Changing demographics: a serious long-term problem for Georgia Republicans

Highly recommended reading this morning for those interested in the future of state politics: Shifting population could help Democrats in Georgia

The piece includes some expert political commentary:

Some Republicans realize they face a challenge down the line. Charlie Harper, editor of the conservative blog Peach Pundit, said any Democratic talk of a resurgence this year or in 2014 is wishful thinking on their part, but said six or eight years from now, things will likely be different.

“The Democratic voter base is growing faster than the Republican base,” said Harper, who also writes a column for a chain of rural newspapers. “If Republicans aren’t able to figure out how to solve some of the problems they’re grappling with now, Democrats will have a chance to take Georgia blue, or at least make it purple.”

In essence, he said, Democrats need not just a bench but a winning message. Georgia remains a conservative state, where polls have shown voters overwhelmingly eschew most tax increases, support limits on abortion and oppose gay marriage.

But, Harper said, voters also want results. And, if by the time Democrats are ready to compete again, Republicans haven’t talked about problems like transportation, and if cuts to the HOPE scholarship cause a backlash, the GOP could suffer the consequences.

I’m not going to recap all the data in the piece (I wish there were more data in the article, btw), but the picture is a pretty straightforward one that has been discussed often here on Peach Pundit. White voters in Georgia primarily vote Republican, but whites are making up a smaller and smaller share of the electorate with more rapid growth in the black and Latino communities.

For a national look at the same issue, I strongly recommend this recent post by Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight that details the daunting challenges Romney faces in light of demographic changes.

I agree with Charlie’s comments in the AJC piece. But I think there are a couple of points worth adding:

Charlie’s obviously right about the social conservatism of the state, but if the college students I’m teaching are any indication, we’re seeing a major generational shift across the usual demographic and political lines in terms of gay marriage.

And I agree that transportation and HOPE — and education costs generally — will be particular flashpoints going forward. Those issues are already coming into direct conflict with Republican opposition to any and all tax increases.

I’ll also add that lingering high unemployment will soften the support of whatever party finds itself in power.

Let me note one other thing in that AJC piece: “conservative blog”!

162 comments

  1. Bob Loblaw says:

    Of course Georgia is going to go back to Democrat rule. Can you imagine what its like to be a kid of an illegal immigrant right now, hearing “HB 89” and fearing that you’ll be tossed out of the only country you know? A bumper crop of Dems will be the harvest of the GOP appeal to the base, here. Add the failed attempt to deny acceptance to Georgia’s university system and these kids only hear that they’re not wanted here and if they stay, they have no future.

    Toss on top of that the continued barrage of base-tingling Abortion bills that have been a longtime favorite of the GOP. Since taking full control over the State in ’05, there have been at least 3 new laws, the most recent only after splitting the Senate Republicans in half about whether or not a woman could have an abortion after 20 of the 40 weeks of pregnancy if her baby had a condition that wouldn’t end up with her coming home from hospital with a newborn.

    The only demographic that the Republicans have tried successfully to run off from the State are child molesters and I’m thankful that Georgia has held a tough line on this, notwithstanding the “Romeo and Juliet” circumstances which are hard to deal with in a “molestation” context.

    Keep trying to “rally the base,” guys. “Its all about turnout!” One day that turnout will come, the dam will be broken and we’ll all have the likes of Dan Becker and D.A. King to thank. Maybe they’ll strike it rich and start donating to Republicans instead of bleeding away their political and financial capital.

    • seekingtounderstand says:

      Many presidents in our pass deported millions of illegals so that returning vets could have jobs and feed their families and americans could find work thru the depression or other recessions.
      Whats different this time?
      A president could easily get elected from both dems and republicans for claiming jobs for Americans first. Hands down in polls show its a top issue with most folks. So whats different this time?
      Before you call me a racist, why is our history different this time and why are both sides not taking a easy win to power?

      • I Miss the 90s says:

        seekingtounderstand,

        could you please list the presidents that deported millions of undocumented immigrants for the purposes of giving returning vets jobs?

        Did you know that Obama has deported more people per year than any other President in history? In fact, more immigrants have been deported this year, under Obama’s administration, than all 8 years of Reagan’s administration combined.

        I am not going to call you a racist, you just seem to be very poorly informed.

      • seekingtounderstand says:

        Presidents Hoover deported all illegals during the depression. President Truman deported two million due to returning vets needing jobs. President Eisenhower deported 13 million illegal visitors with Operation Wetback that took two years. Why so Americans could have jobs.
        As a parent who worked for legal immigration when I saw so many young people not able to compete with adult illegal low wage off the books workers, its a topic that really matters in this election. For years our youth could not get low paying jobs, things are better now but if a recession comes again which president do you want in office. One that gave amnesty? Americans are suffering because both sides want open borders. 28 million out of work.

        • seekingtounderstand says:

          President Obama can not run on his record of deportation, he has a record of Amnesty and prosecuting states that try to help their people find jobs. The republican party needs to be shouting this from the roof tops. Obama prefers illegals have jobs vs. americans! Thats his record.

  2. Harry says:

    The AJC writes some feel-good hopium and you guys jump on it. Here’s a hint: If the Dems desire to hold their current high levels of black and Hispanic support, they better tone back the abortion on demand and homosexual agenda.

  3. Daddy Got A Gun says:

    I find it interesting that the Party of slavery, Jim Crow, the Black Codes, KKK, and segregation, now owes its very survival to Black Americans. While the party that was founded by freed slaves and supported civil rights throughout its existence, is scorned by Black America.

    Someday, we’ll get a state chairman that will start reminding people about the Republican party’s long history of supporting the rights of Black America.

    For example, Tunis Campbell …. http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2903

    and how the Democrats murdered Republicans and Freedmen in Camilla Georgia. …http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/camilla/camilla-history.php

    • caroline says:

      The parties switched places on this when the GOP welcomed the Dixiecrats into the party in the 1960’s. It’s kind of hard to talk about Abraham Lincoln and then ignore welcoming Strom Thurmond in more recent party history. Or Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”.

