The prospect that the Democratic Party can find a way to appeal to Southern white voters anytime soon is growing less and less likely in the face of Tuesday's election results, The New York Times
Democrats reflect an ethos that is urban and culturally liberal while voters in the South lean conservative. Democrats lost Senate races in Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina.
It is now an open question whether a future Democratic presidential candidate could realistically expect support from Southern white voters, according to the Times.
Even well regarded Democrats, who had distanced themselves from President Barack Obama, fared poorly. Mary Landrieu, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Michelle Nunn, Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor and Mark Warner all were dragged down in formerly Democratic bastions by the president's unpopularity, the Times reported.
The candidates could not "navigate the fraught racial history and unique cultural leanings of the South," according to The Washington Post.
In Virginia, Sen. Mark Warner, who was expected to win with ease, appears to have pulled through by a razor-thin margin, NBC
reported. He got nearly the same treatment from voters as other Democrats in the South, according to the Times.
Things could possibly change once Obama leaves the scene. Or they may not, given that the national Democratic Party is closely identified with cultural liberalism and with policies on gun ownership, single-sex marriage, immigration reform and the environment that are anathema in the South.
If anything, the party's base may push it further to the left, according to the Times.
"Without a broader base of support that lets Democrats win more votes in the South, it will be very hard for them to win back the House, and it may even be hard for them to win back the Senate," according to the Times.
Democrats like Bill Clinton were supposed to have bridged the gap to Southern voters.
"But they couldn't outrun the Democratic brand embodied now by Obama, a former law professor from a Northern big city, who ran on uniting red and blue America, but has only helped further the historical race-based divide," the Post reported.
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