This fresh look at southern politics clarifies the recent and dramatic development of party competition in the South.
Southern politics has changed dramatically during the past half century. While new developments have touched virtually every aspect of the region's politics, change has been especially marked in the South's political party and electoral systems. Southern Parties and Elections explores the contemporary developments in party realignment and examines the relationship between regional party change and electoral behavior and the larger patterns in national politics.
The collection's first group of essays examines some of the key legal issues in contemporary southern politics: the legal battle over majority-minority districting, the electoral consequences of such districting, the practice-fairly widespread in the South-of separating presidential elections from state and local elections, and the connections between the electorate and party change.
The second section of essays focuses on nominations, elections, and partisan developments in the South, including the recent surge of voter participation in southern Republican primaries, the comparative importance of the South and selected states with large blocks of electoral votes in presidential election outcomes, and the southern contribution to patterns of voting in Congress. The final two chapters examine changes in southern state legislatures-one a case study of the Virginia General Assembly and the other an analysis of state legislatures in the region as a whole.
Collectively these essays add important pieces to the enduring puzzle of "southern politics."