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The south was originally a Democratic stronghold, upon the Democratic Party announcing their support for the prospect of Civil Rights, a number of Southern Democrats broke off from the national party and formed their own segregationist Dixiecrat Party.

This schism in the Democratic Party was mostly healed after the 1948 Presidential election when Truman won the election despite the Dixiecrats splitting the Democratic vote. Truman made moves during his Presidency to eliminate the threat of the Dixiecrats competing again in 1952.

Upon the passage of the Civil Rights Act, many southern Democrats again became disillusioned with their party after the implicit support for the law by Lyndon Johnson. The southern Democrats nominated George Wallace in 1968 on a platform of re-instating segregation and opposing the continued implementation of the Civil Rights Act. Upon the shooting of Wallace, the energy mostly left what was left of the southern Democrats rebellion.

With the nomination of Ronald Reagan for the election of 1980, many southerner's, loyal Democrats since the days of FDR, were moved to support the charismatic Reagan. After the fallout of the infighting of the Democratic Party, many formerly Democratic southerners found the message of the Republican Party to resonate more with their core values, as the traditional Democrat Party moved further to the left in an effort to solidify their support among labor unions, environmentalists, and the vestiges of the Vietnam War protest movement that now made up their base.

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Q: When did Republicans become democrats and democrats became Republicans?
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