Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 9 years ago

Why did all of these Democrats switch to the GOP from 1960 to 1990?


early 1960s – Arthur Ravenel, Jr. of South Carolina, before running for the South Carolina Senate

1960s – James F. Byrnes of South Carolina, after endorsing many Republicans in the 1950s and 1960s

1961 – Charlton Lyons to run for Louisiana's 4th congressional district seat

1961 - Billy J. Guin of Shreveport, to support Charlton Lyons for Congress

1962 - Dave Treen, later became U.S. Representative for Louisiana (1973-1980) and Governor of Louisiana (1980-1984)

1962 – Jack M. Cox, to run for Governor of Texas; losing to later Republican convert John B. Connally, Jr.

1962 – James D. Martin, to run for the U.S. Senate from Alabama

1962 – Ronald Reagan of California, while an actor and former Screen Actors Guild president [43]

1962 – Floyd Spence, while a South Carolina state Representative; ran for the House of Representatives as a Republican and lost, later elected to the state senate before making a successful run for the House

1964 – Strom Thurmond, while U.S. senator from South Carolina switched to the Republican party on September 16, 1964.[2]

1964 - Howard Callaway, in order to run successfully as U.S. Representative from Georgia.

1965 – Albert Watson, while U.S. Representative from South Carolina (resigned before switching parties and re-won his seat in a special election)

1965 – Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, while running for Philadelphia District Attorney; in 2009, he switched back to Democrat [44].

1965 – Roderick Miller (LA) after unsuccessfully run for judgeship in 1964

1966 – Thomas A. Wofford, before write-in campaign for State Senator from South Carolina

1966 – Len E. Blaylock, to support Winthrop Rockefeller for Governor of Arkansas

1966 – Jerry Thomasson of Arkansas, switched from Democrat to Republican while an state Representative to run for Attorney General of Arkansas

1966 – Henry Grover of Texas, switched from Democrat to Republican while a state Representative before successfully running for Texas Senate.

1967 – William E. Dannemeyer, while serving as a superior court judge before returning to the California State Assembly

1967 – Allison Kolb of Louisiana, while seeking a political comeback running unsuccessfully for state Treasurer, lost 1956 Democratic primary for state auditor

1968 – William Reynolds Archer, Jr., while a member of the Texas House of Representatives

1968 – Will Wilson, former Texas Attorney General switched to support Richard M. Nixon in the 1968 presidential election

1968 - Comptroller General of Georgia James L. Bentley switched to Republican.

[edit] 1970s1970 – Jesse Helms, two years before running for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina

1970 – A. C. Clemons, while serving in the Louisiana Senate

1970 – William Oswald Mills, before running for U.S. Representative from Maryland

1970 - Bob Barr, was U.S. Representative from Georgia from 1995-2003.

1971 – Tillie K. Fowler

1972 – Robert R. Neall, before serving in the Maryland House of Delegates. He switched back to Democrat in 1999

1972 – Trent Lott, prior to running for the House of Representatives from Mississippi. He was administrative assistant to Rules Committee chairman William Colmer, who endorsed Lott as his successor despite Lott's party switch.

1973 – Mills E. Godwin Jr., Democratic governor of Virginia from 1966 to 1970, moved to the Republican Party and was reelected, serving as governor again from 1974 to 1978.

1973 – Michele Bachmann, US Representative from Minnesota. She switched parties in her senior year of college

1973 – Samuel I. Hayakawa, three years before running for the U.S. Senate from California

1973 – John Connally, not then in office; six years before he sought the Republican presidential nomination

1975 – Elizabeth Dole, while employed by the Federal Trade Commission

1975 – John Jarman, while U.S. Representative from Oklahoma. He had served for 24 years in the House and said he was fed up with the Democratic party, which had been "taken over by liberals". He retired in 1976.

