Book

The long southern strategy (2019)

how chasing white voters in the South changed American politics

in: Oxford scholarship online

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Abstract

In 'The Long Southern Strategy', Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields trace the consequences of the GOP's decision to court white voters in the South. Over time, Republicans adopted racially coded, anti-feminist, and evangelical Christian rhetoric and policies, making its platform more southern and more partisan, and the remodel paid off. This strategy has helped the party reach new voters and secure electoral victories, up to and including the 2016 election. Now, in any Republican primary, the most southern-presenting candidate wins, regardless of whether that identity is real or performed. Using an original and wide-ranging data set of voter opinions, Maxwell and Shields examine what southerners believe and show how Republicans such as Donald Trump stoke support in the South and among southern-identified voters across the nation.