Conservative Democrat

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Conservative Democrat
Political positionCenter-left[8][9] to Center-right[10]
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Colors  Blue

In American politics, a conservative Democrat is a member of the Democratic Party with conservative political views, or with views that are conservative compared to the positions taken by other members of the Democratic Party. Traditionally, conservative Democrats have been elected to office from the Southern states, rural areas, the Rust Belt, and the Midwest.[11]

Prior to 1964, both parties had influential liberal, moderate, and conservative wings. During this period, conservative Democrats formed the Democratic half of the conservative coalition. After 1964, the conservative wing assumed a greater presence in the Republican Party, although it did not become the mainstay of the party until the nomination of Ronald Reagan in 1980. The Democratic Party retained its conservative wing through the 1970s with the help of urban machine politics.

After 1980, the Republicans became a mostly right-wing party, with conservative leaders such as Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, and Tom DeLay. The Democrats, while keeping their liberal base intact, grew their centrist wing, the New Democrats, in the 1990s, with leaders such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Evan Bayh. In addition to the New Democrat Coalition, which represents the moderate wing, the Blue Dog Coalition represents conservative Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.


1828-1861: Background and Origins[edit]

The Democratic Party split from the Democratic-Republican Party in 1828. This new party chose Andrew Jackson as their candidate to run against John Quincy Adams and the Democratic-Republican Party. Andrew Jackson won the 1828 election by a landslide victory. Andrew Jackson took office in 1829. Jackson supported the Indian Removal Act of 1830 which removed Native Americans from their homelands in Florida and Georgia and sent them out west, into Unorganized Territory (what would later be known as Oklahoma). Under his term, South Carolina almost seceded from the Union because of tariffs and a nullification crisis,[12] but South Carolina stayed in the US. Jackson's enemies claimed that he was so powerful that he was like a king. They founded the Whig Party, based on the anti-monarchical British Whig Party. The later Democrats followed Jackson's philosophy, that it was the US' God-given right to expand westward. America would later, because of this philosophy, would win a war with Mexico called the Mexican-American War. Because of this westward expansion, new states, such as Texas and California, would have senators and representatives divided on serious issues, for example slavery. Mainly because of these issues, various southern states left the Union to form the Confederacy. this would cause the American Civil War.


1876–1964: Solid South[edit]

The Solid South describes the reliable electoral support of the U.S. Southern states for Democratic Party candidates for almost a century after the Reconstruction era. Except for 1928, when Catholic candidate Al Smith ran on the Democratic ticket, Democrats won heavily in the South in every presidential election from 1876 until 1964 (and even in 1928, the divided South provided most of Smith's electoral votes). The Democratic dominance originated in many Southerners' animosity towards the Republican Party's role in the Civil War and Reconstruction.[13]

1874–1896: rise of agrarian populism[edit]

The Populist Party, Greenback Party, and the Agrarianism movement are often cited as the first truly left-wing political movements within the United States. Nonetheless, while they emphasized economic issues that were radical by the political standards of the time, they were relatively conservative by today's standards. Historian Richard Hofstadter has taken the view that the Populist and Agrarian movements were essentially right-wing and reactionary movements, left-wing economic issues notwithstanding.[14]

Because of the political dominance of one party or the other in many states, the real political races during this period would often be within the party primary. Indeed, in many southern states, there was hardly any Republican Party at all, and the serious candidates of both the conservative and liberal kind were all Democrats. For example, in the southern states the race might be between a populist left-wing Democrat and a conservative Democrat in the primary, while in regions of the country such as the Midwest or New England in which the Republican Party was dominant, the race might be decided in the primary between a progressive Republican and a conservative Republican.

In 1896, William Jennings Bryan won the Democratic Party nomination by adopting many of the Populist Party's proposals as his own.[15] Bryan later became known as an opponent of the Theory of Evolution. In 1896, a group of conservative Gold Democrats who considered Bryan a dangerous radical broke with the Democratic Party and formed the National Democratic Party (United States) and nominated John M. Palmer (politician), former governor of Illinois for president and Simon Bolivar Buckner, former governor of Kentucky for vice-president. They also nominated a few other candidates including William Campbell Preston Breckinridge for Congress in Kentucky. The party went out of existence after 1896.