      • Harry says:

        Don’t try to spin history. Yes, the GOP captured the Dixicrats and the Democrats captured the blacks. However, the GOP quickly moved beyond the civil rights struggle, the Democrats are still pretending to fight it. The GOP reform of the 60s and 70s, begun with Goldwater, was concerned with fighting the Democrats’ unrealistic economic and social proposals – not disinfranchising blacks and removing their civil rights.

        • caroline says:

          Goldwater campaigned against civil rights but then later on said he was wrong. So I will give him that but you can’t deny a lot of what the GOP has done the over the last few decades has been a “divide and conquer” strategy. And it worked. But denying that it went on is being untruthful. Now nobody wants to talk about it because it’s no longer a positive.

          • Ken says:

            Goldwater did not campaign “against civil rights”. He opposed the Civil Rights Act because it was unconstitutional, writing racial discrimination into law instead of moving past it.

            The “divide and conquer” strategy is the one used by Democrats who employ it to this day. Just pick an Obama political speech and listen to it.

            • caroline says:

              So George W. Bush saying you’re either wid me or agin me wasn’t divide and conquer? Religion isn’t used as a wedge issue by the GOP?

              • Ken says:

                Bush’s remark came in a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, and the actual quote was, “We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”

                That’s a big difference between your fictional quote and the truth. So are you going to say that was racist, caroline?

                As for religion, perhaps you can explain how the continual lawsuits by leftists groups against Christians is a unifying theme.

                • caroline says:

                  So you’re saying the lawsuits are a problem but not the laws that are trying to establish religion? That makes no sense.

                  And no George W. Bush also said the same thing in a news conference on November 6, 2001, implying that anyone who did not go along with whatever he wanted was a “Terrorist supporter”. One of the reasons why the majority of the world despised him.

                  I just think the “divisive” term is something Republicans throw around just to throw around because certainly George W. Bush’s rhetoric was extremely divisive and Dick Cheney even more so. I don’t remember any conservatives trying to do anything about Bush’s divisiveness so it’s just a bunch of hooey.

                • caroline says:

                  Actually I think the evangelicals like the lawsuits because it justifies the Christian Victim Syndrome they seem to love to embrace. Look over there someone filed a lawsuit. They must hate Jesus and they hate me. Oh, woe is me. Christianity is so put upon. I think the lawsuit inadvertently justify the victim syndrome in people’s minds.

                  Goldwater called Brown V Broad of Education “an abuse of the court” and he said there were “differences among men” ie. not created equal is what that sounds like.

    • mountainpass says:

      It’s interesting you bring up the Camilla Massacre. That event is the reason the legislature passed the “public gathering” clause of firearm law. That 140+ Jim Crow law stayed on the books until GeorgiaCarry.Org was sucessful in getting it removed via Sen. Seabaugh’s SB308 in 2010. The vast majority of democratic legislators voted against removing one of the oldest Jim Crow laws still on the books in GA.

          • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

            The word “Democratic” describes a form of governance, the word “Democrat” describes a political party or a member of said political party, so the word “Democrat” is actually the most accurate way of referring to that party and the people in it.

              • I Miss the 90s says:

                It would still.be the Republican Party, but I do not think the party name is appropriate. It should be something like the National-Capitalist Plutocratic Front.

                That would definitely require the Tea party to stop free loading off of the party label.

  4. caroline says:

    What the article is talking about that’s going in GA is already happening nationwide. Gallup has approval of gay marriage at 51% nationwide though I’m sure those are not the numbers in GA. The younger the voter the less they have in common with the current GOP stances.

    Will the high unemployment be the undoing of Deal in ’14? No predictions from me on that but as long as the voters are focused on social issues the UE number might not matter.

    • seekingtounderstand says:

      Gov. Deal will win if he shows his stance on illegal immigrants helped legal immigrants obtain jobs. Most of his supporters want cheap labor so he probably will just appear to have done something and then blame President Obama.

  5. John Konop says:

    We will see major change for both parties in my opinion. The biggest driving force will be the lack of money to fulfill the promises both parties cannot deliver in the near future. Between healthcare cost growing out of control and military spending alone the cash line is running out.

    The above will eventual force an adult conversation. Trust me, when the massive cuts hit gay marriage, abortion…..will not be a major issue. If you are in a desert running low on water, the big issues in your life focus quickly.

  6. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    The only way that Democrats will have a chance at winning and returning to power in Georgia anytime soon is if they run as Independents.

    Republicans may not necessarily be adored by Georgians right now because of their seeming knack to continue to find new and exciting ways of committing ridiculously massive failures and [screw-ups] on what seems to be an almost weekly basis, but amongst a majority of Georgians, Democrats are not only hated, but DESPISED (and I don’t mean that in a nice way!), especially amongst white Georgians who continue to make up a solid majority of the electorate for the time being, something which will be even moreso if the much hated and despised Barack H. Obama wins a second term to continue wrecking what little remains of the nation’s economy as President.

    The fact that the Georgia Democrat party has to sit around and hope for continued demographic changes to kick in to have any hope of being even remotely competitive in a state where the current Republican leadership is seemingly doing all that it can to run the state completely into the ground says all that one needs to know about the current thoroughly pathetic state of the running joke that is the Georgia Democrat Party (at this point, if this state somehow manages to succeed in the future it won’t be because of the current Republican leadership, but IN SPITE of it).

    And the statement by Georgia Democrat Party Chairman Mike Berlon that Democrats are going to “surprise alot of people” as early as 2014 or at anytime before the mid-20’s is completely laughable and pure fantasy at best as Democrats are pretty much politically radioactive and a complete and total non-factor thoughout most of the state at all levels.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Beg to differ—but perhaps that’s optimism. Beyond demographics, there’s the GaGOP established a record of failure. The GaGOP continues to focus on a Tea Party base that will never be satisfied, at the expense of the general electorate that it has yet to satisfy.

