Open Thread: Could Georgia Go Blue?

With Barack Obama on a tear in New Hampshire, Republicans licking their wounds from last month, and a strong anti-GOP sentiment likely to persist for a while, my buddies and I spent the evening discussing possibilities for 2008. And this possibility came to mind:

There are numerous hypothetical scenarios here, but at least entertain the thought for the purposes of this thread.

It is Nov. 4, 2008; Election Day. After a very dirty, expensive, and hard-fought primary, Mitt Romney edged out Rudy Giuliani and John McCain to win the Republican nomination, despite losing handily in South Carolina. But the impact, both financially and personally, was devastating.


Romney was painted as a social conservative who is in favor of gay marriage. And he is a Mormon. This does not at all sit well with southern voters. Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson capitalize on Romney’s image and run as strong third party candidates. They appeal to many Christian voters who are highly skeptical of a Mormon candidate, especially in light of his stance on gay marriage.

Add to the mix Tom Tancredo, who is also running as a third party candidate. He is angry that immigration reform was not at the top of the agenda during the primary and hopes to make a statement. While none of the three are expected to carry a single state, combined they will likely pull anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the total electorate, mostly from Romney’s base.

On the Democratic side, Obama skated through his primary with an unexpectedly small challenge from Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy dwindled after crushing blows in the New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucus. Obama has a huge war chest and a unified Democratic Party. He is very appealing to swing voters and is the first ever serious African American candidate for the White House.

The southern voting block is likely to be split between the Republican candidate and three conservative, single-issue, third party candidates. Obama will win the White House in a rout, carrying all of the traditional blue states as well as the swing states.

Most moderate voters will stay at home and the Republican base is complacent and disconnected after being torn by religious, social and immigration issues. And because it is the first time in U.S. history that an African American has seriously contended for the presidency, black voters – mostly Democrats – are expected to turn out in numbers as high as 70 percent.

This is a potential scenario, so I ask you:

Were this to happen, would Georgia (30 percent black) go for Obama?

What about other states in the southern voting block?

What would be the impact on statewide and Congressional races, especially Saxby Chambliss’ Senate seat?

I know there are a bunch of “what if’s

41 comments

  1. Mojo says:

    If the scenario that you describes happens, it seems plausible but I doubt it, then the vast majority of Georgia blacks would vote Obama, that is a given. Such an event could possibly drag Saxby down as well, if the Dems fielded a strong candidate, but unless there are third party candidates running against Saxby then I can’t see any of those social conservatives or anti-immigration folks who would vote for a Tancredo or a Roy Moore voting for anybody but Saxby. Georgia could go blue in voting for the President but I don’t see it significantly dragging down the bottom ticket.

    I actually feel the most likely GOP candidate is Mike Huckabee being that scenarios that you describe would not occur with him, except for a possible Tancredo third party run.

  2. liberty21 says:

    A Barrack Obama presidential run in 2008 is plausible. If he got the nomination there would a greater turnout of African-American voters nationwide. It could drag down Saxby. Georgia could go blue in this presidential election scenario, but we really have to wait until statewide elections in 2010 to see if Georgia really goes blue. Even if Obama doesn’t run for President or does run. Georgia could still nominate Thurbert Baker for Governor in 2010, then you would see a huge African- American turnout here in Georgia. I Thurbert Baker would become Governor even if Barrack Obama is not President

  3. Decaturguy says:

    Romney was painted as a social conservative who is in favor of gay marriage. And he is a Mormon. This does not at all sit well with southern voters. Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson capitalize on Romney’s image and run as strong third party candidates. They appeal to many Christian voters who are highly skeptical of a Mormon candidate, especially in light of his stance on gay marriage.

    What are you talking about Adam? Mitt Romney based his whole Governorship on being against gay marriage.

  4. rightofcenter says:

    I don’t know what you guys were drinking or smoking, but it must have been some good stuff.

    I’m sorry, but the only parts of your scenario that are remotely plausible are that Romney and Obama could be the nominees. I would say that Romney has a much better chance at being nominated than Obama.

    And Baker as governor in 2010? Uh, no.

  5. SevenHillsDem says:

    And I pretty much agree with the above two.

    The idea of that many independents is not likely. All may rally around one indy candidate (whether that is the Unity ’08 candidate or not) on the right.

    Unity ’08 may throw in the towel if it looks like McCain, Giuliani, or Romney is getting the GOP nod and Obama or Edwards is getting the Democratic nod.

    The only Southern states where Democrats will be competitive in ’08 are Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida. North Carolina may have a shot, but probably not. Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas are all pretty much write-offs as far as the electoral college goes. We’ll see about Louisiana after their gubernatorial race next year, which I expect the GOP to win.