1932–1948: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal coalition[edit]

The 1932 election brought about a major realignment in political party affiliation, and is widely considered to be a political realignment. Franklin D. Roosevelt was able to forge a coalition of labor unions, liberals, Catholics, African Americans, and southern whites.[16][17] These disparate voting blocs together formed a broad majority and handed the Democrats seven victories out of nine presidential elections to come, as well as control of both houses of Congress during much of this time. In many ways, it was the American civil rights movement that ultimately heralded the demise of the coalition.

Roosevelt's program for alleviating the Great Depression, collectively known as the New Deal, emphasized only economic issues, and thus was compatible with the views of those who supported the New Deal programs but were otherwise conservative. This included the Southern Democrats, who were an important part of FDR's New Deal coalition.

There were a few conservative Democrats who came to oppose the New Deal, including Senator Harry F. Byrd, Senator Rush Holt Sr., Senator Josiah Bailey, and Representative Samuel B. Pettengill. The American Liberty League was formed in 1934, to oppose the New Deal. It was made up of wealthy businessmen and conservative Democrats including former Congressman Jouett Shouse of Kansas, former Congressman from West Virginia and 1924 Democratic presidential candidate, John W. Davis, and former governor of New York and 1928 Democratic presidential candidate Al Smith. In 1936, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of War, Henry Skillman Breckinridge ran against Roosevelt for the Democratic nomination for president. John Nance Garner, of Texas, 32nd Vice President of the United States under Roosevelt, a conservative Southerner, broke with Roosevelt in 1937 and ran against him for the Democratic nomination for president in 1940, but lost.

Political anomalies during the Great Depression[edit]

During the Roosevelt administration, several radical populist proposals which went beyond what Roosevelt was willing to advocate gained in popularity. It is notable that all four of the main promoters of these proposals, Charles Coughlin, Huey Long, Francis Townsend, and Upton Sinclair, were originally strong New Deal supporters but turned against Roosevelt because they believed the New Deal programs didn't go far enough. Like the New Deal programs, these populist proposals were based entirely on single economic reforms, but did not take a position on any other issue and were therefore compatible with those holding otherwise conservative views. Some historians today believe that the primary base of support for the proposals of Coughlin, Long, Townsend, and Sinclair was conservative middle class whites who saw their economic status slipping away during the Depression.[18] In 1936, Coughlin, Dr. Townsend, and Republican Gerald L. K. Smith backed the Union Party (United States), a third party supporting a populist alternative to the New Deal. They nominated Republican Congressman William Lemke of North Dakota for president and Democrat labor lawyer Thomas C. O'Brien of Massachusetts for vice-president. They also nominated Jacob S. Coxey for Congress in the 16th District of Ohio. All their candidates lost and the party disbanded.

A different source of conservative Democratic dissent against the New Deal came from a group of journalists who considered themselves classical liberals and Democrats of the old school, and were opposed to big government programs on principle; these included Albert Jay Nock and John T. Flynn, whose views later became influential in the libertarian movement.

Conversely, it also held the party to increasing commitment to ending segregationism and Jim Crow, and disengaging itself from its segregationist wing, held to be too far right for the new centrist consensus. This led to a conservative backlash by southern Democrats during the same period.

1948–1968: segregationist backlash[edit]

The proclamation by President Harry S. Truman and Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey of support for a civil rights plank in the Democratic Party platform of 1948 led to a walkout of 35 delegates from Mississippi and Alabama. These southern delegations nominated their own "States Rights Democratic Party" (a/k/a "Dixiecrat Party") nominees with South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond leading the ticket (Thurmond would later represent South Carolina in the U.S. Senate, and join the Republicans in 1964). The Dixiecrats held their convention in Birmingham, Alabama, where they nominated Thurmond for president and Fielding L. Wright, governor of Mississippi, for vice president. Dixiecrat leaders worked to have Thurmond-Wright declared the "official" Democratic Party ticket in Southern states.[19] They succeeded in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina; in other states, they were forced to run as a third-party ticket. Preston Parks, elected as a presidential elector for Truman in Tennessee, instead voted for the Thurmond-Wright ticket. Leander Perez attempted to keep the States Rights Party alive in Louisiana after 1948.

Similar breakaway Southern Democratic candidates running on states' rights and segregationist platforms would continue in 1956 (T. Coleman Andrews), and 1960 (Harry F. Byrd). None would be as successful as the American Independent Party campaign of George Wallace, the Democratic governor of Alabama, in 1968. Wallace had briefly run in the Democratic primaries of 1964 against Lyndon Johnson, but dropped out of the race early. In 1968, he formed the new American Independent Party and received 13.5% of the popular vote, and 46 electoral votes, carrying several Southern states.[20] The AIP would run presidential candidates in several other elections, including Southern Democrats (Lester Maddox in 1976 and John Rarick in 1980), but none of them did nearly as well as Wallace.

