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How the South was won

Conventional wisdom says the Republican Party won the South because the Democrats embraced civil rights. Now a pair of political scientists argues that the GOP takeover had more to do with economics than race.

Richard M. Nixon made his way through a crowd of supporters on his way to the stage before a speech in Greensboro, N.C., during the 1968 presidential campaign.
Richard M. Nixon made his way through a crowd of supporters on his way to the stage before a speech in Greensboro, N.C., during the 1968 presidential campaign. (Corbis Photo / Wally McNamee) Corbis Photo / Wally McNamee
By Clay Risen
March 5, 2006

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THE EROSION of the Democratic Party's hold on the South is one of the most important changes in postwar American politics. In 1950, only a handful of congressional districts in the region even featured Republican candidates on the ballot. Today, the GOP holds the majority of House seats below the Mason-Dixon, and in 2004 President Bush swept the South's electoral-college ... (Full article: 1588 words)

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