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That Virgina and North Carolina went blue - and not by very wide margins- is no idication that the South is ripe for a "leftist" agenda as Mr. Delzell (from Massachuestts, no less) hopes in his web letter. Nor is it time for Mr. Moser to paint a "New, Blue Dixie."

Those Southern states that remained red--Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana--along with West Virginia, Kentucky and Texas, aren't likely to change colors anytime soon. So you guys can dream and predict blue, but most of us who live in the South will live the reality of red and like it, thank you very much.

Charles Jackson

Atlanta, GA

Nov 18 2008 - 3:58am

Web Letter

I enjoyed your article on Blue Dixie. As one who had lived most of his life in middle and eastern Tennessee, I appreciate the importance of the Southeastern US for any progressive presidential candidacy, especially if that candidate is a Democrat. Like Moser, I was thrilled about Virginia's North Carolina's, Florida's, Maryland's, DC's, and Delaware's (all former slave states of the Antebellum Era) giving Obama a decisive win of their electoral votes.

The only thing that disappointed me was Obama's failure to win Tennessee and Kentucky. That especaially puzzled me because in the past those states, as of 1964, were less Republican and less conservative than those ex-Confederate states east of the Appalachian mountains. All the three ex-Confederate states that Obama won were, surprisingly, east of the Appalachians and bordered either the Atlantic or Gulf coasts, mostly the former.

As a former Tennessean, I had hoped that Obama would have had, at the very least a razor-close showing on November 4. In 1984, Mondale did better in Tennessee than he did in some Northern and Western states such as Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, California, etc. In fact, Mondale's 42 percent showing in Tennessee against Reagan's 58 percent was one point higher than Mondale's national showing of 41 percent. In fact, most of the counties that supported Mondale and Ferraro were prodominantly rural, white and presumably male electorate counties. If Mondale carried those counties, which he did, he obviously received a huge chunk of white male votes (a contradiction to the mainstream media's assumption that all Southeastern white males are unanimously right-wing anti-McGovern/anti-Mondale persons). As a white Southeastern male, I take offense at anybody who automatically assumes I am a right-wing Republican despite my leftist credientials.

My hope is that McCain's Tennessee win won't encourage the right wing of Tennessee's Repulican Party to purge its more moderate wing of pro-environmental (and, at least formerly, pro-civil rights) Senator Lemar Alexander and of antiwar Congressman Duncan (one of only six Republicans nationwide who opposed Bush's Iraq War). I hope that Obama during his presidency can convince the majority of white Tennesseans of both genders to support a progressive, leftist agenda over the next few years.

William R. Delzell

Springfield, MA

Nov 15 2008 - 8:35pm

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