With Landrieu’s departure, the Democrats will have no more senators from the Deep South, and I say good. Forget about it. Forget about the whole fetid place. Write it off. Let the GOP have it and run it and turn it into Free-Market Jesus Paradise. The Democrats don’t need it anyway.
Actually, that’s not quite true. They need Florida, arguably, at least in Electoral College terms. Although they don’t even really quite need it—what happened in 2012 was representative: Barack Obama didn’t need Florida, but its 29 electoral votes provided a nice layer of icing on the cake, bumping him up to a gaudy 332 EVs, and besides, it’s nice to be able to say you won such a big state. But Florida is kind of an outlier, because culturally, only the northern half of Florida is Dixie. Ditto Virginia, but in reverse; culturally, northern Virginia is Yankee land (but with gun shops).
So Democrats still need to care about those two states, at least in presidential terms. And maybe you can throw in North Carolina under the right circumstances. And at some point in the near future, you’ll be able to talk about Georgia as a state a Democrat can capture. And eventually, Texas, too.
But that’s presidential politics. At the congressional level, and from there on down, the Democrats should just forget about the place.
I think this a touch overstated; I wouldn’t give up on fielding competitive Senate candidates in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia, at least. In a Republican wave midterm year, after all, Hagan lost by less than two points and Nunn wasn’t an embarrassment. And while in the Electoral College the non-Virginia South is gravy, in the Senate there’s really no such thing as gravy — every seat matters, and the Democrats have to have multiple options in red states to get a significant majority.
But that aside, most of the South is such a write-off that we won’t be hearing nearly as much about how the Democrats need to appeal to Authentic Americans (i.e. Southern Christian conservative white men) for a while, and thank Sherman for that. Remember when people tried to make Mudcat Saunders a thing? Bad times.