      The GOP control of state government far exceeds the 55-45 ballotbox majority. An element of that majority relies on race making Democrats radioactive. Demographics will wear the 55-45 majority on one end, and failure will wear it down among the large majority of those voting GOP that aren’t racists on the other.

      It only takes a few percent flip to regain competitiveness. The message that Georgia Dems govern poorly is played out. With each passing year a greater percentage of the electrorate has never known anything but full GOP control. Perhaps its particular to my neck of the woods, but it seems GaGOP candidates are increasingly turning to campaigning against Washington. That will play out too, as what are clearly state failures become more clearly so with time.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        The Georgia GOP doesn’t focus so much on the Tea Party as much as the Tea Party has forced the Georgia GOP to pay attention to its presence.

        I agree that the GOP control of state government far exceeds the 55-45 ballotbox majority that the GOP actually holds in state politics in Georgia, but the problem is not necessarily that Republicans have made Democrats radioactive through race-baiting or what not.

        The problem is that Georgia Democrats have largely made themselves irrelevant by not having much more of a presence in politics at the state level, especially in fast-growing rapidly urbanizing suburban counties in Metro Atlanta, particularly in mega-suburbs Cobb and Gwinnett where the demographics are much more diverse than the thoroughly Republican-dominated political structures of those increasingly very-diverse communities would seem to indicate.

        Increasingly diverse Cobb County has a population that is 44% non-white and increasingly ultra-diverse Gwinnett has a population that is 57% non-white, but the Democrats don’t seem to have anywhere near the political or structural machinery in place to take advantage of those very advantageous demographic numbers that are ALREADY in place in the closer-in suburbs of Metro Atlanta.

        The failure of the Democrats to utilize what should be a very strong political base in the City of Atlanta, South Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties and demographics ALREADY changing decidedly, if not strongly, in their favor in Douglas, Rockdale, Cobb and Gwinnett counties is not the fault of the Republicans but is pretty much entirely a function of the complete and total crippling disarray of the current Georgia Democrat Party.
        http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13/13067.html (Cobb County demographics…44% non-white population)
        http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13/13135.html (Gwinnett County demographics…57% non-white population)
        http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13/13247.html (Rockdale County demographics…59% non-white population)
        http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/13/13097.html (Douglas County demographics…51% non-white population)

        Democrats don’t have to wait a decade for demographics to kick-in before hoping to become competitive as the numbers are there NOW for the party to be competitive in statewide races, especially as it relates to Metro Atlanta.

        It is the Democrat Party that has overwhelmingly failed to take advantage of the numbers that are already working to their advantage in this state by not having a noticeable organizational presence in the rapidly-diversifying suburbs of Metro Atlanta and failing to put forth viable candidates for office at all levels.

        If Georgia Democrats had their [stuff] together, they could be competitive in elections NOW, here in the early 2010’s if they were on top of the continuing demographic changes going on in and around Metro Atlanta.

        And no one is accusing Georgia Democrats of governing poorly when it comes to statewide politics at present as Democrats currently don’t hold any statewide offices, not a one. The only place that Democrats have been accused of governing poorly is most notably in Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties where they continue to prove the critics correct seemingly every chance they get.

    • “The only way that Democrats will have a chance at winning and returning to power in Georgia anytime soon is if they run as Independents.”

      The Democrats and Republicans have enacted ballot access laws here in Georgia that prevent this from happening very often. I believe we have a total of one in the General Assembly – Rusty Kidd.

  7. Dave Bearse says:

    Setting aside demographics, Democrats won’t have to do much to become stronger in Georgia. Results, or rather the lack thereof, can do it for ’em.

    The GaGOP has had full control for the past 8 years. Let’s look at the trends and GaGOP accomplishments.

    Transportation—Sonny mortgaged future transportation funding to build rural four lanes to nowhere. T-SPLOST—there is no Plan B. Only nominal improvement with respect to water, exclusive of the recent Court ruling and besides praying for rain worked.

    We’re still bumping along the bottom on K-12 education, but that’s because the GaGOP hasn’t found a way to get rid of teacher’s unions.

    Georgia unemployment has gone from significantly less than the national average, to significantly more. Georgia personal incomes and wealth relative to other states have fallen throughout the GaGOP’s reign.

    The very first GaGOP order of business was a 2004 Constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage. Tomorrow’s Plant Vogtle is being funded by today’s residential consumers. The GaGOP absolved all industry from paying taxes on energy too, it not being that big industry didn’t have to pay for Plant Vogtle like eveyone else.

    The last session’s highlight is that we’re paying back the $700M, mostly by cutting unemployment benefits, that the fiscally conservatives GaGOP had to borrow from the feds because of a tax holiday granted employers. (Not unexpected of course, because the unemployed don’t have lobbyists wining and dining the GaGOP leadership.)

    Ongoing periodic reduction in the restrictions on guns, and more on choice. Almost as important, the rampant well-documented fraud at the polls has been abated. More recently, the enactment of HB87 has been a boon to the state’s largest industry, agriculture.

    Then there’s the pièce de résistance. Localities can choose to permit Sundays sales. Yea! Though local control is a GaGOP cornerstone issue, Sunday sales was such a tough and complicated issue that it understandably took 6 years to bring it to a floor vote.

    If the list seems a little lacking, remember that raging liberals like Irvin, Thurmond and Baker held a few statewide only a scant two years ago. And don’t forget how effective the Democratic minority at the Dome has been in obstructing a multitude of GaGOP initiatives. With a two-thirds GaGOP Dome majority just around the corner, and incumbents not subject to effective opposition, the sky’s the limit. Paradise, just wait and see.

