Wall Street Journal on John Barrow, the last white Democrat from the Deep South in the House

Earlier today, I posted: WSJ: “Southern White Democrats Face End of Era in Congress”

The WSJ piece in question: Southern White Democrats Face End of Era in Congress. From that piece:

A loss by Mr. Barrow would quicken the decline of a political archetype, the conservative Southern Democrat—a type who helped forge deals in recent decades on matters ranging from Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts to last year’s debt agreement. They have been a pillar of the Blue Dog Coalition of Democrats in the House, a group that has shrunk from 52 members before the 2010 election to 25 today. Of this remnant, five are retiring, and two have lost their primaries. Seven more, including Mr. Barrow, face tough re-elections.

The loss of centrists, combined with more racially divided parties that see the role of government in different terms, has implications for policy, contributing to the continuing paralysis in Washington that frustrates many voters. “The more dimensions on which you make it difficult for people to share a common perspective, the harder it will be to reach any compromise,” says Eric Heberlig, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The changes extend beyond the five states that make up the Deep South—Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. North Carolina’s state legislature just redrew congressional boundaries, with the likely outcome that four of the state’s five white Democratic House members will be replaced by white Republicans. Missouri could see its congressional delegation include only white Republicans and black Democrats after the next election.

“Few heavily white areas, outside college towns and Whole Foods locations, are hospitable to Democrats right now,” said David Wasserman, who follows House races for the Cook Political Report.

I last wrote about this trend last year: Will 2011 redistricting finally kill off the endangered White Georgia Democrat?

I’m not particularly impressed with the campaigns so far of either Lee Anderson or Rick Allen, who square off in a Republican runoff on August 21 to get the chance to face Barrow in November in Georgia District 12. The newly drawn district poses some serious difficulties for Barrow — or for any Democrat. But Barrow could certainly survive, and there’s no doubt that the race will continue to attract national attention.