National Review interviewed Steve Hayward, author of The Real Jimmy Carter: How Our Worst Ex-President Undermines American Foreign Policy, Coddles Dictators, and Created the Party of Clinton and Kerry. Hayward says that Carter essentially killed the conservative wing of the Democratic Party:
[H]e won the 1976 election in part because a lot of Democratic-party voters and independent voters thought he represented a return to the older Harry Truman-John F. Kennedy-Scoop Jackson-style Cold War liberal realism. Carter ran to the right of Ford on foreign policy, attacking Henry Kissinger and detente for example. Instead, what we got was, in Bob Dole's memorable phrase, "southern-fried McGovern." And so Carter had the effect of killing off once and for all the Truman-Scoop Jackson wing of the party, which had been under attack since the 1960s by the new left. Most of those kind of Democrats became "Reagan Democrats" in the 1980s, and Republicans in the 1990s.