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Perhaps one of the more surprising 2012 results was Rep. John Barrow (D-Augusta) not just winning, but winning by a margin of 53.7%-46.3% over State Rep. Lee Anderson in a district where Obama only won 43.64% of the vote in 2012.  Despite getting his district changed to lose Savannah and gaining some federally red southern Georgia counties, Barrow called upon only weak competition.  Lee Anderson ran a notoriously bad campaign.  Despite ducking out of debates and candidate forums, he managed to win the GOP primary and runoff over businessman Rick Allen (who is so far the consensus GOP candidate against Barrow in 2014).  He ran a series of bad ads that scream low production values(!) which overused the color yellow and showed off Anderson's permanent squint and hayseed manner of speaking.  Barrow, on the other hand, had some damn fine ads despite what you may think of them policy-wise.  I daresay, and despite Barrow being written off so early, that if it wasn't for the major outside spending in favor of Lee Anderson's campaign, Barrow would have probably gotten above 55% of the vote.

For this diary, I decided to see where and by how much John Barrow outperformed Obama's 2012 performance on the county level.  Since only two counties are split (Effingham and Columbia), it was easy to draw on DRA.  Furthermore, since Barrow outperformed Obama in every county, I used a spectrum of blue.  Results below the fold.

Here's the color code for the ranges of Barrow's over-performance for the counties on the map of GA-12, from darkest blue to lightest blue:

Navy = Obama's percentage + greater than or equal to 18%
Blue = Obama's percentage +14% to less than +18%
Royal Blue = Obama's percentage +10% to less than +14%
Dodger Blue = Obama's percentage +6% to less than +10%
Sky Blue = Obama's percentage +2% to less than +6%

 photo GA12marginsmap_zps5ef70621.jpg

John Barrow's largest over-performance by percentage was in Tattnall County (the only county colored navy) where Obama got a poor 28.46% and Barrow got 49.07%.  There were only two counties Obama won in 2012 in GA-12: Richmond (location of Augusta) where Barrow got 71.91% to Obama's 66.54% and Burke where Barrow got 64.76% to Obama's 55.28%.  Richmond County also saw the least over-performance for Barrow due to the fact that Democrats there almost all voted for Obama, making it less elastic.  John Barrow won the Romney counties of Coffee (where Obama got 35.00% to Barrow's 51.22%), Bulloch (where Obama got 39.86% to Barrow's 52.32%), Evans (where Obama got 35.59% to Barrow's 50.17%), Jenkins (where Obama got 43.89% to Barrow's 56.67%), Screven (where Obama got 45.48% to Barrow's 60.67%), Treutlen (where Obama got 39.05% to Barrow's 55.95%), and Wheeler (where Obama got 35.74% to Barrow's 51.06%).

In short, Barrow's 8 years of building a centrist image (to the chagrin of liberal activists) in his previously light-blue district paid off.  He was able to sell himself to the dixiecrat southern Georgia counties that the Republicans counted on turning him out of office.  And with Republicans so far settling with Rick Allen (who lost to the poorly-run Lee Anderson primary campaign), I'd bet on him holding on for the foreseeable future.  But that is incumbent on him running his campaigns like he did in 2012.

Originally posted to KingofSpades on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Knowledge Democrats and Kos Georgia.

Poll

Knowing this, do you think Barrow wins in 2014?

69%100 votes
8%12 votes
22%32 votes

| 144 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

    by KingofSpades on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:40:07 PM PDT

  •  Can you add a map of Barrow's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, sc kitty

    actual performance?

    And a map of Obama's actual performance?

    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

    by wwmiv on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:52:06 PM PDT

  •  Nice, I basically did a similar thing already (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, ArkDem14, HeyMikey

    in a few diaries, but didn't give this much attention to any particular district.

    I think it would be very interesting to look at this on the precinct level, particularly in the counties where he ran significantly ahead, but have overwhelmingly black precincts that would have largely been maxed out for Obama. I bet he ran 30% ahead in some of those counties' heavily white precincts.

  •  i live just across the border (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, Odysseus, HeyMikey

    in a small town in SC. ( i used to live in liberal land of northern Va)  lotta a RWNJs in these parts!

    when i moved to this small town i had to go to Augusta for proper healthcare ( thanks Dr Berman,  for fixing my heart and all the other services at GRU) and shopping for things i couldn't find in the town i now live in.

     every establishment i go/went into have/had a TV had Faux News on (i get/got them to change the channel or turn the sound down).  

