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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Allen Bailey, [date unknown]. Interview B-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Liberal primary voters' influence on wider Democratic Party

Here, Bailey argues that one of the problems facing the Democratic Party in Charlotte is that motivated liberal voters elect primary candidates who do not appeal to the moderate and conservative Democrats who vote in general elections.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Allen Bailey, [date unknown]. Interview B-0066. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Some people characterize sort of part of the problem both at the state and the local level within the Democratic party as a situation where the more liberal candidate can win the precinct meetings or whatever and get the primary nomination, but then come November, he's sort of used up what he had. In other words, that bloc can get him the nomination, but he can't deliver on the . . .
Well, I think that's exactly what's been taking place in North Carolina. There has been enough liberal support . . . unless there is a real issue-oriented campaign with maybe one or two strong conservative issues, if that's the case, then chances are you are able to nominate a Democratic nominee with that strong issue. But, it seems to me that there has just been enough liberal support in the primaries, by and large, to nominate the more liberal of the candidates, and, yet, when it comes to the fall (M: The more conservative Democrats and the Republicans . . . ) combining together.
I'm wondering if it sort of fits in the same thing. If you mount an argument that maybe the media campaign that Skipper Bowles had in his primary in '72 and maybe if you say that most of the newspapers generally gravitate towards the more liberal candidate . . . Do you see that as being . . . maybe they are able to sell themselves, but . . . to a certain bloc of people with this media campaign. They're sort of nice looking men, and they come across well on t.v., but maybe when it comes down to mixing with the people or something . . . When they come down off the studio stage or something to shake hands with people and really get down to the gut issues . . .
No. I think it's more of a . . . There is that liberal bloc within the state, and I think it's a powerful minority. Of course, in any campaign, you're going to have a certain amount of fallout from the other side go with that group for selfish reasons and first one reason and then another. With the . . . as you've indicated, with media gravitating to that side basically, most of the time and projecting that candidate as a palatable individual, his chances of success are good, but then when you come to the fall, you know, I think the people just naturally start weighing the two candidates who are left and say which one of these really thinks like I do or more nearly represents my views.