About Progressive Round Table Featured News "Mudcat" Saunders on the Southern Strategy
Saturday, 22 September 2012 17:06

"Mudcat" Saunders on the Southern Strategy

Written by  Patrick Gavin |

With less than two months until Election Day, one of the challenges facing Democrats at the voting booth has plagued them for decades: how to play well in the South.

“Mudcat” Saunders, a consultant who’s worked on campaigns of John Edwards, Mark Warner and Jim Webb, has long advised Democrats on how to win the hearts and minds of Southerners, including in his 2006 book, “Foxes in the Henhouse: How the Republicans Stole the South and the Heartland, and What the Democrats Must Do to Run ’em Out.” Saunders is currently advising Wayne Powell in his attempt to unseat Rep. Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

Saunders admits that his candidate has “an uphill climb” to upset the powerful incumbent but says, “If we continue to raise money and our fundraising kicks up a little bit more, we’ve got a legitimate shot.” (In response to Saunders’s statement, Cantor deputy chief of staff Doug Heye said, “It’s an interesting strategy by Dave to admit that his candidate does not have a ‘legitimate shot’ at winning. That may be a first in American politics.”)

As for Democrats across the South, Saunders says it’s about appealing to Reagan Democrats.

“Reagan Democrats are ready to come home, there’s no question,” Saunders told POLITICO.

“Democrats go after class and Republicans go after culture, and culture wins every single time. I say, as far as Reagan Democrats are concerned, in every Republican there’s a Democrat trying to get out, but as long as we continue to not knock these cultural wedges out, to not properly articulate them, we can’t win the cultural battle.”


Saunders said that for Democrats to improve their odds in the South, they need to play up their talk of individual liberties.

“Liberty is everything and you don’t hear anybody talk about liberty anymore besides the tea party, and I think they’re right to talk about it — and we need to be talking about liberty as Democrats and get back to the constitutional stance that our party believes in.”

Saunders admitted that, on the presidential level, the Obama campaign is smart to send Vice President Joe Biden to rural, Southern areas.

“I don’t think there’s any question that Joe Biden is more effective,” Saunders said. “It’s blue collar. He’s one of us. He talks strong. He raises hell, and we like that.”

Watch POLITICO’s full interview with Saunders above.

Read more:

Read 2787 times

Progressive Round Table

Progressive Round Table

Presented by Progressive Democrats of America Powered by Ethical Electric Support clean energy and independent media here: Subscribe to We Act Radio for more: If you liked this clip from We Act Radio, please do us a big favor and share it with your friends... and hit that "like" button!

Progressive Roundtable, September 2014

Progressive Roundtable, September 2014
PDA’s July Congressional Roundtable
PDA June Roundtable
PDA June Roundtable
7007 sec.
Views: 165
PDA’s Progressive Roundtable
PDA's Progressive Roundtable
4978 sec.
Views: 198

PDA In Your State

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab


Rep. Jim McGovern at July Round Table

ERA 9/12 Senate Briefing

ERA - January 15th Round Table

The Robin Hood Tax

Robin Hood Tax: John Nichols and Keith Ellison and Michael Lighty

Why The Robin Hood Tax

Miriam Pemberton - Swords into Ploughshares

Dr. Bill on Medicare for All

Keith Ellison: Single Payer and Expanding Social Security