Bound Volume Number


Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Summer 8-9-2017

Capstone Advisor

Margaret Susan Thompson

Honors Reader

Danielle Thomsen

Capstone Major

Political Science

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component



local politics, american political history

Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

American Politics


From 1876 until 1964, the Democratic Party held virtual dictatorial control over the American South. Beginning after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and that year’s presidential candidacy of anti-Civil Rights Act Republican Barry Goldwater, the South shifted reliably into the Republican column for presidential elections. Democrats still held a majority of all other offices in the region until the mid-1990s. This paper examines public opinion data in the American South, as well as partisan change in four Southern states, with an emphasis on the first time each state elected a Republican governor. I find that in each state, local issues played a major role in the election of the first Republican governor, and that one or several powerful statewide Democrats could stave off the party’s decline in the state.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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