Fenno’s Congress and the Grassroots
Jack Flynt’s reelection and primary constituencies between his transitional and new districts are both similar and different in certain aspects. The transitional district was around from 1966 to 1970. Flynt’s transitional district represented about sixteen counties which added up to a population of about 323,000. The traditional district was not too different from his original district. “The district’s dominant economic interest was textiles, farming, and some light metal and food-processing industries” (Fenno, 2000, 16). The district was a one-party Democratic district which meant that the only “serious primary contest Flynt ever had in this district was his initial 1954 victory” (Fenno, 2000, 17).…show more content… Not only were the larger counties becoming more suburbanized but Flynt’s primary constituents were shifting to the Republican Party. Flynt had a decision to make. Should he change his representational strategy? or not? The new district proved to be a bigger problem than Flynt had thought, the redistricting would be the cause of the closeness of his 1974 and 1976 reelection contest.
Jack Flynt was a Southern Conservative Democrat who believed in a “personal-to-person” representational strategy, in other words he viewed himself as a representative of the people. Flynt preferred working with the people rather than discussing the policies which hurt his chances for reelection in 1974 and 1976. The closeness of Jack Flynt’s 1974 and 1976 reelection contests is due to his new district and the failure of his person-to-person strategy. The new district was “pushed northward into the near suburbs of Atlanta and up to the city line” (Fenno, 2000, 51). In this redistricting Flynt would be “picking up 120,000 unwanted and unfamiliar suburbanites on the southern rim of Atlanta’s own Fulton County, along with 30,000 more in suburban Doulgas County” (Fenno, 2000, 52). The new district “brought former Democrats as well as people moving from the cities to the suburbs which would institutionalize Republicanism in Georgia” (Fenno, 2000, 62).