Ever since Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, Democrats have had their collective jackasses kicked from Louisiana to Virginia. In Dixie, racial politics has been as fruitful for the Republicans as King Cotton. Conservative Republicanism has turned the electoral map in the Bible Belt as red as the Confederate flag. Sadly, race-baiting tactics by North Carolina’s Jesse Helms, South Carolina’s Strom Thurmond, and the rest of their kind, has also turned the electoral map as red as the necks of some bigots.

But, Friend, this son of the South is here to tell you that Dixie is changing. So much to the point that it may elect a man, who, a century and a half ago, would get a third-class trip to a plantation because of his skin color. That’s right. Even the moonlight shines down a skunk’s back every now and then.

You see them polls?

Obama is tied with Ol’ John McCain in Virginia. Virginia, home of the Confederacy! North Carolina, with its out-of-towners and all them college types, is in shouting distance. Georgia’s in play ‘cause Atlanta’s kinda liberal, and the state got 1.3 million black voters, and that ain’t even counting the state’s 600,000 unregistered blacks. Heck, Louisiana’s 30 percent black, and both whites and blacks are still sore over Katrina. And although Confederate flags hang over its capitals, Republicans will have to spend a pretty penny to keep South Carolina with its 30-plus percent black voters in its column, and Mississippi – Mississippi!

Oh no way in hell is Mississippi going for Obama. I got a little carried away there. Must’ve been the heat talking. My bad.

But, Friend, this ain’t crazy talk. McCain’s gonna have a tough time closing the enthusiasm gap with Obama, especially since he still ain’t fired up his conservative base. And this is the same enthusiasm gap that won Obama the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton.

See, Obama grew the electorate in the primaries and charmed new voters to the polls. All of them youngins and black folks voted in record numbers. He could do that again, too. This ain’t Uncle Remus’ south anymore. We got liberal towns and suburbs like Athens, Chapel Hill, Richmond and Greenville. And most of the 35,000,000 black Americans are concentrated here – in the Deep South!

Well, I reckon all of this could be crazy talk. But I did hear a rumor that Obama was gonna focus on voter turnout in all 50 states and try to tote all them new voters to the polls, so anything is possible. And wouldn’t it be somethin’ if the South was responsible for putting a black man in the White House? Whoowee!

And that ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie.