Around the South for December 1, 2014 – Dems, Polls, & VA

Democrats: Old wine in new bottles? In an analysis of the Democratic Party’s future in the South published in Raleigh’s News & Observer, several party leaders urged a renewed emphasis on economic populism, including more spending on schools and public works, raising the minimum wage and more regulation of banks. Mississippi state Democratic chairman Rick Cole questioned the effectiveness of “identity politics,” with its emphasis on ethnic groups, women and sexual minorities, noting that while the policies they advocate may be good, “people who don’t see themselves in those groups say, ‘What have the Democrats got for me?’”

Exit polls: Whites desert Democrats. In last month’s elections, in Georgia, Michelle Nunn (D) and Jason Carter (D), high-profile candidates with well-funded campaigns, received less than 25% of the white vote, reports the News & Observer. In Arkansas, US Sen. Mark Pryor (D) got 31% of the white vote. And in Louisiana’s first primary, US Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) received just 18% of the white vote.

Virginia: Webb gets NYT ink. Former US Sen. Jim Webb (D), the first presidential candidate to form an exploratory committee for 2016, was the subject of a major story in the New York Times on Friday. Webb’s plusses, according to the article, include his economic populism and his long-stated opposition to US military involvement in the Middle East. His negatives, he once opposed women in the military (a stance since reversed), and his fondness for his Confederate roots (Imagine!).