The foundations of November's Republican victories in the South, and in Washington, are now familiar.They were established in the 1960s by Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, with some help from George Wallace.
As late as 1946, the GOP gained control of the House on the basis of votes from New England and the Atlantic, Great Lakes and Plains regions.
By 1984, however, more than 50 percent of the Republicans in the Senate were from the South and west of the Mississippi.
Last November, the gains were particularly dramatic, from Texas, where George Bush Jr.
beat out Ann Richards, to Florida, where only the votes of elderly retirees (many from the Northeast) saved Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles from defeat at the hands of another Bush scion, Jeb.
Between 19, Democrats edged out Republicans in percentage of Congress members elected from the Northeast.
The Republican congressional advantage in the Midwest, where as late as 1968 the Republican advantage was more than 2 to 1, has declined to near-parity.
These shifts aren't just at the federal level, either.
Since the 1960s, the Republican Party has increasingly been able to elect governors, other state officials and legislators in the South, although local and county machines still tend to be Democratic.
This local depth, in turn, has given the Southern Republicans what they had, until recently, lacked: a large pool of able, experienced politicians at lower levels who can be recruited to run for more important offices.
Their ranks have been augmented by the defections of conservative Democratic "boll weevils," such as Bob Stump, a representative from Arizona, who joined the GOP in 1982, and Phil Gramm, who converted in 1983 after he was thrown off the House Budget Committee by Democratic leaders.
In 1964, Goldwater's opposition to federal civil rights legislation made him the hero of white supremacists.