If you scratch us enough you will find that we are racists. And this racism is not confined to what people call "redneck" people. The racism is in the country clubs, the chambers of commerce, and we find out that so many of our ideals--openness, fair play, justice and equality--dissipate at a time like this.
In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan and Republican candidates at all levels of government would reclaim the support of conservative white southerners. In 1980 President Carter ran for reelection against Reagan. Carter lost in ten of the eleven former Confederate states, carrying only his home state of Georgia. Other than this one exception, southern states voted unanimously Republican in each of the three presidential elections of the 1980s (Bullock 3).
It seems noteworthy that the three Democratic nominees who have won the presidency since 1964 have had strong southern connections. Previous to Jimmy Carter’s presidential election he was the Governor of Georgia. His victory in 1976 made Carter the first candidate from the Deep South to win the presidency (Bass ix). His election marks the only time that a solid Democratic South was nearly resurrected. Virginia was the only former Confederate state not to rally behind Carter in 1976 (Bullock 3). Later, in 1992 and 1996, the White House was won by a pair of southern Democrats – President Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee. Their ticket received some support in southern states, indicating that Democratic candidates from the South fare better in the South than those from outside the region (Bullock 3). Their southern roots seem to help them neutralize Republican dominance in the region (Bass xiii).