  8. troutbum70 says:

    This article is probably spot on. The trend you’ll see is more on the local level to start with. Local city councils and state house and senate seats. It’s already starting to happen in Gwinnett. Here in the county, a long time Republican switched back to being a Democrat to keep her seat on the School Board because of the change in demographics. If you’ve ever heard Mark Rountree speak, his presentation shows Gwinnett becoming Democrat by 2016-2018. If the Republican party in Gwinnett started some serious work in changing that, it might be delayed a bit.

  9. Jane says:

    Minority voters and trend lines in Georgia.

    Much has been made about an increase in Minority voters in Georgia. Of those with identifiable races Whites account for almost 64.6% of the registered voters, Blacks are 32%, Asians are 1.5% and Hispanics are 1.9%. Of those who I consider active voters, having voted at least once going back to the General 2010, Whites are 67%, Blacks 30.7%, Asians are 1% and Hispanics are 1.3%. Of those who have registered since October 2008 and have identifiable race, 59% are White, 36% Black, 2% Asian and 3% Hispanic.

    The trend is for more minority voters, however the minority population who are active voters are not large enough to carry Georgia for Obama in a very polarized election. If the Republican cannot make inroads into the minority population, then there is the potential for problems, but not in the near term. The goal for the Republicans should be to support minority Republicans in order to make inroads into the minority communities. Increasing the Republican share of Black voters would be a great help to the party. Asian and Hispanic voters are not as important statewide, but they could be important players in general assembly races.

    Highlighting prominent Minority Republicans would help. Plus, showing common cause with Asian business interest, Black evangelicals, and Pro-family Hispanic voters would not hurt. I am working with a socially conservative, pro-school choice, pro-charter school, school board candidate who was raised a Muslim in Kenya. He is a professional and could be a credit to the party and an asset to raise the image of Republicans in the communities he represents.

  10. We’ve seen these types of predictions before concerning various states with one party or another gaining/losing power due to racial demographics or some other qualifier… and the future rarely turns out to become what was predicted.

    The assumption in the article above is that blacks, Hispanics, etc will continue to vote as monolithic blocks for Democrat candidates. Younger black/Hispanic professionals are increasingly becoming reliable Republican voters. While their numbers are not very large currently, these people do carry great influence in their communities and in time should bring more middle class members into the GOP fold. Of course if Romney wins and the economy truns around, whether thru his leadership or his happening to be in the right place at the right time, this should be a catalyst for even more minorities to become Republican. In the end… here in GA, the increase in minoritiy percentage of population should be offset by more members of that subset leaving the Democrat column for the Republican one.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Tell that to Michael Steele or Ashley Bell.

      African American GOP headliners are likely to be circus barkers like Herman Cain, or kooks like Allen West, for the forseeable future.

      • seekingtounderstand says:

        Ashley Bell is a very talented statesman. He is a young man with a great future. Watching him work on the Hall County Commission proved he can be a plus for Georgia citizens.
        I am glad he switched parties as we need new young leaders.

    • Can you give me an example of a state where this kind of analysis hasn’t played out?

      I think the best you could do is point to Texas or Arizona as a place where the change has completed yet – though is getting close. I look at places like Virginia, Colorado, Nevada – places where the non-white population has grown and are increasingly hard for Republicans to hold onto – and these were solid Republican states in the 2000 election – only 12 years ago.

      While I think the experience of the aforementioned states is illustrative for Georgia, I really think we’re more on the path of NY/IL/MD type states – states that have one or two huge metro areas that eventually overwhelm the rest of the state’s political preferences. If you look at media market boundaries, Atlanta is roughly 65% of the state – and in 2008 Obama got about the same % in the Atlanta DMA as he got in the rest of the state. Now, within Atlanta, about 65% of the DMA is the core 5 – Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett. These five counties went big for Obama – 20 points roughly. Now the problem at the time was that this result represented a lot of shifts – Gwinnett gets better because people from Atlanta moved there, but people from Gwinnett moved to Barrow, Walton, Forsyth etc. But that can only go on so long – there’s not a real good economic reason to live in those places and they can only sustain so much population unless they start urbanizing more – which means the growth will be more Democratic.

      So…eventually with population changes and so on Atlanta DMA will be carried by Democrats – say we get to 53%. If that’s two thirds of the vote, we only need to get 44% in the rest of the state to hit 50% overall. This is what has happened in Illinois with Chicago, in New York with NYC, in Maryland with DC/Baltimore etc, and it will eventually happen here.

      • caroline says:

        That’s what I see happening too and I also see GA going blue in a presidential election long before Dems retake the state house.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          Maybe, just maybe, in a decade or so, even though at the current time, the Georgia Democrat Party has not even the remote traces of an organization that could help them take advantage of the numbers that already seem to be their favor and become competitive in local or statewide elections, much less national elections.

          So, for your fantasies of Georgia going blue in a presidential election and Dems retaking the White House, especially after the bang-up job that one Barack H. Obama is doing on the economy, keep daydreaming.

          Though with the current “anything goes” atmosphere when it comes to ethics (and morals, but nobody really cares about that) under the Gold Dome, I guess that what little actually exists of the Democrat Party in Georgia could always have a shot of winning by default if the current Republican-dominated era in the Legislature ends in federal endictments, Gwinnett BoC-style (the F.B.I. has stated that they are actively watching…and let’s just say that they don’t really like what they see all that much), so I guess that anything is possible.
          http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/fbi-discusses-ga-public-corruption-investigations/vdMxQ/

          • caroline says:

            I don’t think organization has much to do with who wins on the presidential ticket. I mean Dems were winning the governorship for long after the state had turned red for national elections.

            George W. Bush did a horrible job and they are still voting GOP so I don’t know if Obama is going to matter a whole lot in the long run. I mean if doing a crappy job was a major voting issue then the state would not have voted for McCain in 2008 since he was Bush’s surrogate.

            I’m talking long term demographic changes and other things making the state turn blue but I’m certainly not saying that Obama is going to carry the state this year. I mean if he could not carry it in 2008 when he was in a lot better shape then this year is out of the question.