1977–1981: Jimmy Carter[edit]

When Jimmy Carter entered the Democratic Party Presidential primaries in 1976, he at first was considered to have little chance against nationally better-known politicians. However, the Watergate scandal was still fresh in the voters' minds, and so his position as an outsider distant from Washington, D.C. became an asset. He ran an effective campaign, did well in debates, and won his party's nomination and then the election, receiving 50.1% of the popular vote. The centerpiece of his campaign platform was government reorganization. Carter was the first candidate from the Deep South to be elected president since Antebellum.

He is a born-again Christian and was (until 2000) a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. While the Republican Party began to pursue a strategy of wooing born-again Christians as a voting bloc after 1980, led by activists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, in 1976, 56% of the evangelical Christian vote went to Carter. However, he had both liberal fiscal and social policies with liberal views on peace and ecology, with foreign policies oriented toward peace and human rights, making him unsatisfying for most Southern conservative Democrats.

Carter's 1976 electoral sweep of all the states of the former Confederacy except Virginia (which he narrowly lost to Gerald Ford) was the first time a Democrat (excluding the third-party campaigns of George Wallace and Harry Byrd) had swept the South since 1956, and would never be repeated. In 1992 and 1996, Bill Clinton won some southern states, and Barack Obama was successful in some coastal Southern states such as Florida, North Carolina and Virginia (with Obama's former running mate Joe Biden also narrowly winning the coastal southern state of Georgia in 2020), but otherwise the South turned solidly Republican after 1976.

1981–1989: boll weevils of the Reagan era[edit]

After 1968, with desegregation a settled issue, conservative Democrats, mostly Southerners, managed to remain in the United States Congress throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These included Democratic House members as conservative as Larry McDonald, who was also a leader in the John Birch Society. During the administration of Ronald Reagan, the term "boll weevils" was applied to this bloc of conservative Democrats, who consistently voted in favor of tax cuts, increases in military spending, and deregulation favored by the Reagan administration but were opposed to cuts in social welfare spending.[21]

Boll weevils was sometimes used as a political epithet by Democratic Party leaders, implying that the boll weevils were unreliable on key votes or not team players. Most of the boll weevils eventually retired from office, or in the case of some such as Senators Phil Gramm and Richard Shelby, switched parties and joined the Republicans. Since 1988 the term boll weevils has fallen out of favor.

Political anomalies during the 1980s and 1990s[edit]

In 1980, a political unknown named Lyndon LaRouche entered the New Hampshire Democratic Primary and polled 2% of the vote, coming in fourth place. He and his National Democratic Policy Committee were largely ignored until 1984, when he became something of a curiosity by paying for half-hour political ads proclaiming Walter Mondale a Soviet agent of influence, and 1986, when two followers of his won upset victories in Democratic primaries for statewide races in Illinois. After the media began to pay attention, LaRouche was promptly labeled an ultraconservative Democrat by some, and a nut by others, primarily due to the overlap of some of his views with those of the Reagan administration.[22] Others disputed the label and noted LaRouche's background as a Marxist/Trotskyist from the 1940s until the early 1970s.[23] Among those to criticize LaRouche as a "leftist" was conservative Democratic Congressman and John Birch Society leader Larry McDonald, who was killed when the passenger aircraft he was travelling in was shot down by Soviet interceptors.[24]

Aside from LaRouche, some Democratic leaders during the 1980s did turn toward conservative views, albeit very different from the previous incarnations of southern Democrats. In 1988, Joe Lieberman defeated Republican U.S. Senate incumbent Lowell Weicker of Connecticut by running to the right of Weicker and receiving the endorsements of the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association. Colorado governor Richard Lamm, and former Minnesota Senator and presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy both took up immigration reduction as an issue.[25] Lamm wrote a novel, 1988, about a third-party presidential candidate and former Democrat running as a progressive conservative, and Lamm himself would go on to unsuccessfully seek the nomination of the Reform Party in 1996. McCarthy began to give speeches in the late 1980s naming the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Election Commission as the three biggest threats to liberty in the United States.

