In the wake of Democratic defections, Southern Republicans grow more powerful

Since last November’s midterm elections, dozens of Democratic state lawmakers throughout the South have switched parties and solidified the Republican Party’s control over what was once the most reliably Democratic region of the country.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 29 Southern Democratic state lawmakers have switched parties in recent months. Because of the wave of defections, Republicans in Louisiana now hold a majority in the state House for the first time since Reconstruction. In the Alabama legislature, the GOP now has a supermajority that allows them to unilaterally pass amendments to the state constitution thanks to turncoat Democrats.

Louisiana state Rep. Noble Ellington, the Democratic defector who delivered his state’s House to the GOP, made the decision to switch parties after he found himself rooting for the Republicans during the midterms. “I figured I must not be a very good Democrat anymore,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “A Louisiana Democrat is probably more conservative than some Connecticut Republicans.”

Earle Black, a professor of political science at Atlanta’s Emory University, blames the trend on “the increased liberalization of the Democratic Party” that has occurred over the last several decades. Jim Taflinger, head of the Hall County Democratic Party in Georgia, said that he believed the problem had more to do with the South’s political atmosphere.

“You know, there’s been a lot of party-switching going on,” Taflinger told the Los Angeles Times. “I think it’s not so much policy driven … so much as environment driven. The business environment is such that you have to be careful up here calling yourself a Democrat — there’s a stigma to it.”

  • gooners

    Lincoln would be so proud to see today neo-Confederate Republican Party.

    • Drahcir

      @ gooners,

      Would ya tell me where the home office is? Those Dems won’t know what hit um!
      :-) 😉

  • clw

    Oh there’s a stigma to being called a Democrat alright…

  • kbull

    With the introduction of Obama, democrat has become a bad name. Its no wonder that moderate dems want to distance themselves from this ultra-liberal party that before Obama had at least some credibility. If this is the new democratic party, then so be it. Hopefully, the political landscape will follow reason with logic. This introduction of liberal thought is ruining us very quickly. The damage that is being done to our nation by a lying (or at least incredibly ignorant) president… there should be one more law. A political figure that is obviously inept and illogical who acquired office under false pretences should die a thousand deaths. The punishment should fit the size of the crime. Way too many polititions get into office by lying.

  • Drahcir

    That is becouse the polling system hardly ever calls the south when making a poll. I’ve lived here for 48 of my 52 years and I’ve never been asked a poll question. Kinda makes us wonder if we have a voice in anything. But that is Okay, Did they hear us last election?

  • ojfl

    This development begs the question: is not the South theoretically the place where minorities are almost majorities? If that is the case is the Democratic party also losing its grip on minorities? The polling data seems to reject that hypothesis but the question remains.