            Considering what has been happening lately, I would think that ethics violations will make no difference in the voting habits of the majority of Georgians.

            • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

              Organization can have a lot to do with who wins or at least if a party is competitive in both Presidential and statewide elections, especially when it comes to identifying, reaching out to and registering new voters, appealing to independents and moderates and turning out their vote during elections, something that the Georgia Democrat Party has been increasingly extremely atrocious at since they lost power a decade ago.

              The long-term demographic changes that everyone keeps saying will make the Democrats competitive in statewide elections in a decade are already in full swing in Metro Atlanta as suburban counties like Rockdale (population 59% non-white), Douglas (population 51% non-white), Cobb (population 44% non-white) and Gwinnett (population 57% non-white) whose populations have been traditionally predominantly white are now majority non-white.

              The problem is that the Georgia Democrat Party has almost absolutely no organizational machinery or resources in place to take advantage of those demographic changes as the numbers say that Democrats should be competitive in statewide elections NOW.

              How a major political party whose existence depends on a diverse constituency could have virtually no organizational presence in an ultra-diverse county of 825,000 people where the population is fast approaching being 60% non-white like Gwinnett or in other fast-growing metro counties where the population is majority non-white is puzzling to say the least.

              The problem with Georgia Democrats is not the Republicans or the seeming “voting habits of the majority of Georgians”, the problem with Georgia Democrats is its virtual and often literal non-existent presence throughout most of one of the fastest-growing, rapidly-diversifying and most dynamic metropolitan areas in the nation.

              I mean, the Democrat Party might as well not exist in Georgia right now and for all intents and purposes, it does not exist in Georgia right now, a fact which is glaringly obvious in statewide and national elections despite the demographic numbers that say otherwise.

              The problem with Georgia Democrats is not anyone but themselves…Georgia Democrats have absolutely no one to blame but themselves for their failure and seeming total inability to take advantage of what looks to be a golden political opportunity RIGHT NOW instead of having to wait a decade to just hope to possibly compete by default.

              • caroline says:

                My two cents on all this a fish rots from the head down and I have read where Obama sucks up all the money for himself. So yeah, while the state leaders apparently are not doing their job no one at the upper levels is helping them either I would imagine. From what I understand Howard Dean was really big on local party building wanting to start with precinct level and build up from there but when Obama’s person came in, that ended that.

                • Daddy Got A Gun says:

                  I can’t say I’m upset that Obama is bankrupting the future of the Dems. He’s doing the same for America.

                    • Daddy Got A Gun says:

                      At the time, yes. However, we seem to be on an express train to bankruptcy with $1T/year deficits and going onto 3 years with no government budget.

                    • John Konop says:

                      Daddy,

                      In fairness the majority of the debt was per-baked via Medicare Part D and the policemen of the world foriegn policy from the Bush 2 yeanrs. And from what I see Obama and Romney have not offerd any solution for Meficare Part D ie fairly simple one would be if we had seniors get a VA discount on drugs.

                      As far as the war to rebuild the middle east, Obama is winding down to slow and Romney wants to double down on the policy. Knowing the above why would you think anything would change much however wins?

  11. xdog says:

    “The assumption in the article above is that blacks, Hispanics, etc will continue to vote as monolithic blocks for Democrat candidates. ”

    Gopers have spent generations running off blacks and gays and women, and they have dumped a couple of generations lead with Hispanics by willfully being on the wrong side of history on the immigration issue. Don’t let the addition of an occasional J. C. Watts or Alan West delude you. They’re no more indicative of goper appeal to blacks than the Log Cabin Republicans are to gays, or aging goper harpies are to younger women.

  12. seekingtounderstand says:

    If you live in a county with self serving elected officals enriching themselves and leaving citizens in debt for the cost of graft, there is a tipping point. I have heard people express their so tired of the unethical behavior of those we should trust. We know they are not policing themselves but giving each other cover in our one party state and have a smug attitude that goes with that. Add that with a recession and you have people wanting to change parties. If it wasn’t for the Obama Effect, we would have started switching.
    Does anyone else see this or are your republican leaders doing a great job in your area. Good news would be nice to hear. Its hard to stay positive for Republicans when budget cuts have hurt kids, yet buddies get their real estate deals done.

  13. Jane says:

    The Racists is the GOP exist, but they have not gone anywhere. The flaggers had their Ray McBerry and the Stormfront faction has their Ron Paul. Neither went anywhere. In 2010, primaries the Black candidate who received the most White voters was Melvin Everson. He received more white vote in the GOP primary than the number of whites who voted in the whole Dem primary. Melvin also got more White votes than the combined vote of both Ray McBerry and Ron Paul

    • Harry says:

      It’s often been expressed by blacks and other minorities – they’re not owned by Democrats, especially when the Democrats tend to take them for granted and treat them like children. Just because the Democratic Party has a half-black guy leading it at the present and a large number of blacks still vote that way, it doesn’t mean diddly-squat. What have Democrats done for anybody lately other than increase dependency on the government? We’ve hit the limits of such policies. Democrats, as much as you would like to believe it, the trend is not your friend. I predict that more and more conservative minorities will vote that way.

      • SallyForth says:

        @Harry, don’t forget that he’s also a half-white guy – which most people ignore or forget (maybe because he seems to forget it himself, never touts that part of his heritage).

        About this thread, I find it troubling that the GA Democratic Party is staking its future on more black and hispanic people moving here, not focusing on issues that matter statewide to current Georgians and their future. How sad they point to declining Gwinnett as their rising star….

    • Agreed. I’ve said a number of times I wish candidates ran on ideas and issues instead of by party affiliation. People would actually have to research candidates instead of just blindly assuming that a candidate holds a particular stance based on the letter beside their name. Just putting an R beside a candidate’s name does not make them a fiscal conservative, which in this day and age should be everyones’ priority. I know a number of people (myself included) who do not fit neatly into the box of either major party. I agree with both parties on various issues and disagree with them on various issues.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      “Let’s forget about demographics and make good policy decisions.”