Arthur Schlesinger Jr., known during the 1950s and 1960s as a champion of "Vital Center" ideology and the policies of Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, wrote a 1992 book, The Disuniting of America critical of multiculturalism.[26] Jerry Brown, meanwhile, would adopt the flat tax as a core issue during the 1992 Democratic primaries. Bill Clinton, the winner of the 1992 Democratic nomination, ran as a New Democrat and a member of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, distancing himself from the party's liberal wing.

2009–2017: presidency of Barack Obama[edit]

2008 United States presidential election[edit]

During the Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, he received the endorsement of prominent Obamacons, conservatives and Republicans who supported Obama.[27] This was due to Bush's unpopularity. Despite receiving support from some Republicans, Obama ran to the left of Bill Clinton.

2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries[edit]

During the 2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Hillary Clinton ran to the left of Barack Obama on economic issues but to the right on national security and foreign policy issues. Clinton also proposed a Cabinet-level poverty czar position. Clinton secured more labor union backing than Obama, and Obama did better than Clinton at gaining primary votes from self-identified independents.[28]

Current trend[edit]

During the 2006 midterm elections, the Democratic Party ran moderates and even a few conservative Democrats for at-risk Republican seats.[29] The Blue Dog Democrats gained nine seats during the elections.[30] The New Democrats had support from 27 of the 40 Democratic candidates running for at-risk Republican seats.[29] In 2010, the Blue Dog Coalition lost more than half its members. As of 2020, the Blue Dog Coalition had 14 members.

In the 2018 House of Representatives elections, the Democratic Party nominated moderate to conservative candidates in many contested districts and won a majority in the chamber. In the aftermath of the elections, the Blue Dog Coalition expanded to 27 members.[31]


Congressional caucuses[edit]

Blue Dog Coalition[edit]

The Blue Dog Coalition was formed in 1995[32][33][34] during the 104th Congress to give members from the Democratic Party representing conservative-leaning districts a unified voice after Democrats' loss of Congress in the 1994 Republican Revolution.[35]

The term "Blue Dog Democrat" is credited to Texas Democratic U.S. Representative Pete Geren (who later joined the Bush administration). Geren opined that the members had been "choked blue" by Democrats on the left.[36] It is related to the political term "Yellow Dog Democrat", a reference to Southern Democrats said to be so loyal they would even vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for any Republican. The term is also a reference to the "Blue Dog" paintings of Cajun artist George Rodrigue of Lafayette, Louisiana.[37][38]

The Blue Dog Coalition "advocates for fiscal responsibility, a strong national defense and bipartisan consensus rather than conflict with Republicans". It acts as a check on legislation that its members perceive to be too far to the right or the left on the political spectrum.[39] The Blue Dog Coalition is often involved in searching for a compromise between liberal and conservative positions. As of 2014, there was no mention of social issues in the official Blue Dog materials.[40]

New Democrat Coalition[edit]

Conservative endorsements of Democratic candidates[edit]

During the 2004 election, several high-profile conservative writers endorsed the Presidential campaign of John Kerry, arguing that the Bush administration was pursuing policies which were anything but conservative. Among the most notable of these endorsements came from Andrew Sullivan and Paul Craig Roberts, while a series of editorials in Pat Buchanan's The American Conservative magazine made a conservative case for several candidates, with Scott McConnell formally endorsing Kerry,[41] and Justin Raimondo giving the nod to independent Ralph Nader.[42]

In South Carolina in 2008, the Democratic candidate for United States Senator was Bob Conley, a traditional Catholic, and a former activist for the presidential candidacy of Ron Paul. Conley failed in his bid to defeat Republican Lindsey Graham, receiving 42.4 percent of the vote.[43]

In his 2010 campaign for reelection, Walter Minnick, U.S. Representative for Idaho's 1st congressional district, was endorsed by Tea Party Express, an extremely rare occurrence for a Democrat.[44][45] Minnick was the only Democrat to receive a 100% rating from the Club for Growth, an organization that typically supports conservative Republicans.[46] Minnick lost to Raúl Labrador, a conservative Republican, in the general election.

