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InsiderOnline Blog: July 2004

Southern Strategy for the Senate

Some thoughts on the John Edwards veep pick from North Carolina think tanker John Hood, who thinks Edwards' silky drawl and silkier hair will help Dems with more than the Presidential race:

In the first case, there are five Democrat-held open seats in the south on the ballot this year: in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana. While Georgia may well be a lost cause, the others are winnable for Democrats, contrary to the partisan spin coming from some GOP quarters. Edwards on the ticket, and on the ground in these states often through November, certainly will boost Democrats' chances here, again by exciting African Americans (Kerry hasn't shown an ability to do that) and taking the Northeast-liberal tinge off the ticket a bit for culturally conservative but economic distressed whites.

But will Edwards' protectionist politics play with those Southern economic distressed whites? The Republican primary for U.S. Senate in South Carolina suggests not, according to Jack Kemp:

In a runoff election between pro-trade Congressman Jim DeMint and protectionist former Gov. David Beasley, DeMint ran away with the election at the ballot box. DeMint's win was particularly satisfying because even though South Carolina has lost textile-industry jobs due to plant relocations, it shows politicians and the media once again underestimated the intelligence and savvy of the voting public to understand the benefits of free trade.

Posted on 07/06/04 02:34 PM by Mary Katherine Ham

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