Yellow dog Democrats


Randy Black says: "The term Yellow Dog Democrat goes back decades to a time when ANY Democrat would vote for an old yellow dog if it were running on the Democratic ticket. It can apply to Republics too these days. The term, Yellow Dog Democrat, blossomed during all of the hoopla which surrounded the 1928 elections, when Al Smith ran for President against Herbert Hoover. During that campaign, Senator Tom Heflin, of Alabama, declined to back his fellow Democrat, Al Smith the Governor of NY. In fact it was much worse than that, Senator Heflin decided to back Herbert Hoover, who would then go on to become President- a Republican President no less. Heflin's controversial actions were considered heresy, especially in the South. As you can imagine, quite a large number of Alabamans vehemently disagreed with Senator Heflin's decision to cross his "Party Lines". Hence, the popular saying, "I'd vote for a yellow dog if he ran on the Democratic ticket" was born! It was adopted as the proud slogan of the staunch party loyalist. At the time, this phrase certainly did not reflect well on Senator Heflin.
Adapted from William Safire's Safire's New Political Dictionary".

RH: Those were the days of the Solid South. Did any Southern state vote for Hoover?

Gene Franklin writes;"In North Carolina in the 30s the saying was common that "I'd vote for a yellow dog before I'd vote for a Republican", hence, yellow dog Democrat". RH: This takes us back to the distant past, the time when the Democratic Party was bicephalous; the Northern head was liberal, the Southern head was conservative. A critical issue arose in 1928 when Catholic Al Smith ran against Republican Herbert Hoover. Al Smith's Catholicism made him unacceptable to Southern Democrats, who would not vote for a Republican, despite which Hoover won easily. Did Hoover carry any Southern states?


 

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