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Second Verse, Same as the First

The 2012 Presidential Election in the South

Scott E. Buchanan

Publication Year: 2014

Second Verse, Same as the First is a volume of essays covering the 2012 election as it played out in the eleven former states of the Confederacy. Organized by state and emphasizing the presidential campaign, each state chapter also includes analysis on notable congressional races and important patterns at the state level. Interesting patterns in the South, and their implications for the balance of power between the two major parties, are analyzed. Additional chapters cover the issues that dominated voter decision-making and the nomination process. Second Verse, Same as the First is a necessity for academics, journalists, and political enthusiasts seeking a deeper understanding of contemporary changes in southern electoral politics.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. 6-7


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pp. 8-9

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pp. 10-13

The contemporary American South continues to be one of the most rap-idly changing regions of the country. Dramatic changes in population, economics, and partisanship have altered the political landscape of not only the region but the entire nation. Prior to the civil rights movement, the Solid South stood as a monument to de jure segregation, the politics ...

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pp. 14-15

This is the eighth volume in a series of analyses of presi den tial elections in the South between 1984 and 2000 that resumed, in book form, with the historic 2008 presi den tial election. A state- by- state study of the 2004 presi den tial election was not done as an edited book but did appear in a special double issue of the American Review of Politics. While the presi-...

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Introduction: Southern Politics and the 2012 Presidential Election

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pp. 16-19

As readers of this volume well know, the South occupies an import-ant place in the study of American presi den tial politics. First, the eleven states of the former Confederacy tend to vote as a bloc. This tendency toward one- partyism elevates the relative importance of the region na-tionally. The South is also culturally distinct from other regions in the ...

Part I: The Setting andthe Nominating Process

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1: Demographic and Issue Cleavagesin the Southern Electorate

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pp. 22-39

The 2012 election season opened with many uncertainties about the course of the presi den tial contest. Barack Obama cruised to a relatively easy victory four years before, but he faced major challenges in his first term. Though the national economy was slowly recovering by virtually Americans lacked optimism about the recovery. Would Americans credit ...

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2: The 2012 PresidentialNomination Process

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pp. 40-53

In retrospect the nomination of Republican Mitt Romney to challenge incumbent Presi dent Barack Obama seems like a preordained conclu-sion. To be sure, the former Massachusetts governor was perceived to be the front- runner in a crowded field of contenders. Romney entered the 2012 campaign with experience, name recognition, and a campaign ...

Part II: Elections inthe Deep South

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3: Alabama

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pp. 56-69

The 2012 presi den tial election in Alabama was relatively unremarkable on the national stage, with the state proving to be a Republican strong-hold, as expected. While the state received brief attention during the many resources to the general election. Election results displayed con-tinuity in presi den tial politics, with voters supporting the Republican ...

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4: Georgia

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pp. 70-87

For years Georgia Democrats had greater success than their peers in the region when it came to withstanding challenges from the GOP. As re-cently as the early 1990s, Republicans had little to show for their efforts that began in 1964 when Barry Goldwater carried the state and helped elect a member of Congress. Prior to the 1992 election, Georgia still had ...

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5: Louisiana

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pp. 88-101

One of the most interesting aspects of the 2012 presi den tial election in Louisiana is its close resemblance to the election four years earlier. In an election marked by relatively high turnout, the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, won the state with 57.78 percent of the vote, compared with Presi dent Obama?s 40.58 percent. The two- party vote margin fa-...

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6: Mississippi

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pp. 102-119

Democrats in Mississippi entered the 2012 federal election campaigns facing a political landscape that appeared bleaker than at any time since Reconstruction. The once dominant state party had grown used to their long string of consecutive losses in presi den tial elections, which began with Ronald Reagan?s narrow victory in the Magnolia State in ...

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7: South Carolina

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pp. 120-139

Yogi Berra?s playful description offers a helpful perspective on South Carolina politics. For significant periods one party has dominated state politics. First, it was the Democrats from the end of Reconstruction until the 1960s. After a period of transition from the 1960s to the early 1990s, it has been the Republicans since 1995. Political winners over ...

Part III: Elections in the Rim South

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8: Arkansas

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pp. 142-161

The election of 2008 provided the first in a series of major jolts that have transformed Arkansas politics. Barack Obama?s pronounced unpopular-ity in the state? driven by a combination of factors, including his defeat of the former first lady of Arkansas in an intense nomination battle? made Arkansas the state that had the most pronounced shift in the ...

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9: Florida

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pp. 162-189

Florida was at the forefront of the battle for the White House in 2012. It was the South?s premier battleground state, which accounted for more spent on television advertising than in any other state in the nation, and it trailed only Ohio in terms of campaign appearances by both party?s presi den tial and vice presi den tial nominees. The status of Florida as a ...

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10: North Carolina

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pp. 190-203

Rob Christensen titled his recent book on North Carolina politics The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics.1 In the five years since he wrote that book, the title has become even more appropriate. The 2012 elec-tions certainly illustrated the unpredictable nature of politics in North Carolina. The Republicans won control of the state government? the ...

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11: Tennessee

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pp. 204-217

Tennessee?s political culture is different from its rebel cousins? for two reasons. First, it has historically had a reputation for moderation on matters of race. The Volunteer State was the first one to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War and to accept the Fourteenth Amend-ment and, later, desegregation when the Brown v. Board decision was ...

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12: Texas

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pp. 218-231

The 2012 elections in Texas only further solidified Texas?s position as a deep- red state. Mitt Romney took the state easily, winning 57.2 percent of the vote, while former state solicitor general Ted Cruz easily won the state?s open U.S. Senate seat with 56.6 percent of the vote. In state government Republicans continued their dominance, maintaining strong ...

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pp. 232-251

Continuing demographic change, a history of Republican success, an expectation of a closer national contest than four years previously, un-certainty about the level of participation among young and minority voters, and anxiety over the impact of federal budget cuts on defense spending all combined to make Virginia a focus for the 2012 presi den tial ...

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Conclusion: Toward Two-Party Competition in the South?

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pp. 252-263

The political realignment of the American South from a solidly Demo-cratic to a reliably Republican region is one of the biggest political transformations in American history. Unlike previous realignments that occurred in a single critical election, this profound change took place over a series of contests, beginning with support for Dwight Eisenhower ...


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pp. 264-295


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pp. 296-299


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pp. 300-305

Back Cover

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p. 306-306

E-ISBN-13: 9781610755337
E-ISBN-10: 1610755332
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557286482

Page Count: 350
Publication Year: 2014