The bill divided and engendered a long-term change in the demographics of both parties. President Johnson realized that supporting this bill would risk losing the South's overwhelming support of the Democratic Party. Both Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Vice President Johnson had pushed for the introduction of the civil rights legislation. Johnson told Kennedy aide Ted Sorensen that "I know the risks are great and we might lose the South, but those sorts of states may be lost anyway." Senator Richard Russell, Jr. warned President Johnson that his strong support for the civil rights bill "will not only cost you the South, it will cost you the election." Johnson, however, went on to win the 1964 election by one of the biggest landslides in American history. The South, which had started to vote increasingly Republican beginning in the 1930s, continued that trend, becoming the stronghold of the Republican party by the 1990s. Political scientists Richard Johnston and Byron Schafer have argued that this development was based more on economics than on race.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia