Southern Democracy -- defined as entrenched regional rule -- is no more. Republicans now reign throughout most of the South. The best that Southern Democrats can hope for is restoring their party to competitive parity in a two-party system.
It may sound like a cynical summarization, but the major problem is that these Democrats are struggling with a tough choice between practicality and ideology in a pretty red region -- with each course representing an uncertain gamble.
As the current, unfolding election season demonstrates, the excitement and energy of partisan politics lies mainly in Republican campaigns in the South, while the historically-dominant Democrats mainly sit and stew in envy.