Democrats should forget about the South, writes Thomas F. Schaller in the WaPo.
"The first rule of electoral politics is: Don’t Try to Win the Last Election. Why, then, do some Democrats seem bent on reviving a disintegrated New Deal coalition in order to replay, and somehow win, the 1968, 1972, 1980, 1984 and 1988 elections all at once? The bitter truth is that the Florida recount was the Democrats’ last stand in the South for the foreseeable future. Gore capitulated at the vice president’s residence in Washington. Appomattox would have been the more fitting location."
Of course, everything he says is arguable, yet, it’s interesting, and, you can learn a lot from the essay. If the Demos really gave up the South, they would have to win something like the equivalent of an inside straight to win a presidential race. That would mean working the South-West seriously, plus the mid-West, especially Ohio, and also not losing any more of the Hispanic vote. I don’t think any of that likely, at least for 2004.