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End the duopoly

Democrats like Jaime Harrison, Joe Biden look to accelerate Southern political shift

A Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol honor guard carefully folds the retired Mississippi state flag after it was raised over the Capitol grounds one final time in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The banner was the last state flag with the Confederate battle emblem on it. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) ATLANTA (AP) — From Mississippi retiring its state flag to local governments removing Confederate statues from public spaces, a bipartisan push across the South is chipping away at reminders of the Civil War and Jim Crow segregation.

Now, during a national reckoning on racism, Democratic Party leaders want those symbolic changes to become part of a fundamental shift at the ballot box.

Many Southern electorates are getting younger, less white and more urban, and thus less likely to embrace President Donald Trump’s white identity politics. Southern Democrats are pairing a demographically diverse slate of candidates for state and congressional offices with presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden, a 77-year-old white man they believe can appeal to what remains perhaps the nation’s most culturally conservative region.

“There’s so much opportunity for everyone in this region,” said Jaime Harrison, Democratic challenger to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and a 44-year-old Black man.

Decades of economic development […]

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