  6. ColinATL says:

    DecaturGuy, Romney’s pro-gay record is going to continue to trickle out and weigh down his campaign, I suspect. A letter of his was just released where he said he was more pro-gay than Ted Kennedy when he was running for the Senate against Kennedy in 1994. (There’s your primary opponents negative quote right there) He’s going to have a hard time running away from that past, in my opinion.

    I don’t think Romney will be the candidate.

  7. Bull Moose says:

    Adam – Very creative post. I like the point you make and I think it could happen.

    Romney does not have my vote and there is likely nothing he could do to sway me. It seems rather hypocritical that these so called far right conservative activists and so called party leaders are wrapping themselves in this candidate.

    Obama excites people on both sides of the aisle because he captures the spirit of America in the fact that it is possible he could be President.

    To match that enthusiasm, it is essential that we as a party nominate someone who is larger than life and whose personal story is so compelling it will triumph in a testament to the possibilities of America as well.

    That candidate folks is John McCain.

    For the record, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a McCain/Sanford ticket (as in SC Governor Mark Sanford).

    Put Rudy as Attorney General or on the Supreme Court. Put Newt in the Cabinet. Bring Colin Powell back and make him Secretary of Defense and help us clean up the mess GWB has created in the middle east. Reach across the aisle and put a top Democrat at Homeland Security, like Jane Harmon of California.

    America is yearning for something different and I think will respond to the authentic card this term.

    We saw it in Georgia with Cagle versus Reed. When given a real, genuine alternative, voters go for the authentic leader.

    Embrace that lesson.

  8. Bull Moose says:

    Oh, and as for Saxby, I think the only person that could give him a run for his money might be Thurbert Baker. Thurbert enjoys support amongst R’s and D’s and if GA is competitive, then you’d have to say he’d be a pretty strong challenger.

    I may be the only person left that wants to see a Roy Barnes comeback!

    I love a third act in politics!

  9. Adam Fogle says:

    Decaturguy,

    See here.

    My point with Romney is that some consider him to be the “George Wallace of Massachusetts,” but others see him as a closet supporter of gay rights. And to everyone else, he’s somewhere in between.

    So if the GOP primary gets very ugly (which it probably will), Romney could easily be painted as another Massachusetts flip-flopper who is a pro-gay George Wallace. Whether it’s true or not is beside the point.

  10. Decaturguy says:

    Colin and Adam,

    Colin and Adam,

    I understand that Romney has taken pro-gay right stances in the past. I did that post about two weeks ago: http://atlantapublicaffairs.blogspot.com/2006/11/was-mitt-romney-against-gay-rights.html

    However, you stated that he was for “gay marriage” and that is abosolutely not true and never has been. His positions on other gay rights issues is not much different than Jerry Fallwell’s. See http://www.sovo.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=2202

  11. Adam Fogle says:

    Dammit Decaturguy. I did not say that I personally found Romney to be pro or anti gay marriage. I said that, because of that 1994 letter to log-cabin Republicans and because of his push to have an up-or-down vote on a gay marriage ban in Massachusetts – something that everyone and their mother knows will overwhelmingly fail – Romney can be PORTRAYED as pro-gay marriage.

    Notice this part of my last post: “Whether it’s true or not is beside the point.”

    In other words, on gay marriage, I agree that Romney is probably closer to Fallwell than he is Kennedy or Pelosi. But in a dirty primary, with the above two factors taken into account, his opponents could easily create a pro-gay marriage image that sticks. Again, “Whether it’s true or not is beside the point.”

  12. Decaturguy says:

    I’m sorry, I just don’t think thatanyone is going to be able to portray Romney as “pro-gay marriage.” He has taken one of the hardest anti gay marriage stances of any politician in the country. He wants to put on the ballot a marriage amendment that would ban gay marriage and civil unions. I don’t think that is otherwise pro gay record (supporting anti-discrimination laws in housing and employment is not out of the mainstream) will do anything to change that.

  13. Adam Fogle says:

    He wants to put on the ballot a marriage amendment that would ban gay marriage and civil unions.

    Decaturguy,

    I understand what you are arguing. But, like I said, this can easily be spun as a pro-gay marriage move because he knows full well that it would fail. In fact, many supporters of gay marriage in Massachusetts have pushed this because it would effectively eliminate any anti-gay marriage movement in Massachusetts.

    I personally hate debating gay marriage because I think it’s a ridiculous religious quagmire for Republicans, but to a lot of Christian voters in the south, it is a significant issue. I wish it wasn’t, but it is.

    With that said, my point was that – however plausible or not – in the original scenario, Romney is painted as a social hawk who flip-flops on gay marriage.

