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James M. Glaser: Publications

Race, Campaign Politics, and the Realignment in the South

Synopsis:
Since the Voting Rights Act of 1965, growing numbers of southerners have called themselves Republicans, and Republican candidates have carried the South in presidential elections. Yet the Democratic party has persisted in winning the southern congressional elections. In this engagingly written book, James M. Glaser explains this political phenomenon, investigating six special U.S. House elections won by Democrats from 1981 to 1993 in Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Virginia. Glaser draws upon his own direct observations, news reports, and extensive interviews with election participants- candidates, advisors, journalists, labor leaders, party officials, black ministers, volunteers, and others- to demonstrate that the issues of group conflict and race continue to have an enormous impact on congressional politics in the South. According to Glaser, southern Democrats have prolonged realignment and kept control of local elections through a variety of tactics. Most important, southern Democrats have been able to construct biracial coalitions in an ever-changing political environment. Glaser's analysis offers insight into what led Democrats to be so unexpectedly successful in the Reagan-Bush years and into what they must do if they are to survive the increasingly powerful force of southern Republicanism.