Not all Southerners were supported by or supported the Klan. For example, Oscar Underwood of Alabama, a powerful congressman during the Wilson administration, opposed the Klan and actively campaigned against them in Alabama.
Dan Carter made a lucrative career with his stupid book “The Politics of Rage,” the thesis of which has been perpetuated by the academic community for over 30 years now. Carter landed a six figure job at U. of South Carolina just before his retirement. He did not teach. He sat in his office for about 1 hour a week if that and lent his name to the institution.
The Klan did carry political clout. Their endorsement in Alabama did often mean electoral success, which is why Wallace went so heavy into segregation politics following loses early in his political career. The Klan, however, was considered to be a “progressive” organization, not conservative. They were the moral police, the men and women who advanced a white American Utopia free from vice and sin.