      Doesn’t one first have to have a policy to be able to make a decision about it? The so-called “Republicans” who dominate the Georgia Legislature have no real intention of making good policy decisions anytime, hence the worry on the part of some Republicans and fantasy on the part of Democrats about demographic changes a decade down the line.

      And the so-called “Conservatives” in power in the Georgia Legislature and in Georgia politics are not true conservatives as it relates to the Conservative base, they’re basically Conservative Democrats or Dixiecrats who scratched out the (D) behind their name and replaced it with an (R) to stay in power as an overwhelming majority of the Republicans in Georgia politics would have been Democrats in decades past.

      Many of these so-called “Conservatives” are political turncoats who switched sides from Democrat to Republican and would switch back in a heartbeat if they ever felt the political winds blowing back in the other direction.

  14. Andre says:

    I once heard an actor on a television show say, “All they have to do is, bit by little bit, get themselves on the Boards of Education and city councils. ‘Cause that’s where all the governing that really matters to anybody really happens.”

    In short, all the governing that really matters occurs at the local level. And in the black community, most of the governing is done by Democrats.

    At the local level in the black community, there is much to be desired as it pertains to Democrat governance.

    The schools aren’t that great. In Fulton County, for example, there is an ever-increasing achievement gap between schools in the overwhelmingly Republican northside and the overwhelmingly Democrat southside.

    Unemployment is higher in black communities, where Democrats govern, than it is in other places. Case in point, 20 Georgia counties –Bibb, Burke, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, DeKalb, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Hancock, Jefferson, Macon, Randolph, Richmond, Sumter, Talbot, Taliaferro, Terrell, Warren, and Washington– all have black populations exceeding 50% or more. In those twenty counties, unemployment is often higher than either the state or the national rate. And voters in these twenty, majority-black Georgia counties regularly give a majority of their votes to the Democrats.

    I could go on and on, but as I said before, all the governing that really matters occurs at the local level and Democrats are not governing well in local black communities.

    Republicans, I think, could get a foothold in the black community based on that alone.

    I remember reading the history of the Georgia Republican Party. It was authored by former state Senator Eric Johnson. The long and the short of it is that Georgia Republicans spent years organizing at the local level because they had to. There was no primary for the Republican Party to nominate statewide candidates in Georgia, so the Republicans had to build a method which started at the local level and culminated at the state GOP convention.

    If Republicans want to increase their support in the black community, they must return to their roots. Republicans have to come back to the local level. Republicans have to come to black communities like College Park and East Point, saying, “You guys have been voting Democrat for years. Are you better off? Are your schools better? Are your taxes low?”

    The answer to that question is a firm No.

    So give the Republican Party a chance.

    That’s the message, and I personally think it’ll work.

    • jbgotcha says:

      No product of the two party system is going to help matters. There are no visionaries anymore, only retreads of ideas that have proven to fail. We are a nation of systems managers.

    • caroline says:

      I agree if the GOP is willing to do an LBJ and turn their backs on the Dixiecrats running the party but they seem to be too addicted to those votes to worry about the African American community it seems.

  15. Bobloblaw says:

    Before GA goes blue or purple Texas has to go blue and Texas is a majority minority state. Whites in GA make up about 10 percentage points more of the population in GA than they do in TX. Yet the Dems in TX are also stuck in the 45% range. The difference of course is the largest minority group in TX is hispanic mostly from Mexico and they do give the GOP about 30-35% of their votes versus blacks who give the GOP about 5-10% of their votes.

    A few notes:
    As whites fall in % of the population not only in GA but nationally, whites will begin to identify as whites and the GOP share of the white vote will rise.
    Democrats will be seen not only as the non-white party, but increasingly as the anti-white party as they will need fewer and fewer white votes to win. With dwindling white membership, the Dem party will move further and further to the left (just look at how much further to the left Obama is in 2012 versus Clinton in 1996). When they do, marginal white Democrats will move to the GOP over the next 20-30 years. Think it wont happen? This is exactly what has happened in South Africa since 1994. Anti-Aparthied whites today, like the governor of the western cape, are aligned with remnants of the old Apartheid National Party.

    While there is much talk about red states going blue due to demographic change, there is no talk about blue white states going red due to lack of demographic change, but it is happening slowly. WV is 97% white. In 1980, it was one of only 6 states to vote for Pres Carter. In 1988, WV was one of only 10 for Dukakis. Since 2000, WV has been solidly GOP at the Presidential level and Obama currently has his lowest approval rating in WV. WI is another. Dukakis won WI in 1988 with 52% of the vote despite 45% nationally giving WI a D+7 for that election. In 2000 and 2004 the Dem candidate won WI by less than 1% despite winning the popular vote in 2000 and losing by 2 points in 2004. In 2000 WI was D+0 and in 2004 WI was D+4. Over the next 20 years the states of PA, OH, IN, MI, WI, IA will become solidly GOP with MN, becoming a toss up(Im not even including NH, ME and CT). Those gains will offset the losses of TX, AZ and GA for the GOP.

    Implicit in the permanent DEM majority meme is the notion that the two parties wont change due to demographic changes, but they will. The Dem party will become a far left white hating party, which will drive white support for the GOP from 57% in 2008 and 60 plus % in 2012 to 70-75^% by 2030. As for the left’s hope that gay marriage will help the Dems, the GOP will probably abandon the issue in 2-3 more election cycles plus a SCOTUS Roe type ruling will remove the issue from the political arena (In Canada the Conservatives who strongly opposed gay marriage back in 2003 make no mention of it today and they are currently in their 3rd term in forming the government).

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        Thank you, Blake.

        Bob Loblaw is deeply offended by this doubletalk! I will confer with my associates after this Labor Day holiday tomorrow morning and determine the specific grounds by which we will file a civil and possibly, criminal charges against this horrible imposter!

