Home / Robert Farley / Irrelevant Datum of the Day

Irrelevant Datum of the Day


Between 1952 and 2004, the major party Presidential tickets included at least one Southerner between them. In 1992, three of the four candidates hailed from the old Confederacy; from 1980 until 2004, every election but one included at least two Southerners. From 1952 until 1976, one candidate in every election came from the South. Before 2008, the last election not to include a Southerner was 1948, which included candidates from Kentucky and Missouri. Note that this includes George H.W. Bush as a Southerner by virtue of his Texas residency.

Now you know.

UPDATE: Spiro Agnew was, of course, from Maryland; that relieves ’68 of its Southerner.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Murc

    Kentucky and Missouri may not have been part of the old Confederacy, but I think they count as “the South.”

    As the joke goes, Kentucky was the only state to join the Confederacy after the war ended.

    • John

      As I’ve said previously, they certainly weren’t considered southern at the time. They were border states, with some southern characteristics, and some non-southern ones. The most notable non-southern characteristic was that they had functional Republican Parties throughout the 1877-1960 period. That distinguishing feature has ceased to mean anything in the post civil rights era, but it was a very significant distinction back then.

  • the last election not to include a Southerner was 1948

    Actually, if the right candidate had won in 1948, we wouldn’t have had all these problems.

    • ploeg

      Yes. If you don’t count a candidate who drew 39 electoral votes, then 1948 didn’t include a Southerner.

      • I can’t believe they forgot about Strom.

  • John

    It’s worth noting that before that, during the 1864-1948 period, southerners were almost never on either party’s ticket. Garner in 1932 and 1936 was the only one actually resident in a former Confederate state, I believe. (Wilson was a southerner, but had lived in New Jersey for decades).

  • Warren Terra

    Another datum: I think this is the first election since 1932 in which neither party’s Presidential or Veep nominee served in uniform.

    If you count FDR serving as the (civilian) Assistant Secretary Of The Navy as serving in the military, you’d have to go back farther; I’m not sure how far.

    • John

      1928, I believe – neither Smith nor Robinson were veterans. But you shouldn’t count being Assistant Secretary of the Navy as serving in the military.

    • Marek

      How DARE you attack Mitt Romney’s record like that.

  • lornix

    Just out of interest – how are you treating 1968? Does Agnew from Maryland count as a “Southerner” – or are you counting Wallace as a “Major Party”?

    • Robert Farley

      D’oh! Agnew shouldn’t count; that makes ’68 another non-southerner election.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Surely Wallace (and his 46 electoral votes) count for something!

        • Incontinentia Buttocks

          Come to think of it, it seems significant that the only two elections since WWII not to include a Southerner among the major party candidates featured a Southern-based third party movement that managed to win electoral votes in the South….until this year, that is.

          • John

            Until 2008, you mean.

            • Incontinentia Buttocks

              That’s right, of course.

      • Irrelevant Quibble: if we’re counting Mason-Dixon Line, Agnew clearly qualifies.

        Counting 1948 and 1968 as “non-Southerner” elections is a very post-2000 (or at least post-1980) conceit.

        • John

          No, it’s not. In the period between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement, “the South” clearly meant the ex-Confederate states, not the former slave states. Certainly nobody considered a Greek-American politician from Baltimore to be a Southerner.

          • Vance Maverick

            One could argue that Maryland counted as a Southern state in the Kentucky sense. The state song, excoriating the “Northern scum” and “vandals” with the words “Sic semper”, was adopted when Agnew was 20.

            • rea

              That song was around for a lot longer than when Agnew turned 20–Lee’s bands played it as the Confederate army crossed the Potomac.

  • DrDick

    I think this reflects the general dominance of Republicans in the South, so that it is not really in play any more.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      More important, I think, is the general dominance of Southern-style politics in the GOP. Romney could honestly quip, “we’re all neo-Confederates now!” (not that Romney honestly quips much of anything).

    • John

      It’s certainly not a coincidence that 1952 is just about the first election when the Republicans broke into the Solid South (with the exceptions of the Al Smith debacle of 1928, and a fluke Harding win in Tennessee in 1920), and that 2004 represents just about the time when the Democrats stopped being at all competitive in the South.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Not counting Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina in 2008?

    • so i’m from Ga and loooooooooove it here! i’m your taycipl southern belle and take more pride in that than anything! to be honest its a privelage to be born and raised here. i love every minute of it!

  • Anderson

    Fuck you, we’re not claiming Spiro. We have enough to answer for without his sorry ass.

  • theophylact

    Maryland was a slave state; it just didn’t secewde from the Union.

    • JohnR

      Here in Maryland, Land of Pleasant Living and Really Cheap “Beer”, we like to keep our options open. I think that, had Sharpsburg been a clear Confederate victory, it would have been pretty hard to keep us in the Union. Lincoln would have had to divert about a good division to restrain the Baltimore enthusiasts who tried their darndest to create a ‘Boston Massacre’ when the 6th Mass marched through town. We still honor their memories every time the Bosox come to play. Anyway, although I see your point about Agnew, I think by rights he should qualify as a Southerner. He may not have been a good Wallace/Thurmond racist, but he sure did hate him some Liberals. I figure he would have got on well with Bull Connor – they had the same ideas about Law and Order.

    • , Brooooooooooooce, I sort of cried. So did my partner. We may have cried again when he fieishnd the show after playing for THREE HOURS NON STOP with Dancing in the Dark.Yeah, one of the best nights of my life.

  • JR in WV


    Maryland is SOUTH of the Mason-Dixon line! Granted, they didn’t secede, because the state was full of Federal troops, but… isn’t the Mason-Dixon line part of the definition of Southern?

    Just askin’

    Of course, West Virginia was the only state to secede from the Confederacy, not that you could tell that today!

It is main inner container footer text