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
- BILL MOYE:
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 . . .
- ALLEN BAILEY:
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.
- BILL MOYE:
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 . . .
- ALLEN BAILEY:
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