TIL The notorious segregationist George Wallace, best known for pledging "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregationist forever" in his inaugural speech, ran for a fourth term as Governor of Alabama and not only won but earned over 90% of the Black vote.

Goldwater was one of only six Republican senators to vote against the 1964 act, on libertarian grounds, and the other five did so only because they supported Goldwater's presidential nomination. Although an overwhelmingly larger percentage of Republicans had supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act than did Democrats -- Republican leader Everett Dirksen publicly rebuked Goldwater for his vote -- Goldwater was the GOP presidential candidate that year. Goldwater went on to win five southern states in 1964: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. But he lost eight: North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Texas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. Losing more than you win is not a "sweep" anywhere except in Chicago. Democrats, always trying to move the goalposts, argue that it's not the number of states he won, but which states he won. Goldwater's southern support name from the exact same states that Strom Thurmond captured when he ran for president as a segregationist Democrat in 1948 -- Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina -- with Goldwater adding only Georgia. That would almost be a reasonable argument, but only if your entire historical knowledge begins and ends with 1948 and 1964. Far from preparing the GOP for a southern takeover, Goldwater's 1964 campaign nearly destroyed the party and created no foundation at all, not even in the South. That's what pure libertarianism gets you. The southern states Goldwater won were the very states that Nixon and Reagan would go on to either lose or almost lose in their triumphant elections of 1968 and 1980. On the other hand, Democrats Jimmy Carter and Rapin' Bill Clinton would do pretty well in the Goldwater states in their southern sweeps of 1976 and 1992. Republicans did not flip the states Goldwater won. Those states went right back to voting for Democrats for many decades to come. Republicans always did best in the southern states Goldwater lost, which happened to be the same states Republicans had been winning with some regularity since 1928.
These are the facts: In 1928, Republican Herbert Hoover won Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. In the thirties and forties, FDR and Truman dominated national elections throughout the country, so there is little to be learned about southern voting patterns from those dark days. In 1952, Republican Eisenhower won Virginia, Tennessee, Florida and Texas, losing Kentucky by a razor-thin 0.07 percent margin. In 1956, Ike again won Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida, and added Texas, Kentucky, and Louisiana. In 1960, Nixon won Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky. It is probably necessary at this juncture to point out to Democrat readers that 1928, 1952, 1956, and 1960 are all years before 1964. In 1968, Nixon won thirty-two states overall, including six southern states -- all the usual Republican favorites: Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina. These were the exact same states Republican Hoover had won in 1928, plus South Carolina. Nixon lost Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi -- four of the five states Goldwater had won. Four years after Goldwater's run, the segregationist vote went right back to the Democrats. Democrat Hubert Humphrey picked up about half of George Wallace's supporters that year; Nixon got none of the segregationist vote, as demonstrated by the polls. Nixon's early poll numbers were the same as his vote, whereas Humphrey miraculously gained twelve percentage points -- just a little bit less than Wallace lost on Election Day. Then, in 1976, despite Nixon's malevolent plot to corral racist Democrats, Jimmy Carter swept the entire South. All eleven states of the Old Confederacy -- except the great commonwealth of Virginia -- flipped right back and voted Democrat. The electoral map of Jimmy Carter's victory in 1976 virtually splits the country down the middle, with Carter taking the entire South, a few solidly Democrat northeastern states, his vice president's home state of Minnesota, and neighboring Wisconsin. On the entire continental United States, Carter did not win a single state west of Texas. Of the 147 electoral votes in the South, Carter won 127 of them. Was that because Carter was appealing to bigots? Or is it only "appealing to bigots" when Republicans win in the South? In 1980, Reagan won a landslide forty-four states. Reagan humiliated and humbled Carter in the southern states Republicans had been winning off and on since 1928 -- Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, and Kentucky. But despite it being a landslide victory, Reagan still lost or barely won the Goldwater states, narrowly winning Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, and losing Georgia outright. Reagan prevailed in only one Goldwater state by a significant margin: Louisiana. But so did Eisenhower in 1956. Even in an election in which Democrats carried only six states in the entire country, one of those six was a Goldwater state. Noticeably, Reagan won among young southern voters and lost among their seniors, i.e., the ones who had voted in 1948 and 1964. The segregationists never abandoned the Democrats. Eventually, they died or were outvoted by other, younger southerners. Extensive college polling in 1980 put Reagan in third place in the northeast, well behind John Anderson and Jimmy Carter. But at southern colleges, Reagan slaughtered both Anderson and Carter. Thus, Reagan won 14 percent of the student vote at Yale but 71 percent at Louisiana Tech University. Are we supposing that the LTU students were Goldwater men at age three? Dixiecrats at birth? No matter how you run the numbers, neither Nixon nor Reagan ever captured the Goldwater voters. Republicans certainly weren't winning the Dixiecrat vote. Even in 1968, twenty years after Thurmond's losing campaign in 1948, Nixon carried only one of Thurmond's states, despite taking six southern states in all. After Thurmond's failed presidential run, the Dixiecrats went right back to voting for the Democrats for another half century. Of course, Nixon and Reagan did sweep the entire south in their 1972 and 1984 reelections. Also, the Midwest, the Colorado Mountains, the windswept prairies, the Pacific Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. Nixon massacred his opponent, George McGovern, in every state of the union except Massachusetts. The same thing happened in 1984, when Reagan won 49 states, losing only his opponent Walter Mondale’s home state of Minnesota -- and Reagan nearly took that state too. A political party that attributes such landslide victories to a “secret Republican plan to appeal to racists” has gone stark raving mad. Revealing what intellectuals really thought at the time, as late as 1972, liberal luminary Arthur Schlesinger Jr. openly acknowledged in the pages of the New York Times that the segregationists would be voting for McGovern -- not Nixon -- writing that “voters hesitate between McGovern and George Wallace.” Note that he did not say voters hesitated between Nixon and Wallace. So firmly were the segregationists in the Democratic fold, that Schlesinger went on to praise them for their integrity. The Wallace votes in the primaries, Schlesinger said, showed that voters cared deeply about -- I quote -- “integrity”. That’s what liberals said before they decided to do a complete historical rewrite. And of course, McGovern gave an obligatory tribute to the segregationist Wallace in his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention that year. This was in 1972, the exact midpoint between Goldwater and Reagan, when the imaginary “southern strategy” should have been completed, according to the fevered propaganda of the left.

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