DEMOCRATS AND THE SOUTH: I think Josh Marshall says something smart here.
I am well aware that looking at the electoral map, there are some plausible scenarios under which the Democrats can win the White House without carrying any Southern state. But writing off a large portion of the electorate is risky. It's not just that, as Marshall puts it, whatever definition you attach to white Southerners ("ideologically pragmatic, culturally conservative" is one stab at it) would include a dangerously large number of people outside the old Confederacy. It's that pandering to some voters and neglecting others is a disspiriting spectacle. It de-energizes your core voters, as well as limiting your outreach to new voters.
This is another front on which the Democrats should stand fast and not give ground. We want a political party to offer us a vision of the country's future, not subdivide and segment us like the cable TV dial.