    Barrow seems to be a DINO, imho which is understandable considering this area - but far better than assh@t Rep Broun from the 10th district

    Faux News ruined my state

    by sc kitty on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:31:52 PM PDT

    •  My mom says the same. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, sc kitty

      My 81-yr-old mom, lifelong Democrat, complains that every doctor's waiting room she sits in (here in Georgia) is playing Fox News.

      My mom recalls seeing FDR when she was two--scroll down near the end of this diary for her FDR story: http://www.dailykos.com/...

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:29:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes he is going to win as he understands the (0+ / 0-)

    ...people he represents and they believe he represents them well. You'd think the Republicans would stop wasting money on trying to beat him, but oh well, less to spend in other races.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 02:14:44 AM PDT

    •  well, it's a Romney district that they (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, KingofSpades

      gerrymandered to get rid of him, so they think they're entitled to it.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:01:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obamacare will be critical. (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP realizes Obamacare will work, will be popular, and will prompt some % of voters to realize the GOP has been lying to them for years.

    Thus I expect the GOP to pull out all the government-shutdown stops this fall in a last-ditch-Hail-Mary effort to defund Obamacare.

    Assuming Obamacare proceeds as scheduled, the GOP is in big trouble next year. Which will prove the idiocy of the Dems in failing to expand healthcare in time for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:33:51 AM PDT

    •  I'm surprised Barrow votes against repeal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades

      Barrow can be annoying on a lot of things but surprisingly he's not one of the handful of Dems who votes with the GOP on these pointless Obamacare repeal votes.

      Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

      by ChadmanFL on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:08:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ? He did! (0+ / 0-)

        He voted to "de-fund."

        The guy has triggered Credo petitions more than once. Trust me: he voted against the ACA every time, and he voted to cut off funding.

        I may sound like a foe, but the truth is that I see no advantage to supporting a candidate who will not vote with the party and will vote with the most toxic measures of the other party (including the Eric Holder "censure" vote). If your district is 60/40 Republican, voting 60/40 GOP won't endear you with the district.

        The GOP voters will generally not love you, and you'll lose some portion of Democrats.

        Everyone's innocent of some crime.

        by The Geogre on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 07:05:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, he voted against this year's repeal votes and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skibum59

          votes to delay certain provisions.

          "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

          by KingofSpades on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 07:58:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great work. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, James Allen

    You seem confident that he will hold on which I agree with. I also think that it helps a little that there are three other GOP seats that are vacant in Georgia to keep the local GOP distracted on other matters... Which is good as the local candidates don't seem that good at all, so the less help they get from Georgia GOP the better.

    Acting Assistant Vice Chair of the DKE international cheer squad - Absent for a few months. Got me a woman and a house now. New comments is [back]... Mark Sanford is what now ? sawolf is Stephen Wolf, & DKE have all the pres results... First!

    by CF of Aus on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 02:03:47 PM PDT

  •  Barring some GOP tsunami (3+ / 0-)

    I could see Barrow surprising people and holding the 12th for quite a few elections to come.

    Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

    by ChadmanFL on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:09:45 PM PDT

  •  He did not run centrist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DownstateDemocrat

    He ran right. He ran as "fiscal conservative" and opponent of "government." He mocked Washington. I.e. his ads were indistinguishable from, say, a Chambliss ad, except that Chambliss would usually be at a U.G.A. football game with his grandchildren.

    Furthermore, his newsletters have touted his votes against the ACA, his pro-Pentagon stuff (this wins Augusta), such as trying to exempt civilian employees of the DoD from the sequester, but not voting against sequester itself. His current position on the ACA is that he wants to keep all the stuff that everybody likes, but get rid of the stuff that's controversial.

    What party does that square with?

    Voters in the 12th had a choice of Republicans. We don't know what the district is if Barrow has no primary challenger (one with support would be nice, and it would be so great if Barrow didn't send out mailers in the last three days that lie about the opponent. . . that seems. . . not Democratic).

    Everyone's innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Fri Aug 09, 2013 at 07:02:23 AM PDT

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