The Solid South and Political Sectionalism

September 13, 1932

Report Outline
The Sold South in 1928 and 1932 Elections
Republican Invasion of the Solid South, 1928
Factors Favoring Two-Party Politics in South
Activities of Republican Party in the South
The Solid South and Negro Suffrage
Special Focus

The Sold South in 1928 and 1932 Elections

The Solid South, broken in 1928 for the first time since its emergence in 1880, is expected to reassert its political unity in the 1932 presidential election. When Hoover gained the electoral votes of Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia four years ago, assertions were made that the South had finally abandoned its political insularity and would thereafter be a battleground for both major parties. Other appraisals of the situation, however, were to the effect that Republican victories in the South were a phenomenon brought about by special causes and that the factors which originally produced political solidarity below the Mason and Dixon line, and maintained it unbroken for half a century, still exercised a controlling influence.

Senator Swanson (D., Va.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, predicted, September 9, 1932, that the Solid South and the border states would give more than the usual Democratic majorities in November. “The bolt that occurred in some of these states in 1928,” he said, “has disappeared in the failures and disappointments which have characterized the present administration.”

Increasing industrialization in certain southern states has been attended by some infiltration of political ideas common to other industrial sections of the country. Other influences have been working to some extent toward introduction of two-party politics in the South. There is little indication, however, that these factors are yet, or will be in the near future, sufficiently strong to cause a fundamental change in southern voting practices.

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