Ideology and polls[edit]

According to a 2015 poll from the Pew Research Center, 54% of conservative and moderate Democrats supported same-sex marriage in 2015. This figure represented an increase of 22% from a decade earlier.[47]

In 2019, the Pew Research Center found that 47% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters identify as liberal or very liberal, 38% identify as moderate, and 14% identify as conservative, or very conservative.[48]

Current officeholders[edit]

United States Senators[edit]

United States Representatives[edit]


Former officeholders[edit]

Presidents of the United States[edit]

Vice Presidents of the United States[edit]

United States Governors[edit]

United States Senators[edit]

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

  • Dale Alford, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas 5th District (1959 - 1963), Member, Little Rock School Board (1955 - 1959)
  • William Barksdale, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Mississippi At Large District (1853 - 1955) and 3rd District (1855 - 1861). He was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.
  • John Barrow, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia's 12th congressional district (2005 - 2015).[122]
  • Iris Faircloth Blitch, Member of United States House of Representatives from Georgia's 8th District (1955 - 1963), Member, Georgia Senate (1947 - 1949) and (1953 - 1954), Member, Georgia House of Representatives (1947 - 1949), Georgia Democratic Party National Committee member (1948 - 1954). She was a signer of the 1956 Southern Manifesto. In 1964, she changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and endorsed Barry M. Goldwater for president.
  • Dan Boren, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Oklahoma's 2nd district (2005 - 2013) and Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from the 28th district (2002 - 2004)[123]
  • Preston Brooks, Member of the United States House of Representatives from the 4th District of South Carolina (1853 - 1857), Member, South Carolina House of Representatives, Edgefield District (1844 - 1845). He was a supporter of slavery and States' Rights. He was best known for assaulting Senator Charles Sumner with a cane, seriously injuring him.
  • Glen Browder, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Alabama's 3rd district (1989 - 1997), Secretary of State of Alabama (1987 - 1989) and Member of the Alabama House of Representatives (1983 - 1986)[124]
  • Bill Brewster, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Oklahoma's 3rd district (1991 - 1997), and Oklahoma House of Representatives (1983 – 1990)[124]
  • Scotty Baesler, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky's 6th district (1993 - 1999), Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky (1981 – 1993) and Judge of the Fayette County District Court (1979 – 1981)[124]
  • Martin Dies, Jr., Member, United States House of Representatives, Texas 2nd District (1931 - 1945) and Texas At Large District (1953 - 1959), Chairman, House Committee Investigating Un-American Activities (1936 - 1944). A conservative, he was a signer of the Southern Manifesto.
  • William Jennings Bryan Dorn, Member, United States House of Representatives, South Carolina 3rd District (1947 - 1949) and (1951 - 1974), Chairman, United States Veterans Affairs Committee (1973 - 1974), Member, South Carolina State Senate from Greenwood County (1941 - 1942), Member, South Carolina House of Representatives, Greenwood county (1939 - 1940), He was a signer of the Southern Manifesto. In 1966, it was reported that the conservative Liberty Lobby had given him a "Statesman of the Republic" award for his conservative voting record.
  • Henry A. Edmundson, Member, United States House of Representatives from Virginia's 12th District (1849 - 1861). He supported slavery.
  • Walter Flowers, Member, United States House of Representatives, Alabama 5th District (1969 - 1973), 7th District (1973 - 1979), a conservative Democrat, he was national chairman of George Wallace's campaign for president in 1972.
  • John Flynt, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia 4th District (1954 - 1965) and 6th District (1965 - 1979), Member, Georgia House of Representatives (1947 - 1948). He was considered one of the most conservative Democrats in the House in his time.
  • Ezekiel C. Gathings, Member of the United States House of Representatives from the Fourth District of Arkansas (1939 - 1969), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Current Pornographic Materials in 1952, member, Arkansas Senate, 32nd District (1935 - 1939. He was a conservative segregationist.
  • Gabby Giffords, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Arizona's 8th district (2007 - 2012), Member of the Arizona Senate from the 28th district (2003 - 2005), Member of the Arizona House of Representatives from the 13th district (2001 - 2003)[125] (Former Republican)
  • Pete Geren, United States Secretary of the Army (2007 - 2009), United States Under Secretary of the Army (2006 - 2007), Acting United States Secretary of the Air Force (2005), Member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas's 12th district (1989 - 1997)[124]
  • Ralph Hall, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas 4th District (1981 - 2015), Chairman of House Science Committee (2011 - 2013), Member, Texas Senate, 9th District (1963 - 1973), county judge, Rockwell County, Texas (1950 - 1962). He described himself as a conservative Democrat, until 2004, when he switched to Republican.
  • Burr Harrison, Member of the United States House of Representatives from 7th District of Virginia (1946 - 1963), member Virginia State Senate, 25th District (1940 - 1943). He was a member of the conservative Byrd Organization who supported Massive Resistance to desegregation and was a signer of the Southern Manifesto against the Supreme Court decision requiring desegregation of public schools.
  • F. Edward Hebert, Member of the United States House of Representatives from the 1st District of Louisiana (1941 - 1977), Chairman, Armed Services Committee (1971 - 1975). He was an opponent of desegregation and signed the Southern Manifesto. He served on the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
  • Louise Day Hicks, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts 9th District (1971 - 1973), member, Boston School Committee (1961 - 1970), Chairman, Boston School Committee (1963 - 1965), member, Boston City Council (1979 1981). She was best known for her opposition to school busing to achieve racial balance in public schools.
  • Andy Ireland, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Florida's 8th District (1977 - 1983) and 10th District (1983 - 1993). He was a Democrat until 1984, when he switched to Republican.
  • Laurence M. Keitt, Member of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina 3rd District (1856 - 1860)
  • Dan Lipinski, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Illinois's 3rd district (2005 - 2021)[126]
  • Alexander Long, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio's 2nd District (1863 - 1865), Member, Ohio House of Representatives from Hamilton County (1846 - 1850). Elected as a "free-soil" Democrat, he became a "copperhead" opponent of the Civil War, who supported states' rights and opposed emancipation and suffrage for African-Americans.
