Has anyone paused to consider that George Bush may really actually in reality have a deathgrip on most of the South? Really, its not just a myth! The combination of fundie religion, military craziness, and Tex-ass attitude, along with coded appeals to racists and other bigots, might really make the South a moot point.
It will be tragic yet amusing to watch if the Democratic candidates ultimately chosen are selected in order to appeal to the Southern voter. It would be tragic and amusing if the Democratic party forgets 2003, the year the center-left base basically revolted after watching the Congressional Democrats cave in to Bush over, and over, and over again, and pushes another Southern/vet/religion combo.
The team would possibly be steamrolled, as the South, caught in the terruh/jesus/texas hysteria, rejects the Democratic candidates soundly even as they sacrifice any relationship they might have had to the center-left base (great heavens forbid located somewhere NOT in the South, a sin, I know) which in turn did not turn out in sufficient numbers to strongly counter the Bush-fanatic turnout.
A small version of this happened in 2000. It would be awful if it happened again. It would extra-awful if the Democratic Party, caving in to Bush every year since 2000, and watching its liberal base get angrier, and angrier, forgets to try to turn out that base in 2004 in the Quixotic attempt to wrestle the South out of Republican hands.