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In this April 24, 2012, file photo President Barack Obama acknowledges the crowd after speaking at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. Demographic changes and recent election results reveal a more nuanced landscape in southern states now as the two major parties prepare for their national conventions. Republicans convene Aug. 27 in Florida, a melting-pot battleground state, to nominate Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. Democrats will toast Barack Obama the following week in North Carolina, the perfect example of a Southern electorate not so easily pigeon-holed. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Chuck Liddy, Pool)

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'Solid South' no longer just all-red or all-blue

The "Solid South" was a political fact, benefiting Democrats for generations and then Republicans, with Bible Belt and racial politics ruling the day.

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