  • Speedy Long, Member of the United States House of Representatives from the 8th District of Louisiana (1965 - 1973), District Attorney for the 28th Judicial District of Louisiana (1973 - 1985), he was an outspoken segregationist.
  • Bill Orton, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Utah's 3rd district (1991 - 1997)[127]
  • John Otho Marsh, Jr., Member of the United States House of Representatives from the 7th District of Virginia (1963 - 1971), Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs (1973 - 1979), Counselor to the President (1974 - 1977), 14th Secretary of the Navy (1981 - 1989). He was a Democrat until the 1980s and a Republican afterwards.
  • Ben McAdams, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Utah's 4th congressional district (2019 - 2021), Mayor of Salt Lake County (2013 - 2019), and Member of Utah Senate (2009 - 2012).[128]
  • Jim Matheson, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Utah's 2nd congressional district (2001 - 2013) and Member of the United States House of Representatives from Utah's 4th congressional district (2013 - 2015).[129]
  • Larry McDonald, Member, United States House of Representatives, Georgia, 7th District (1975 - 1983), second president of the John Birch Society beginning in 1983.
  • William Porcher Miles, Member, United States House of Representatives, South Carolina's 2nd District (1857 - 1860). He regarded slavery as a "divine institution."
  • Otto Passman, Member, United States House of Representatives, Louisiana 5th District (1947 - 1977). He was known for his opposition to Foreign Aid spending.
  • Collin Peterson, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee (2007 - 2011; 2019 - 2021), Member of the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota's 7th district (1991 - 2021)[130]
  • Samuel B. Pettengill, Member, United States House of Representatives, Indiana Second District, (1933 - 1939), Indiana 13th District (1931 - 1933), Although he served in Congress as a Democrat, he later switched to Republican and was elected Chairman of the Republican National Finance Committee in 1942. He was the author of several conservative books.
  • Lewis F. Payne, Jr., Member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia's 5th district (1988 - 1997)[124]
  • Mike Ross, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas's 4th district (2001 - 2013)[124]
  • John E. Rankin, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Mississippi 1921 - 1953. A strong anti-communist, he was one of the founders of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Although he originally supported some New Deal legislation, he later supported the Conservative Coalition.
  • John Rarick, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana 6th District (1967 - 1975). Ran for president in 1980 on the American Independent Party ticket.
  • L. Mendel Rivers, Member, United States House of Representatives from South Carolina 1st District (1941 - 1970), member, South Carolina House of Representatives, Charleston County (1934 - 1936). He was an ardent segregationist, a supporter of law and order politics and a war hawk during the Vietnam Conflict.
  • Tommy F. Robinson, Member, United States House of Representatives from Arkansas 2nd District, (1985 - 1991), sheriff, Pulaski County, Arkansas (1981 - 1984). In Congress, he often clashed with Democratic leadership and was identified with the Boll Weevil faction of the Democratic party. In 1989, he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, saying the Democratic party had become too liberal.
  • Armistead I. Selden Jr., Member, United States House of Representative from Alabama's 6th District (1953 - 1963), At Large (1963 - 1965), and 5th District (1965 - 1969), Member, Alabama House of Representatives (1951 - 1952), United States Ambassador to Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa (1974 - 1978), United States Ambassador to New Zealand (1974 - 1979), United States Ambassador to Samoa (1974 - 1979). He was originally a Democrat until 1979, when he switched to Republican.
  • Jouett Shouse, Member of the United States House of Representatives from 7th District of Kansas (1913 - 1919). He was known as a conservative who opposed the New Deal. He was president of the conservative American Liberty League from 1934 to 1940.
  • Howard W. Smith, Member of the United States House of Representatives from the 8th District of Virginia (1931 - 1967), Chairman of the House Rules Committee (1955 - 1967). He was a member of the Conservative Coalition.
  • Martin L. Sweeney, Member of the United States House of Representatives from 20th District of Ohio (1931 - 1943). He was a judge of the Municipal Court of Cleveland, Ohio (1924 - 1932). He opposed a peacetime draft and was considered an isolationist.
  • James Traficant, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio's 17th District (1985 - 2002), Sheriff of Mahoning County, Ohio (1981 - 1984). After the Republicans took control of Congress in 1995, he tended to vote with them more than the Democrats. He favored immigration restriction and voted anti-abortion. When he voted for a Republican for Speaker of the House, the Democrats stripped him of all committee assignments.
  • William David Upshaw, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia's 5th District (1919 - 1927). A supporter of Prohibition, he was the presidential candidate of the Prohibition Party in 1932. He was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Clement Vallandigham, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Ohio 3rd District (1858 - 1863), Member of the Ohio House of Representatives from Columbiana County (1842 - 1847). Leader of the Copperhead faction of anti-war democrats during the American Civil War and a supporter of slavery.
  • Joe Waggonner, Member of the United States House of Representatives from the 4th District of Louisiana (1961 - 1979), member, Louisiana State Board of Education (January 1961 - December 1961), member Bossier Parish School Board (1954 - 1960). He was a fiscal conservative "Boll weevil" who opposed many federal spending programs and Civil Rights legislation.
  • Francis E. Walter, Member of the United States House of Representatives, Pennsylvania 24th District (1933 - 1945), 20th District (1945 - 1953), and 15th District (1953 - 1963). He was chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
  • Fernando Wood, Member of the United States House of Representatives, New York (1841 - 1843),New York 3rd District (1863 - 1865), New York 5th District (1867 - 1881), New York 9th District (1867 - 1873), New York 10th District (1873 - 1875), New York 9th District (1875 - 1881), 73rd and 75th Mayor of New York City (1855 - 1857) and (1860 - 1861). In the House, he was one of the main opponents of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.
  • William Lowndes Yancey, Member of the United States House of Representatives from Alabama's 3rd District (1844 - 1846).He was one of the Fire-Eaters.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Talmadge was elected to a fourth term in 1946 but died on December 21, 1946, before his scheduled inauguration in January 1947.


