Changing Southern Politics

January 19, 1966

Report Outline
New Interest in Elections in the South
Rise and Decline of Negro Voting Issue
Waning Power of the South in Congress

New Interest in Elections in the South

Battle lines are forming for 1966 state and congressional elections that will shed additional light on the South's changing political climate. The Solid South—that is, the solidly Democratic South—no longer exists. Since 1928, every one of the 11 states of the old Confederacy except Arkansas has voted Republican in a presidential election at least once.

Pressures from within and without have sharply altered the South's social and political structure in the past 15 years. The region is now more urban than rural, and re-apportionment of legislative and congressional districts has given the cities power they formerly lacked. Spurred by a series of federal civil rights laws, Negro voting has been rising steadily despite bitter white opposition in many areas. A new generation of southern leaders is coming to the fore as age depletes the ranks of the old guard. With some exceptions, the new leaders seem more concerned about enriching the South's future than preserving its past.

Key Contests for Congress and Governor, 1966

An unusually large number of southern governorships and U.S. Senate seats are to be filled in 1966. No fewer than 12 of the 22 incumbent senators from the 11 southern states must face the voters this year, and seven southern governors also are to be elected. Although some of these men, notably Sens. Eastland and McClellan and Gov. Connally, are virtually assured of remaining in office, most of them will encounter spirited opposition in the primaries, in the general election, or in both contests.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement
Jul. 22, 2022  Black Hairstyles
Nov. 15, 1985  Black America Long March for Equality
Aug. 12, 1983  Black Political Power
Jan. 18, 1980  Black Leadership Question
Aug. 15, 1973  Black Americans, 1963–1973
Nov. 26, 1969  Racial Discrimination in Craft Unions
Sep. 11, 1968  Black Pride
Feb. 21, 1968  Negro Power Struggle
Mar. 08, 1967  Negroes in the Economy
Jan. 19, 1966  Changing Southern Politics
Oct. 27, 1965  Negroes in the North
Jul. 21, 1965  Negro Revolution: Next Steps
Oct. 14, 1964  Negro Voting
Sep. 21, 1964  Negroes and the Police
Jul. 03, 1963  Right of Access to Public Accommodations
Jan. 23, 1963  Negro Jobs and Education
Mar. 25, 1960  Violence and Non-Violence in Race Relations
Aug. 05, 1959  Negro Employment
Apr. 18, 1956  Racial Issues in National Politics
Apr. 18, 1951  Progress in Race Relations
Dec. 17, 1948  Discrimination in Employment
Jan. 10, 1947  Federal Protection of Civil Liberties
Aug. 25, 1944  The Negro Vote
Jul. 01, 1942  Racial Discrimination and the War Effort
Mar. 25, 1939  Civil and Social Rights of the Negro
Jul. 22, 1927  Disenfranchisement of the Negro in the South
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations