Lyndon Johnson & Albert Gore: Southern New Dealers and the Modern South

Historian article

By Professor A J Badger, published 1st December 2005

Lyndon Johnson and Albert Gore were elected to Congress within a year of each other in 1937-38. They were elected in the old style of patronage-oriented southern Democratic Party politics in which a plethora of candidates, with few issues to divide them, contested primary elections. Both circumvented the local county seat elites who usually delivered their counties' votes by taking their case directly to the people, mounting vigorous campaigns to establish their name recognition. Johnson reached out to the tiniest and most isolated communities in his district and completely overturned the 'leisurely pace normal in Texas elections.' Gore played the fiddle with a small band to attract a crowd on Saturday afternoons in courthouse squares across his district. But if they started their political lives in the traditional, old, rural South...

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