  1. ^ a b Kane, Paul (January 15, 2013). "Blue Dog Democrats, whittled down in number, are trying to regroup". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2014. Four years ago, they were the most influential voting bloc on Capitol Hill, more than 50 House Democrats pulling their liberal colleagues to a more centrist, fiscally conservative vision on issues such as health care and Wall Street reforms.
  2. ^ a b Davis, Susan. "U.S. House has fewer moderate Democrats". USA Today. Retrieved July 23, 2014.
  3. ^ Ruth Bloch Rubin, ed. (2017). Building the Bloc: Intraparty Organization in the US Congress. Cambridge University Press. p. 188. ISBN 9781316510421. In contrast to the halting mobilization of Insurgent Republicans and southern Democrats, the Blue Dogs' adoption of ... ideological bonafides, the Coalition worked to establish a Blue Dog brand and associate it with support for centrist policies.
  4. ^ "Lobbying from the center". The Hill. 26 January 2021.
  5. ^ The Reconciliation Act of 2010, Volume II, March 17, 2010, 111-2 House Report 111-443. 2010. p. 1077. For example, in a letter dated July 9, 2009 from the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer , forty “Blue Dog” Democrats stated that ...
  6. ^ [1][2][5]
  7. ^ Mendoza, Jessica (June 4, 2019) "Centrist Democrats are back. But these are not your father’s Blue Dogs." Christian Science Monitor
  8. ^ "McConnell stiff-arms the Pelosi agenda".
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