1977 – A. J. McNamara, while serving in the Louisiana House

1977 – Lane Carson while serving in the Louisiana House

1978 – Robert G. Jones, after leaving the Louisiana Senate

1978 – Chris Smith, managed the unsuccessful 1976 New Jersey Senate primary campaign of Democrat, Steve Foley, switch parties to run for U.S. Rep. in 1978 (lost)/ran again 1980 (Won) still holds office [45].

late 1970s – Thomas Bliley, after being Mayor of Richmond, Virginia, and before election to U.S. House of Representatives

late 1970s – Michael F. "Mike" Thompson, while serving in the Louisiana House

1979 – Charles Grisbaum, Jr., member of the Louisiana House from Jefferson Parish

1979 – Ed Scogin, member of the Louisiana House from St. Tammany Parish

[edit] 1980s1980s – S. S. DeWitt, after having left the Louisiana House of Representatives

1980 – Sam Yorty, While trying to make political comeback bid for the Republican n


1980 – Sam Yorty, While trying to make political comeback bid for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate

1980 – Mac Collins, while county commissioner

1980 – Jim Donelon, to run for Congress in a special election

1980 – Jesse Monroe Knowles, while serving near the end of his term in the Louisiana Senate

1980 – Frank D. White, to run for governor of Arkansas

1980s – J.C. "Sonny" Gilbert, after having left office as a member of both houses of the Louisiana legislature

1981 – Bob Stump, while U.S. Representative from Arizona

1981 – Eugene Atkinson, while U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania

1982 – Condoleezza Rice, changed to Republican cites influence of her father, who switched from Democrat to Republican after being denied voting registration by the Democratic registrar (Al) 1952.

1983 – Jimmy Fitzmorris, to attempt to regain the office of Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana

1983 – Phil Gramm, while U.S. Representative from Texas (resigned before switching parties and re

Update 2:

1983 – Phil Gramm, while U.S. Representative from Texas (resigned before switching parties and re-won his seat in a special election)

1983 – Bob Martinez, while mayor of Tampa, Florida

1984 – V.J. Bella, while serving in the Louisiana House of Representatives

1984 – Andy Ireland, while U.S. Representative from Florida

1984 – H. Edward Knox; became an independent in 2005

1985 – Jeane Kirkpatrick, while U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations [46]

1985 – Edward J. King, former governor of Massachusetts

1985 – Dexter Lehtinen, while serving in the Florida House of Representatives

1985 – Kent Hance, former U.S. Representative, after losing the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in Texas

1985 – Jock Scott, near the end of his tenure in the Louisiana House of Representatives

1985 – Carole Keeton Strayhorn, former Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (she ran for Texas Governor as an independent in 2006)

1986 – William Bennett, while U.S. Secretary of Education

1986 – Richard Baker,

Update 3:

1986 – Richard Baker, While in Louisiana House of Representatives later in the year elected to U.S. House seat which opened up shortly after party switch.

1986 – Charles T. Canady, while serving in the Florida House of Representatives

1986 – Frank Rizzo, before running for Mayor of Philadelphia in 1987

1986 – James David Santini, before running for U.S. Senator from Nevada

1987 – Paul Hardy, before running for Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana

1987 – Roy Moore, prior to being appointed to an Alabama circuit judgeship

1988 – Jim McCrery, while running for U.S. Representative from Louisiana. He had been a staff member for Buddy Roemer, but switched parties before the special election after Roemer was elected governor.

1988 – David Duke, prior for running for a seat in the lower house of the Louisiana state legislature

Mike Johanns, was The Governor of Nebraska (1999-2005), United States Secretary of Agriculture (2005-2007) and in 2009 became the United Staes Senator for Nebraska.

Update 4:

1989 – Edward Vrdolyak, After running for Mayor of Chicago as Solidarity Party candidate earlier in the year switched to Republican on September 16, 1987 [47]

1989 – Bill Grant, while U.S. Representative from Florida

1989 – Tommy F. Robinson, while U.S. Representative from Arkansas

1989 – Rick Perry, before running for Agriculture Commissioner of Texas

1989 – W. Fox McKeithen, while Louisiana Secretary of State

14 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because southern white conservative state-rights Democrats were racist. The national Democrat party started supporting civil rights for minorities and they didn't like that. That's why they jumped ship and now the South is Republican and North is Democrat.

