Georgia the Empire State of the South, was once a solid Democratic state. Giving us figures such as President Jimmy Carter, Sam Nunn, Wyche Fowler, and yes even Zell Miller who was a good Democrat until start drinking that hard right kool aid. When he did that he went from that to this. In 2008 alot of pundits was surprised on how well Obama did in The Peach State, coming within five points of McCain. A 52-47 margin. So what does that tell you? It means as time goes on, and certainly within this decade, the State of Georgia is going to trend purple, and become a competitive state. The Republicans, just less than 10 years ago came to power, after centuries of Democratic control in Atlanta. With the stunning defect of Gov. Roy Barnes to Sonny Perdue, along with Saxby Chambliss defeating Max Cleland for the senate in 2002. For the Georgia GOP they know the last ten years have been good, but they know they're not going to be all that powerful, and Georgia will be competitive again.
Here's some qoute's from PPP on a poll taken in Georgia back in April of this year. Before Huckabee & Palin announce they weren't running.
Obama looks like a pretty viable contender in the state next year regardless of who his Republican opponent is. 47% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 48% that disapprove. Those numbers suggest Georgia is probably the state Obama lost in 2008 that he has the best chance of flipping for 2012 because in the two states that he came closer to winning last time around — Missouri and Montana — his approval numbers are far worse at 43/52 and 41/54, respectively.But I think the most important quote comes from Jim Galloway, a longtime Georgia political insider from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In addition to his lead over Gingrich, Obama also has an advantage over Georgia’s other home grown candidate, Herman Cain, at 44-39 and over Sarah Palin at 48-43. He trails both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney by three points at 48-45 and 46-43 respectively, but even those deficits represent an improvement from his 5 point loss in the state in 2008.
Georgia’s yet another generally Republican leaning state where voters are just not responding very positively to the leading names in the GOP Presidential picture. Only Huckabee has more voters in the state with a positive impression of him than a negative one at 48/33. In addition to Gingrich’s negative numbers Romney comes down at 37/41, Cain at 28/36, and Palin at 35/56.
Even if Obama doesn’t end up winning in Georgia next year the vast differences in his support along age lines suggest Democrats should be competitive in the state in the years to come. Among voters under 65 Obama’s approval rating is a 52/42 spread. It’s only his horrid numbers with senior citizens at 27/68 that put his numbers in negative territory overall. As whites who grew up in the segregation era die out over the next decade or two this state should start looking a lot ‘purpler’ than its red tinge in recent election cycles would suggest.
Galloway couldn't explain that quote any better. The fact that older white folks who grown up, and lived through the Jim Crow era & Civil Rights movement will eventually pass away. With the increasing African-American population, and not forgetting increasing amount of Latinos and Whites from coming up North down to the Atlanta area. Those demographics over time will change the political landscape of Georgia, and Texas is right after them. Georgia in my opinion is going to flip quicker than Texas, due to the fact it cost more money in Texas with all big the media markets they have, compared to GA.
Now it's going to be very interesting on how President Obama pulls his resources in Georgia, and how much he tries to make a play. You have to agree out all the Southern states that the President is going to do the most heavy duty with all out blitz is Florida & North Carolina tied for first, and Virginia right after that. Especially with three individuals sharing the ballot with Obama in those states. Bill Nelson, Bev Perdue, and Tim Kaine. I think Obama is going to focused more on FL, NC, and VA to make sure they hold two vital senate seats, as well as a vital Governor's Mansion in Raleigh. Which is the last line of defense from a complete rabid red takeover of that state. Also to point out that the Democrats are going to have their covention in Charlotte. He'll make a sizable effort in Georgia, but not on the same level as the other three states I mention. As Galloway mention even if he comes closes that will be a moral victory by itself, and a silver lining for Dems in GA.
If you recall back in '08 Saxby Chambliss had to fight in general election against Jim Martin. Chambliss should be really called Saxby "Shameless" after a disgusting ad he ran back in '02 against triple amputee 'Nam veteran Max Cleland. Trying to insinuate that he's is unpatriotic, and in hence undermining Pres. Bush in the war on terror. Due to a third party candidate, and Georgia rules rules that candidates need to pass a 50% threshold. Chambliss was force in a runoff
Analyzing the '08 General map & the Run-off map
Martin carried the usuall counties that are reliably blue. Fulton which is Atlanta. DeKalb county which has a tiny bit of Atlanta, and is home to Decatur. Richmond county home to Augusta, Chatnam which is Savannah. Bibb county where Macon sits. Muscogge county which harbors Columbus, and finally Clarke county home of the college town of Athens. What Martin did on that night that Democrats have tried to do in Georgia, was that he was able to tapped in the suburban Atlanta counties. Especially Cobb county northwest of Fulton, which is the county Marietta sits in. Martin was also able to carry Rockdale & Newton counties, those two counties are southwest of DeKalb. Gwinnett county northeast of DeKalb, has been stubbornly Republican, but by the mid-to-end of this decade the demographics of Gwinnett is going to change that. This is exactly how Obama did in Georgia in 2008. If you compare the senate race, and the presidential race map in Georgia, the only difference is the Obama didn't carry any suburban counties north of the A.
(R) Saxby Chambliss 49.8%
(D) Jim Martin 46.8%
This has been the standard map for Dems in Georgia. No traction in the suburban Atlanta counties, and losing counties around Columbus in Southeast Georgia. Near the Georgia-Alabama state line. The run-off was a month after the presidential election so there was a huge dropoff, and Chambliss was able to coast to re-election. Compared to the '10 Gubernatorial election between Barnes & Deal. Barnes did similar to Martin, in the counties he carried in the general. Only difference is he didn't carry Cobb county. Granted '10 was a bad year for Democrats. If it wasn't nothing like it was this race would had been much closer, considering Deal barely scrap through the primary, and had a considerable amount of baggage.
(R) Saxby Chambliss 57.4%
(D) Jim Martin 42.6%
It obvious Democrats will be competitive in Georgia. One canidate who would have been a rising star, and possibly still is Mary Norwood. A city councilwomen who ran for Mayor of Atlanta back in '09, and loss by a hair in the run off. 620 votes out 84,000 cast. She would have been the first white Mayor of Atlanta since 1974. One way I thought she should had gone was run for the state legislature, specifically the senate. She could had got some legislative experience, and decided to take on possibly Johnny Isakson in a presidential year when you know there will be a higher turnout.
Then John Barrow, who Republicans try to screw in a unprecedented mid-decade redistricting. Where he actually had to move. If there is anything Barrow has shown is that he's a fighter, a hard campaigner, and somebody who shouldn't be counted out. I'm not sure if he could survive running in his new district. If he does he going to be in a dilemma if he should challenge Nathan Deal for the Governorship, or Saxby Chambliss for the US Senate in '14
Certainly the Georgia Democratic Party is going to need to deal with party switcher who like to stick there thumb in the wind to see which way it's blowing. Start to cultivate a strong bench for the future. Also need to find ways to make sure potential voters are not disfranchised from voting. It's not a coincidence that Repubs are doing this all over the country in key states. They want the '12 elections and on foward to demographically look like the elections in '10 instead of '08. Which is really impossible since we are becoming a minority-majority country.