Politics & Government

Howard Dean says Democrats must retake the South

MACON, Ga. — Howard Dean, a 2004 presidential candidate and current chairman of the Democratic National Committee, brought the party's "Register for Change" tour to Macon on Saturday and called on Democrats replant the party's flag in Georgia.

He said Democrats need to find 500,000 new voters in a state of 9 million people for their presidential candidate to win the state for the first time since 1992. He called this a lofty goal, but said the party can't write off the South any more.

"The South has changed a great deal in the last 40 years. ... And our biggest mistake was not coming to the South," Dean told supporters.

Wearing a tie depicting all 50 states to go with his 50-state strategy, Dean said the Democratic Party's values are more in line with Southern thinking than some people think. That's particularly true for evangelical Christians, which Dean said the party is targeting.

Polling shows that the top issues for evangelicals under 35 are poverty, climate change and the conflict in Darfur — all issues that are right in the party's wheelhouse, Dean said.

Read the complete story at macon.com