    It happened in stages:

    1) Truman supported integrating the military. Strom Thurmond created his Dixiecrat party to run against him.

    2) Barry Goldwater, Republican, runs against civil rights and LBJ in 1964. Lots of southern Democrats including Strom Thurmond, jumped ship and became Republican that year.

    3) Nixon used his "southern strategy" of racial fears to win over the South.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    So you applauded Specter? REALLY, Bob? Have a look here: Before running for Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg swapped his status as Democrat to Republican. He later switched to Independent in 2007. I wonder why? Days before filing for the mayoral race in New Orleans, Ray Nagin switched from Republican to Democrat. Prior to running for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, US Senator Jim Webb went from Republican to Democrat. U.S. Senator James Jeffords from Vermont switched from Republican to Independent in 2001, disrupting the Senate's balance of power which was at 50-50. His move gave Democrats majority control until the GOP regained it in 2003 Landslide my a**. (We get the heavyweights, you lot get the assholes.)

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Notice there isn't a mass exodus of these so called Democrats who voted againist Civil Rights after 1964?It didn't happen Gore,Wallace,Byrd all stayed Democrat. These Democrats from the 70s 80s 90s 20s switched because the Democrats were becoming a bunch of communists.

  • 9 years ago

    The turbulent war period of the 1960's spurred the growth of an antiwar movement centered around the threat of nuclear annihilation. For some of those antiwar activists seeing the cold war from the enemy's perspective lead to a belief in the moral equivalence between Communism and Capitalism.

    It was then just a small step for Communists that had been repressed previously to spread their ideology to campuses full of young men who were staying in school to avoid the draft during the vietnam war.

    Some of these 60's radicals became journalists in the belief that they were going to be the next Woodward and Burnstein taking down Nixon. Others stayed in college and infected academia with an anti-establishment socialist milieu.

    Quite a few of these 60's radicals decided that protest marches would never change anything and they had to work within the system to change it. They did this largely by joining the Democrat party and reshaping it to suit their socialist agenda.

    As the trend continued Americans with traditional social values moved away from what the Democrat party had become. Rejecting the free love hippy lifestyle they were called the neoconservatives.

    A neoconservative is a Democrat who is liberal in economic policy, liberal in social policy, but believes in traditional American values.

    Through the years the Democrat party morphed from what it was into it's today's form, which is the Socialist Party of America.

    A few normal people hung on and hardly noticed the difference; like the frog in the slowly boiling pot of water they were boiled alive.

    Many others had the sense to jump out of the pot before it was boiling and those are the Democrats who became Republican.

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  • 9 years ago

    All the ones in the 60's and 70's were ex-dixiecrats, the southern, racist wing of the Democratic party. When LBJ sent troops to the south to protect blacks, they switched in protest.

  • justa
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I'm sure you noticed that the majority of those names were southerners.

    They weren't fond of the civil rights act and so switched to the Republicans since there was no push there to allow that blacks were entitled to equal rights with whites.

    Those were Dixiecrats, extremely conservative Democrats who weren't comfortable with the idea that "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" could mean a black face at the country club.

    And you hear people wonder why blacks aren't attracted to today's Republican party.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    i've been surfing more than 3 hours today looking for answers to the same question, yet I haven't found any interesting discussion like this. It's pretty worth enough for me.

  • BeBe
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Good list. It's amazing that some think that history can be rewritten. The question appears so frequently about the Dixiecrats switching to the Republican party because of civil rights for blacks. Yes, it really happened.

  • 4 years ago

    Was wondering the same thing

  • Rayne
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    While the racists Byrd and Gore Sr. remained Democrats...Hmm...Interesting...

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