        Just kidding. I’m not Debbie Dooley. I don’t threaten to file lawsuits and not back it up.

        But listen to Blake! There’s only room for one Bob Loblaw!

    • MouthoftheSouth says:

      Just so I understand, in this dystopia you envision we will have two parties whose identity knows no issue but race. Before you continue your sermon, I suggest you look at the percentage of non-Atlanta white votes that went to Barnes versus Deal. Then I will ask you which party, right now, is dependent on a monolith.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Sorry for the double post but one more thing: don’t ever compare the State where I was born to West Virginia again. Ever.

  16. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Besides being dominant in Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties and the demographics saying that Democrats should ALREADY be very competitive in Cobb, Douglas, Gwinnett and Rockdale counties, two other metro counties in which Democrats should be competitive in statewide politics, but are seemingly far from it, are even more surprisingly Henry and Newton which are two counties which each have populations that are 48% non-white.

    While the party may have officeholders in counties outside of Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton, just the fact the Democrat Party has virtually no real organization in place in suburban Metro Atlanta counties with rapidly-growing non-white populations like Cobb (the city of Marietta, the county seat and largest city in Cobb County, has a population that is over 57% non-white inside of city limits), Douglas, Gwinnett (the entire county of 825,000 has a population that is 57% non-white), Rockdale, Newton and Henry to take advantage of the explosive population and demographic growth demonstrates that the Democrat Party in Georgia is in a state of utter disarray.

    The fact that the party’s organization is pretty much non-existent in places where it should have a very noticeable presence shows that the Democrat Party is in extremely poor health as the party teeters on the edge of extinction in statewide politics in a metro region where the demographic numbers say that it should seemingly be very competitive and in rising health.
    http://www.city-data.com/forum/atlanta/1240471-demographics-metropolitan-atlanta-april-1st-2010-a.html (Demographics of Metro Atlanta with maps showing distribution of each ethnic group around the 20-county metro region)

    • Dave Bearse says:

      I don’t dispute that the Georgia Democratic Party is in disarray.

      The general recent Georgia experience is that change may not much occur slowly over time, but occur in landslides that trail underlying changes that have been occurring over time. We all know the state flipped from very firm (at least in terms of elective office) Democratic to GOP control in only two years. Locally Clayton County government likewise flipped rather abruptly, though not in terms of party affiliation. I would expect others on PP can provide other county examples (beyond flips where only the letter, and not much in the way of the actual officeholders, flipped).

      Landslide changes can result from political environments that favor and entrench incumbency. I suggest we’ll see a rather abrupt flip in Gwinnett County, though I don’t know when. On one hand some of the entrenched incumbency is currently taking a beating. On the other, guys like Conway and Porter have significant mileage left. (Indeed them not seeking re-election at some point could well be a canary in a coal mine moment.)

      Systematic favoring of incumbency in the face of changing demographics is an enviroment that can lead to campaigns increasing relying on fear subtexts. Newcomers generally go with the flow—who wouldn’t be concerned with the Clayton example? Without deep roots, newcomers as well as others will be turned off if the fear subtext turns desperate.

      Note there’s been no mention of white flight in the discussion of changing Gwinnett demographics. White flight has been underway for years in portions of Gwinnett County. My guess is it will become a county-wide phenomenon sometime this decade, i.e. net decreases in white population county-wide.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        You make a very good point about white flight from some portions of increasingly ultra-diverse Gwinnett.

        The Lilburn 30047 (the Lilburn HS cluster where white students make up only about 9% of the enrollment), The Norcross 30093 (the Meadowcreek High School cluster where white students only make up about 6% of the enrollment), Norcross 30071 (Norcross HS-only 28% white), Snellville 30039 (Shiloh HS cluster-only 18% white), the southern part of Snellville 30078 (South Gwinnett HS-24% white), Lawrenceville 30044 & 30045 (Central Gwinnett HS-only 25% white) and Duluth 30096 (Duluth HS-only 32% white) zip codes are all prime examples of parts of Gwinnett where, in addition to non-whites moving in, a substantial amount of white flight has helped to push Gwinnett County’s overall demographics to even more of a non-white majority.
        http://www.greatschools.org/cgi-bin/ga/other/1164#students (Meadowcreek HS demographics)
        http://www.greatschools.org/cgi-bin/ga/other/1153#students (Berkmar HS demographics)

        Though there has been a very noticeable trend of white flight from the aforementioned parts of Gwinnett into other more outlying parts of Gwinnett and into counties further out from the core of Metro Atlanta like Walton, Barrow, Hall, Forsyth,Dawson and even as far out as Jackson and Oconee counties, there are parts of Gwinnett County where the schools have such a good and even great reputation that whites are still moving into in very high numbers, Norcross 30092 (Norcross HS cluster), Duluth 30097 (the Peachtree Ridge HS cluster which encompasses the exclusive gated Sugarloaf community), Suwanee 30024 (North Gwinnett HS & Collins Hill HS clusters), the Northern part of Snellville 30078 (the Brookwood HS cluster) and Grayson 30017/Loganville 30052 (Grayson HS cluster) amongst them.

        The continued white flight into those school clusters while there has been white flight out of others has helped to stabilize Gwinnett County’s population and keep it on a relatively sharply upward trajectory (likely eventually towards the much-anticipated 1 million mark).

        Though what one could say is one of the most troubling aspects about Gwinnett’s continued population growth and ultra-diversification is that, along with the county’s political structure, the county’s structure of government does not seem to be prepared to handle the continuing rapid transition from being a county that was once very much exurban/outer suburban to a being a county that is intensely-urban in its nature.

        The political and governmental structure of the county only seems to be setup to primarily deal with being a predominantly-white, upper-income, fast-growing outer-suburban county where new homes and residential development is consistently built. The county government does not necessarily seem to be equipped to handle being a heavily-populated established urban county and all of the ills that come with it (much-higher crime, juvenile gangs, code enforcement, urban blight/decline, etc).