  14. DougieFresh says:

    A-F,

    This is another example of big government conservatives (sic) theocrats. I think the only solution is political realignment, with the liberty loving people (fair taxers, free speach advocates, etc) on one side, and the big brother crowd on the other (fundies, enviro-whackos, etc.).

    Unfortunately, too many political bonds are decided by single issues (gay marriage, abortion, etc), instead of the big picture.

  15. Adam Fogle says:

    DougieFresh,

    Well said. I fully agree (abortion not withstanding) and would love to see the big government wing – exactly the folks you described – OUT OF the GOP.

    But they exist. And the point of my scenario is exactly that. In such a situation as I originally laid-out, the party could basically split between the more moderate, Goldwater-style Republicans and the more reactionary, big government “theocrats.”

  16. DougieFresh says:

    A-F,

    My point on abortion was that is was a single voter issue, not that the group is monolithic or bad.

    I have great respect for people who try to lead a Christian lifestyle. It is admirable to desire to be a moral person with a set of standards that are often times beyond one’s reach.

    My only problem is with Christians who try to force others to lead a Christian lifestyle (their own daliances excused, of course).

    The biggest part of being a Christian, outside of honoring god, is loving your neighbor. How many of these folks fail that test?

    Anyway, A-F, you need to stop helping other people run, and run for office yourself. You have a great deal of common and uncommon sense.

  17. Bull Moose says:

    Fight it out about Romney, meanwhile McCain will continue to build momentum and be our nominee… If he’s not, say hello to President Clinton or Obama.

  18. Bull Moose says:

    I’ll go so far as to say that if Democrats unite behind a Clinton-Obama team, they may have the White House for the next 16 years.

    We nominate Romney and that’s what you’re going to get.

    Name one state that Romney can help that doesn’t already go Republican?

    You’ve got to think big picture.

    McCain, with a Vice Presidential nominee Mark Sanford, can win and win big.

  19. liberty21 says:

    I agree with Bull Moose. Thurbert Baker in November recieved 1,185,366 votes 57.2% of the popular vote to win a third term for Attorney General against Perry Mcguire who recieved 888,288 votes 42.8% of the popular vote. Thurbert Baker has support by voters of both parties which makes him very competitive. He would bring a huge turnout of african-american voter also, of he ran for Governor in 2010

  20. joe says:

    Bull Moose,

    Six years ago I voted in the Democratic Primary, just so I could write in John McCain. He was a RINO then and is a RINO now. The only difference is that I was a Republican then and am a Libertarian now.

    McCain did not get the Democratic nomination in 00 and he won’t get the Republican in 08, but it doesn’t matter to me, since I voted for him once, and that was enough for anybody.

  21. commonsense says:

    Looks like some GOP insiders agree

    GOP Fears Clinton-Obama

    While it may seem contrary to conventional wisdom that a Democratic ticket of a woman and an African-American would be unbeatable, Republican insiders are starting to worry about a Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama ticket. GOP advisers close to both John McCain and Rudy Giuliani fear Clinton would start with a base of about 250 electoral votes — Democrats’ minimum in the last four elections — and that Obama would push Ohio and a few other states into the “leans Democratic” column.
    http://politicalinsider.com/2006/12/gop_fears_clintonobama.html

  22. atlantaman says:

    Remember half the reason Obama is getting all this attention is it gives the reporters something to write about. Hillary was so far ahead in the Dem Primary the race wasn’t even interesting.

  23. DougieFresh says:

    I don’t think Clinton-Obama is a ticket to fear.

    It is too much too soon from a “firsts” standpoint. Enough voters will be turned off by Hillary being a woman and Hillary being Hillary combined with Obama being black, that it will counter any gain they may receive by the novelty of a woman-minority ticket. Racism/Sexism does not have to be pervasive; it only needs to affect a small percentage of moderates or your base. Contrary to the view democrats have of themselves, the midwestern labor dems are some of the sexist/racist around.

    A conservative democrat (if he could ever win the party’s nomination) would be an unstoppable juggernaut.

  24. Adam Fogle says:

    This conversation is great, but we have numerous threads devoted to predicting the 2008 presidential election.

    My intent here was people to analyze the outcome of the established scenario. While some have criticized it or made statements regarding its likelihood, few have bothered to answer the questions.

    So in an effort to steer this back on course, I’ll re-post the three questions in hopes that the predictions and debate over candidates go to other threads:

    Were this to happen, would Georgia (30 percent black) go for Obama?

    What about other states in the southern voting block?

    What would be the impact on statewide and Congressional races, especially Saxby Chambliss’ Senate seat?

  25. defnotrep says:

    I agree with a lot of what Bull Moose says about Romney. He’s not electable nationally.

    Bull Moose, I always liked McCain and would have voted for him in the past. Not now though b/c he’s courting Falwell.

