No, I’m not talking about football. I’m talking about each state’s respective Democratic Party and how they’ll be competing with one another for the attention of the Democratic candidates for President.
The Democratic Party of Georgia has set their annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner for January 30, 2008 and according to their website, “has invited all of the Democratic candidates for President to come to Georgia and join us…”
The California Democratic Party just announced that they are teaming up with the L.A. Times, CNN, and Politico.com to host a Democratic presidential debate on January 31, 2008. According to the press release announcing this event, Wolf Blitzer will be moderating the debate with questions coming from reporters and members of the audience.
Maybe someone who has engaged in candidate debate prep can shine some knowledge on this for me, but personally, I would not be comfortable with participating in a debate so soon after hopping on a plane and flying across the country from an event the day before. When it comes to debates, especially nationally televised ones, I’m of the belief that candidates need at least a day to adequately prepare themselves.
I think it’s a huge stretch for a candidate to be in Georgia speaking one night and across the country in California debating the next. So now, the question comes down to which state will get shafted?
While I hope it’s not Georgia, I think all signs are pointing that way. And I think that because of two key factors; 1.) Earned Media, and 2.) Population.
Candidates and campaigns love to rely on earned media; free press coverage that they didn’t have to pay for. In the eyes of a presidential campaign, a 90-minute debate broadcast nation-wide just days before the election is going to seem more lucrative than a fundraising dinner featuring local party activists.
California has 441 Democratic convention delegates and 56 electoral votes. Georgia has 104 convention delegates and 15 electoral votes. When it comes down to the actual numbers, I believe you can win California and lose Georgia, but you can’t win Georgia and lose California. In other words, based on simple math, I believe the presidential candidates will go for the bigger prize; the Golden State of California.
As I said earlier, I remain hopeful that all of the Democratic candidates for President will pull a rabbit out of their collective hats and come to Georgia on January 30th next year, but realistically speaking, I think Georgia may end up getting shafted.