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Dixiecrat was the informal term for Southern Democrats who in 1948 refused to support President Harry S. Truman for election to a full term because he was in their eyes too pro-civil rights. The official name was the States Rights Party. Dixiecrats formed a third party that nominated South Carolina Governor and later long-term United States Senator Strom Thurmond in addition to Mississippi governor Fielding L. Wright. The ticket carried four states in the Deep South where Thurmond was the official nominee of the Democratic Party. He received the thirty-nine electoral votes of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and his own South Carolina. His popular vote was 1.2 million (2.4 percent) of the national total.

The Dixiecrats did not nominate any other candidates at any level, and dissolved after Truman won the election over the Moderate Republican Thomas E. Dewey of New York. The Dixiecrats returned to the Democrats but came into increasingly more conflict with the pro-civil rights sections of the national party. In the 1952 presidential election, losing Democrat nominee Adlai Stevenson, an Illinois liberal, easily carried the Southern congressional districts which supported the Thurmond/Wright ticket in 1948.[1] By contrast, the districts which voted for Truman were more favorable towards Eisenhower.


  1. Shafer, Byron E.; Johnston, Richard. The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South. Retrieved September 28, 2021.

Further reading

  • Frederickson, Kari. The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932-1968 (2001) 310 pgs. online edition
  • Karabell, Zachary. The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Pietrusza, David 1948: Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year that Changed America, New York: Union Square Press, 2011.