By Joe Lowndes
When South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley called for the removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds this week, it signaled a political change. For the last half-century, the GOP’s Southern Strategy has steadily moved a majority of white southern voters into the Republican column. In keeping with that strategy, before this week Haley, like other Republican politicians both in the South and the nation, resisted calls for its removal. Now Haley joins southern Republicans such as Tennessee Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander and 2016 presidential hopefuls Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) and former Florida governor Jeb Bush in calling for the flag to be taken down. National Republican leaders hoping for a shot at the presidency have agreed as well, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former New York governor George Pataki.