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Kevin A. Hill and Nicol C. Rae, "What Happened to the Democrats in the South? US House Elections, 1992-1996," Party Politics, 6 (January 2000), 5-22.

First Paragraph:
One of the relatively unnoted political developments in US politics in recent years has been the drastic attrition in the number of southern white Democrats in both Houses of the US Congress. Much of the erosion in southern Democratic numbers is, of course, due to the major political realignment in favor of the Republican Party in the region since 1952, and the electoral fallout from the civil rights revolution (Petrocik, 1981; Carmines and Stimson, 1989). One of the most remarkable features of US politics in the period following the civil rights revolution of the mid-1960s, however, was the extent to which white southern Democrats were able to retain a predominant position in southern congressional elections -- particularly in the US House (Scher, 1997). Districts that voted by landslide margins for Republican presidential candidates continued to send relatively conservative southern white Democrats to Capitol Hill because of massive ticket splitting on the part of southern whites (Lamis, 1990; Black and Black, 1992).

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1: Percentage of Southern US House seats controlled by the Democratic Party, 1924-96
Table 1: The decline and fall of Southern Democrats, 1988-96
Table 2: Where did the Republican takeover occur?
Table 3: Models of the Democratic vote, 1988-96.
Table 4: Democratic electoral fortunes under two alternative scenarios, 1992-96.
Appendix: [Regression model for estimating district vote outcomes.]

Last Paragraph:
One cannot help but be struck by the fact that something of truly historical proportions has happened in the South in the past few years. The region that was once about as likely to elect Republican representatives as it was to declare the Pope the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, now has a solid Republican majority in both the House and the Senate. On top of all this, a dramatic and ironic reversal of roles has taken place in a Congress that used to see boll weevil Democrats in top leadership positions throughout the two chambers. In 1998, the House of Representatives was run by a Georgian Speaker, with Texans as majority leader and majority whip, yet another Texan as Ways and Means chairman, a Louisianan as head of Appropriations, and a South Carolinian overseeing the military committee. On the other side, a Mississippi senator was majority leader, a venerable South Carolinian was President Pro-Tempore and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and a North Carolina firebrand chaired Foreign Relations. Any southern politician who had been frozen in ice in the 1950s and who was thawed out in 1998 would have at first blush seen this as all too familiar. After all, those southern Democrats stuck around forever and, due to the seniority system, got themselves put in charge of really powerful committees and made their way into leadership positions. But our hypothetical ice man would probably have to be given a stiff shot of his favorite bourbon when he found out that all these powerful southerners were -- gasp!! -- Republicans.