The Democratic Coalition 1928 to 1960

Earlier I mentioned the compromise between Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York and President Jefferson.  This led to the Eire Canal and, as an outgrowth, the coalition between Northern Liberal and Conservative Southern Democrats.  Those from the South were less friendly to social legislation and always tried to block Civil Rights bills.  These Senators were in no sense racist; doing otherwise would be a certain loss an election day.

In 1948, the coalition  began to crumble. Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina walked out of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia when Hubert Humphrey wanted to insert a strong civil rights plank.  Thurmond formed a Dixiecrat Party and carried South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas on election day.  Deep South Georgia and all Border South States voted for President Harry Truman.

Under President Eisenhower Republicans made inroads into the Border South against Adlai Stevenson.  In 1952, Eisenhower carried Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, and Virginia.  Four years later Eisenhower added Kentucky and  the Deep South state of  Louisiana.  Missouri, bucking the national trend, went for Stevenson the second time but not the first.

In 1960,  Richard Nixon had some success in the Border South though not as much as Eisenhower.  He carried Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia.  By 1964, only the five states of the Deep South went for Barry Goldwater since he voted against that year’s Civil Right Bill.

This North South Democratic Coalition no longer relevant  but here is what happened from 1928 to 1960.

1928-Governor Al Smith chose Senator Joseph Robinson of ALABAMA as his running mate.  Smith carried Arkansas and the five states of the Deep South.  States from the Border South went for Herbert Hoover fearing Smith, a Catholic would become President.   The newspapers dubbed these voters  Hoovercrats.

1932 and 1936-Franklin D. Roosevelt had Speaker of the  House  John Nance Garner, from TEXAS, as his running mate.

1940-In an aberration,  FDR chose Henry Wallace from Iowa as his Vice Presidential Nominee.  There had been friction between Roosevelt and Garner.

1944-There was a reaction to Henry Wallace since many Democrats felt he was too far to the left.  FDR picked Senator Harry Truman of MISSOURI for Vice President.

1948-President Truman had Senator Alben Barkley of KENTUCKY for Vice President.

1952-Adlai Stevenson chose Senator John Sparkman from ALABAMA for Vice President.

1956-Adlai Stevenson chose Senator Estes Kefavuer from TENNESSEE  for Vice President.

1960-John Kennedy chose Senate Majority leader Lyndon Johnson from TEXAS for Vice President.


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