Since 1968, i. e., since the cultural impact of "the 60's," Democrats have nominated presidential candidates from the Upper Midwest, the Northeast, and the Southeast. All from the first two groups lost-- Humphrey, Minnesota, 68; McGovern, South Dakota, 72; Mondale, Minnesota, 84, Dukakis, Massachusetts, 88; and Kerry, Massachusetts, 04. All from the Southeast won on their first try -- Carter, Georgia, 76; Clinton, Arkansas, 92-96; and Gore, Tennessee, 2000. (OK, Carter lost to Bush the Elder in 80 because of stagflation and the Iranian hostage crisis. Gore in 2000 won if you count all the actual votes intended for him.)
So, candidates from the Upper Midwest lost. Candidates from the Northeast lost. Candidates from the Southeast won.
What can we learn from this? The losing candidates were liberal liberals associated with the most progressive elements of those states. The winning candidates were liberal moderates from the least progressive region of the country, but they were successful Democrats who represented the best the South has to offer politically, especially when compared to Southern Republicans -- among the worst of the worst.
What are the implications for 2008? At the moment, for me it suggests a ticket of John Edwards of North Carolina and Barack Obama. OK, Obama is from Illinois, so he has yet to prove himself a vote getter in all sections of the country. I believe he can.
For further analysis, see an earlier post in which I write a prescription for Democrats in 2008.