Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Amy McKay

Second Advisor

Toby Bolsen

Third Advisor

Jeffery Lazarus

Abstract

For the past several decades the South has moved toward one-party Republican control, and yet the mega-southern state of Florida has not kept pace with the greater Southern Republican realignment for candidates running for statewide office. Instead, Florida has exhibited a Southern lag, where rural counties maintain higher Democratic registration than voting levels in supporting Democratic candidates for governor and U.S. Senate in the same general election year. There has been a gradual regional dealignment occurring in rural counties that are closer to the Deep Southern states of Alabama and Georgia. Using a range of aggregate Florida county election and registration data, research found the percentage of white voters and percentage of registered Democrats that comprise counties effect the Democratic deviation. These results have implications for campaign strategy and can be used in campaign targeting efforts.

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