Third Party Candidates

In 1948, Strom Thurmond and other southern Democrats broke from the Party over the issue of racial segregation, which they supported, to form the States’ Rights, or “Dixiecrat” Party. Thurmond earned 39 votes from the Electoral College, but just 2.4% of the popular vote. Thurmond went on to change parties yet again, and served out the rest of his lengthy Senate career as the Republican senior Senator from South Carolina. Thurmond died in 2003 at the age of 101, just months after he had resigned his office. The Dixiecrat Party lost its momentum and dissolved after the 1948 election, but it was influential in weakening traditional Democratic influence in the South.

Strom Thurmond-Fielding Wright “States’ Rights Democrats” Postcard, 1948.

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