    The Democratic ticket will be Hillary and Obama. The only Republican ticket that can beat them is Giuliani at the top and he can’t win the Repub nomination.

    This could impact Saxby’s race for sure b/c of the African American turnout. Also, Tancredo running around talking immigration is going to hand the hispanic vote to the democrats.

    Sorry Adam Fogle if I wasn’t on topic totally.

    It’s going to be interesting for sure.

  26. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Depends on if Obama continued his “its not about Red states or Blue states….it is about America” speils. The country is ripe sick of partisian politics and would go as far as to look past some differences on policy if the candidate did not harp on being a R or a D.

    If he did fall into the trap of “I am a Democrat and Republicans are evil”, I think he would turn out the minority vote in the big cities, but how is that differnt from a typical John Kerry candidate? Obama would probably not win the D nomination if he took this route.

  27. GOPeach says:

    Let me speak on behalf of the Conservative Constitutional Republicans.

    When I say Conservative, I mean Social and Fiscal!!!

    There is a huge under current that few here know and see. I do not see Georgia ever going blue again.

    There is a strong conservative base here just like Texas. Thank God!

    There is a very large base of simple people of faith – both black, white, and hispanic that have a tipping point at the ballot.

    The #1 thing they will fight to protect is the womb. #2 The altar #3 The checkbook – in that order.

    The GOP is not going to split!

    The MR’s Moderate Republicans will come around when they see they are out numbered
    by conservatives.

    It is the conservatives who work the hardest as
    volunteers. They also give the most money.
    Extreem people work and give extreemly.
    We are hot; not luke warm!!!

    I am still very glad to have Pres. Bush at the helm. He is going to shine during the next 2 years.

    Republicans thrive during time s like these. Nobody can organize and mobilize like the Conservative grassroots base… when they have
    to and they have to now.

    Just a bit of Trivia –

    Richard Nixon ( R ) signed Christmas as a federal holiday into law in 1971!

    An example of what republicans do best. They take care of the moral issues that are the fabric of each and every community in America.

    Merry Christmas Everyone!

  28. rugby_fan says:

    Think about how that would sound to a new voter, one who is learning about the parties.

    It sounds like the best things Republicans do is create holidays. Not say, control spending, have good foreign policy or anything else a government SHOULD do.

    They are good at creating holidays.

  29. DougieFresh says:

    I have stopped classifying Social conservatives as conservatives. Finances matter infinitely more than these all consuming social matters, and social conservatives are all to willing to go down the path blazed by Carl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

  30. GOPeach says:

    At Rugby’s prompting, I will speak to any
    new people to politics –

    If you want to learn what true RED-blooded
    Republicans are all about study Ronald Reagan.
    If you want to learn what Dems are all about,
    study Jimmy Carter.

    On foreign policy …

    Reagan shouts –
    ” Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! ”
    and brings an end to the cold war.

    Carter stages a handshake between
    Sedat and Begin that was to bring
    peace in the Middle East – NOT!

    This is a good place to begin.

    Now to Dougie –
    You write like a Christophobic for God’s
    sake.

    Don’t you know that is so not cool to attack
    the faith of others.??? That is just so dated.

    Puhleeeeeeze – I could not agree more
    that MONEY MATTERS!!!

    Remember Reaganomics???

    I actually worked with the Reagan admin.

    He was elected during a period of the highest high inflation ( Thanks to Jimmy Carter) and vast unemployment, which had largely deminished by the time he left office.
    Reaganomics was TAX CUTS and SMALL
    GOVERNMENT!

    HOWEVER Reagan never COMPROMISED
    His MORAL CODE!!! He did not try to make
    people like you like him! He had resolve.

    To Reagan, America was the City on a Hill –
    That is a wonderful idea Dougie – It is not
    communist!!! FAR FROM IT!

    Reagan’s favorite verse conserning
    economics –

    Matthew 5: 14-16

    You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

    John Wyntrop was quoted often at Reagan’s
    funeral … he said –

    “For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses …”

    Money is imporat but it is not more important that God – IN GOD WE TRUST!!!

  31. DougieFresh says:

    Peach,

    I did not attack anyone’s faith. I simply registered my disregard with people who want to turn the US Government into a Christian Taliban.

    I have great respect to people who live by a moral code; I have little for people who try to force others to share their own. Try actually living by your own beliefs and stop trying to co-op the government’s guns to force them onto others.

    People who want the government to intervene in the private affairs of another person and force their compliance of someone else’s personal “moral” code are dangerous, want bigger government, and are in favor of tyranny. They are socialists who invoke the name of god. It is that, which I attack.

    Continue to turn the Republican Party into the Christian army that so many like you dream about, and it will dwindle into well deserved irrelevance. It took 12 years for the Democrats to learn their lessons; will it take the Republicans as long?

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