voters at the time of the 1960s were just again able to participate with their rights to vote. Thiswas because shortly after the Civil War and reconstruction the Southern whites reduced and eventually removed theshort lived black political power. They added laws that made it mandatory to take tests for voter eligibility, as wellas discouraging black voting at all. This discrimination greatly reduced if not completely halted black voting in thesouth until the 1950s and 1960s. It was not until 1965 that the Voting Rights Act was passed that prohibitedliteracy tests for federal elections did blacks obtain their constitutional right to vote (Wayne p. 70).
Many blacks didin fact support the Republican party for quite a long time because they were known as the party of reconstructionand freeing of the slaves. Black voting turned towards the Democrats in the 1930s and 40s on the advice of “OneN. A. A. C.
P. leader Turn your pictures of Lincoln to the wa!ll, the debt is paid in full”(Mulcahy p 37). This black voting for the Democrats created a problem in of its self, thatthe Blacks were continuing to vote for the local white conservative Democrats, that upheld the traditional Southernwhite views. This lead to the continued power of the oppressive whites, even though the party platform was one ofreform.
It was not until the early 70s that when the Republicans won the election for the governor of Virginia wasthe two party system fullyrevived in the south (U. S. news p. 210). This two party system allowed Democrats to run on a more liberal platform,which gave the blacks the representation that they wanted. Voting in the South since the 1960s has followed the pattern of voting for the most staunch conservative, orprotector of Southern whites views.
In the 1968 electionSouthern whites in the Deep South voted for George C. Wallace, while the rest of the South split on Nixon andHubert Humphrey. In the Election of 1972 This trend seemed to continue, in that Nixon was the more conservativeof the two Presidential Nominees and thus he carried the South. In the 1976 Election it .