Give me [b]Southern Comfort[/b]!
Currently the [b]most Republican[/b] region in the country, Southern Comfort follows the Gulf Coast from Fort Myers, Florida, west to Houston. From Texas, it reaches as far north as Branson, Missouri, a family-oriented entertainment resort that attracts more visitors than Broadway. This is the second fastest growing of all 10 regions, but it's pretty close to the national average in terms of income and education. [b]Religious conservatives are especially influential here[/b]; some of Pat Robertson's highest vote totals in the 1988 Republican primaries came from Southern Comfort.
Southern Comfort probably couldn't have existed as a separate region a few decades ago. In the 1950s, its most prominent political figures would have been Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson and House Speaker Sam Rayburn, both Democrats from Texas, but that was when this region was still indistinguishable from the "Solid South" dominated by the Democratic Party. Since then, both native conservatives and "snow birds" moving here from northern states have completely transformed the region. More recent political notables from Southern Comfort, all Republicans, include Tom DeLay of Texas, the majority leader in the US House; senator and former majority leader Trent Lott of Mississippi; former senator Phil Gramm of Texas (who switched from the Democratic Party after Reagan swept this region); and US Rep. Katherine Harris of Florida, who, as secretary of state, certified George W. Bush's 537-vote win there in 2000.
Of course, the Bush family provides the most prominent figures from Southern Comfort: former president George H.W. Bush, who represented Houston in Congress for part of the 1960s; current President George W. Bush, who served as governor of Texas for six years; and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who had been touted as a potential presidential candidate in the event that "W" didn't work out.
In Democratic primaries, voters in Southern Comfort generally support the most conservative of the viable candidates - which, in the past, has always been a Southerner like Carter or Clinton. But will Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the most conservative Democrat in 2004, find fertile ground in Oklahoma?
Sounds as if it was written by a bunch of panty-waisted liberals, doesn't it?