Conservative Republicans Take Washington Seats

By Staff

Vol. 3, No. 1, 1980, p. 14

Nine of the more than thirty new Republican seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will come from the South as a result of the November general election. While maintaining their 24 present House seats among the Southern delegations, Republicans also have gained four U.S. Senate seats from North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

Southern Democrats suffered a hard right swing from voters who aimed their harshest blows at moderate Democratic representatives. One-third of the South's Democratic representatives whose voting records in any way favored civil rights, civil liberties, labor, and liberal groups was defeated by the conservative Republicans. In all congressional elections where Southern Democratic incumbents were not to return to Congress because of defeat in the primary or retirement, Republicans won. All newly elected congressmen ran on a platform more conservative than their predecessor's.

Those U.S. Representatives who served in the last Congress and won't be returning to Washington from the South because of defeat at the polls are listed below with ratings on their voting records from 1978 and 1980 by civil rights, civil liberties, labor, and liberal groups.

Defeated Southern Congressmen and Their Voting Record
U.S. House of Representatives

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights ACLU* ADA* COPE*
1980 1980 1978 1978
ALABAMA
John H. Buchanan (R) 57% 50% 30% 44%
FLORIDA
Richard Kelly (R) 0% 3% 5% 0%
Edward J. Stack (D) + 100% 77%
LOUISIANA
Claude Leach (D) + 14% 23%
NORTH CAROLINA
Richardson Preyer (D) 57% 57% 55% 60%
Lamar Gudger (D) 29% 27% 25% 30%
SOUTH CAROLINA
John W. Jenrette (D) 71% 33% 40% 74%
TEXAS
Ray Roberts (D) 0% 23% 15% 22%
Bob Eckhardt (D) 86% 83% 75% 89%
Joe Wyatt, Jr. (D) + 29% 10%
VIRGINIA
Herbert E. Harris, II (D) 100% 80% 70% 90%
Joseph L. Fisher (D) 100% 87% 60% 65%

U.S. Senate

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights ACLU* ADA* COPE*
1980 1980 1978 1978
ALABAMA
Donald Stewart (D) + 75% 47%
FLORIDA
Richard Stone (D) 75% 37% 25% 50%
GEORGIA
Herman E. Talmadge (D) 38% 20% 40% 42%
NORTH CAROLINA
Robert Morgan (D) 38% 20% 25% 35%

* ACLU is the rating of the American Civil Liberties Union; ADA is Americans for Democratic Action; COPE is the ratings of the AFL-CIO political arm.
+ Not serving in Congress in 1978 session.