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United States House of Representatives elections in South Carolina, 1956

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1956 South Carolina United States House of Representatives elections were held on November 6, 1956 to select six Representatives for two-year terms from the state of South Carolina. All five incumbents who ran were re-elected and the open seat in the 5th congressional district was retained by the Democrats. The composition of the state delegation thus remained solely Democratic.

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Transcription

Once upon a time, every student of history – and that meant pretty much everyone with a high school education – knew this: The Democratic Party was the party of slavery and Jim Crow, and the Republican Party was the party of emancipation and racial integration. Democrats were the Confederacy; and Republicans were the Union. Jim Crow Democrats were dominant in the South; and socially tolerant Republicans were dominant in the North. But then, in the 1960s and 70s, everything supposedly flipped: suddenly the Republicans became the racists and the Democrats became the champions of civil rights. Fabricated by left-leaning academic elites and journalists, the story went like this: Republicans couldn't win a national election by appealing to the better nature of the country; they could only win by appealing to the worst. Attributed to Richard Nixon, the media's all-purpose bad guy, this came to be known as "The Southern Strategy." It was very simple. Win elections by winning the South. And to win the South, appeal to racists. So, the Republicans, the party of Lincoln, were to now be labeled the party of rednecks. But this story of the two parties switching identities is a myth. In fact, it's three myths wrapped into one false narrative. Let's take a brief look at each myth in turn. Myth Number One: In order to be competitive in the South, Republicans started to pander to white racists in the 1960s. Fact: Republicans actually became competitive in the South as early as 1928, when Republican Herbert Hoover won over 47 percent of the South's popular vote against Democrat Al Smith. In 1952, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower won the southern states of Tennessee, Florida and Virginia. And in 1956, he picked up Louisiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, too. And that was after he supported the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that desegregated public schools; and after he sent the 101st Airborne to Little Rock Central High School to enforce integration. Myth Number Two: Southern Democrats, angry with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, switched parties. Fact: Of the 21 Democratic senators who opposed the Civil Rights Act, just one became a Republican. The other 20 continued to be elected as Democrats, or were replaced by other Democrats. On average, those 20 seats didn't go Republican for another two-and-a-half decades. Myth Number Three: Since the implementation of the Southern Strategy, the Republicans have dominated the South. Fact: Richard Nixon, the man who is often credited with creating the Southern Strategy, lost the Deep South in 1968. In contrast, Democrat Jimmy Carter nearly swept the region in 1976 - 12 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And in 1992, over 28 years later, Democrat Bill Clinton won Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. The truth is, Republicans didn't hold a majority of southern congressional seats until 1994, 30 years after the Civil Rights Act. As Kevin Williamson writes at the National Review: "If southern rednecks ditched the Democrats because of a civil-rights law passed in 1964, it is strange that they waited until the late 1980s and early 1990s to do so. They say things move slower in the south -- but not t hat slow." So, what really happened? Why does the South now vote overwhelmingly Republican? Because the South itself has changed. Its values have changed. The racism that once defined it, doesn't anymore. Its values today are conservative ones: pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-small government. And here's the proof: Southern whites are far more likely to vote for a black conservative, like Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, than a white liberal. In short, history has moved on. Like other regions of the country, the South votes values, not skin color. The myth of the Southern Strategy is just the Democrats excuse for losing the South. And yet another way to smear Republicans with the label "racist". Don't buy it. I'm Carol Swain, professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, for Prager University.

Contents

1st Congressional District

Incumbent Democratic Congressman L. Mendel Rivers of the 1st congressional district, in office since 1941, was unopposed in his bid for re-election.

General election results

South Carolina's 1st Congressional District Election Results, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic L. Mendel Rivers (incumbent) 31,112 100.0 +2.3
No party Write-Ins 2 0.0 0.0
Majority 31,110 100.0 +4.6
Turnout 31,114
Democratic hold

2nd Congressional District

Incumbent Democratic Congressman John J. Riley of the 2nd congressional district, in office since 1951, was unopposed in his bid for re-election.

General election results

South Carolina's 2nd Congressional District Election Results, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John J. Riley (incumbent) 49,284 100.0 +2.3
No party Write-Ins 3 0.0 0.0
Majority 49,281 100.0 +4.6
Turnout 49,287
Democratic hold

3rd Congressional District

Incumbent Democratic Congressman William Jennings Bryan Dorn of the 3rd congressional district, in office since 1951, defeated Republican challenger Maka Knox.

General election results

South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District Election Results, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic William J.B. Dorn (incumbent) 39,270 92.9 -6.4
Republican Maka Knox 2,885 6.8 +6.2
No party Write-Ins 127 0.3 +0.2
Majority 36,385 86.1 -12.6
Turnout 42,282
Democratic hold

4th Congressional District

Incumbent Democratic Congressman Robert T. Ashmore of the 4th congressional district, in office since 1953, defeated Republican challenger Dan H. Wallace, Jr.

General election results

South Carolina's 4th Congressional District Election Results, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Robert T. Ashmore (incumbent) 53,722 85.1 -14.1
Republican Dan H. Wallace, Jr. 9,393 14.9 +14.1
Majority 44,329 70.2 -28.2
Turnout 63,115
Democratic hold

5th Congressional District

Incumbent Democratic Congressman James P. Richards of the 5th congressional district, in office since 1933, opted to retire. Robert W. Hemphill defeated Thomas S. Gettys in the Democratic primary and was unopposed in the general election.

Democratic primary

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Robert W. Hemphill 28,424 59.0
Thomas S. Gettys 19,760 41.0

General election results

South Carolina's 5th Congressional District Election Results, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Robert W. Hemphill 36,454 100.0 0.0
Majority 36,454 100.0 0.0
Turnout 36,454
Democratic hold

6th Congressional District

Incumbent Democratic Congressman John L. McMillan of the 6th congressional district, in office since 1939, was unopposed in his bid for re-election.

General election results

South Carolina's 6th Congressional District Election Results, 1956
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John L. McMillan (incumbent) 39,749 100.0 +1.1
No party Write-Ins 3 0.0 0.0
Majority 39,746 100.0 +2.2
Turnout 39,752
Democratic hold

See also

References

  • Jordan, Frank E. The Primary State: A History of the Democratic Party in South Carolina, 1876-1962. p. 116. 
  • "Supplemental Report of the Secretary of State to the General Assembly of South Carolina." Reports and Resolutions of South Carolina to the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina. Volume I. Columbia, SC: 1957, pp. 10–12.
This page was last edited on 12 November 2016, at 15:03
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