  17. wicker says:

    SallyForth (and Harry):

    “@Harry, don’t forget that he’s also a half-white guy – which most people ignore or forget (maybe because he seems to forget it himself, never touts that part of his heritage).”

    Oh please. Stuff like this is an example of why nearly all blacks and a large majority of Hispanics (excluding Cubans) regrettably vote Democratic. Jim Crow laws and other forms of legally sanctioned discrimination didn’t exclude “half-white” blacks. Neither did redlining or other forms of widely practiced economic discrimination. And the same with racial profiling … the police didn’t just let you go about your business if you were “a half-white guy”(and the stop-and-frisk policy of the NYPD still doesn’t).

    And yes, this is political. Colin Powell has Caucasian ancestors on both sides of his family (Powell and George W. Bush are cousins remember?) and all the time that he was the highest profile black politician in the country (over fifteen years, from the first Gulf War under George H. W. Bush to his term as Secretary of State) at no time did Republicans talk about how Powell “never touts that part of his heritage.”

    White America treated half-white blacks the same as other blacks (meaning rejected, discriminated against and generally wanted nothing to do with) from the beginning, and the only reason why Obama is the only half-white black that has ever been demanded to embrace or tout his heritage is so conservatives can play their little southern strategy racial political games … like when Glenn Beck accuses Obama of hating white people (which he did on two occasions, first on his radio show and then on Fox News) and white culture.

    It really is revolting … one of the purposes served by black colleges back in the day was places where wealthy and prominent whites could secretly educate their unacknowledged half-black children. The most famous recent example of this was Strom Thurmond stashing his daughter at South Carolina State College – whom Thurmond demanded that she not reveal her lineage until after he died, and even then Thurmond’s family denounced her for ever going public with it at all – but LOTS of alumni of Morehouse and Spelman (for example) were the unacknowledged children of prominent white Georgians. Yep, they were the children of segregationists. So, these segregationists fought tooth and nail to maintain a system where their own children were denied their constitutional rights, not to mention any semblance of decent, respectable golden rule type treatment. Well, why don’t you go track those people down and ask them why they never tout their heritage? I will tell you: because there are no political points to be scored by doing it.

    Now please do not take this as some sort of defense of Obama, or of the people who choose to vote for him or Democrats generally. I am just calling the despicable race-baiting nonsense for what it is.

    • SallyForth says:

      wicker, I don’t know where your negativity rant came from about segregation, your take on history and black colleges, etc.

      Go back and re-read my response to Harry – I was pointing out (perhaps not too eloquently) that here and now in 2012, President Obama embodies quite literally black and white Americans. All of us. His very existence is the result of conscious choices of both his mother and father, his life a picture of opportunity, effort and accomplishment, reaching the highest office in our land.

      Whether or not anyone is disappointed in the way things have gone these last four years should have nothing to do with race – his or theirs. I guess I’m a cockeyed idealist who would like to see color-blind political discourse, without racism nor reverse racism. I would also like to see Georgia politics not be divided up by racial lines. Like John Lennon said, “You may say I’m a dreamer…..”

  18. wicker says:

    It is funny. So many Democrats (and moderate Republicans) keep denouncing the GOP for opposing abortion and gay rights as opposed to paying attention to real issues, and stating that it will cost the GOP control of the state in the future. Ummm … why not instead criticize the Democrats for ignoring real issues like transportation, tax reform, entitlement reform, education, criminal justice etc. and being obsessed with promoting social issues like abortion, gay rights, feminism, affirmative action, multiculturalism, gun control, amnesty for illegal immigrants etc.?

    The Democratic Party led a prosperous, growing state for decades back when it focused on economic issues and generally avoided social issues. That was when Georgia built a good (by comparison to other southern states) public university system, an excellent transportation system, worked with Washington to bring a ton of military and other projects here, and that is what led to the economic booms. It was only when the DPOG went left, following the national party and the Atlanta faction that things went south.

    • caroline says:

      Because the last sentence of your first paragraph could be used to describe both parties. It’s all you’re left with when no one is offering any solutions to our economic problems or they are offering more of the same failed policies. We are over the national average in UE and exactly no one seems to care or know what to do.

      • wicker says:

        I agree with you to a certain extent. I just get frustrated when social liberals criticize social conservatives for using the “conservatives are ignoring the real issues!” argument when all social conservatives are doing is opposing the agenda that social liberals promote. That Obama isn’t rightfully denounced for inserting gay marriage, birth control, illegal immigration and (through his surrogates) race into this election in order to distract people from his failure on issues like unemployment, the national debt and gas prices is exactly what I am talking about, and it isn’t just the liberal Democrats in the “mainstream media” who are responsible for this, but also socially liberal Republicans. But here is the reality: the states where the GOP went left on social issues, it didn’t work. The GOP went left on social issues and still lose big on the state and local level in the far west and northeast. That’s why folks who claim that becoming social liberals will solve all the problems for the GOP are being disingenuous. It doesn’t lead to victories for the GOP, and all it does is cede issues that a large segment of the voting population really does care about and DOES impact economic and social policy to the other side.

        • caroline says:

          You could say the same thing for the GOP. Let’s remember that the GOP was the one that passed all these bills in the state legislatures that have made women so mad. Obama had nothing to do with that but he is using it to his advantage. Even Paul Ryan sponsored bills in the house with Todd Akin another thing Obama had zero to do with.

          The thing is the Blue dogs who were socially conservative lost to Republicans so you could argue that being a social conservative does not help Dems either. The truth of the matter is in ‘wave” elections like 2008 and 2010 the conservative democrats and the liberal republicans are the ones that tend to get wiped out because they are usually in the most “swing” districts.

          To a certain extent what you’re saying is right. If they’re pro-choice why vote for a pro-choice Republican who is going to be pressured by the party to vote against pro-choice stances when you can just vote for the Democrat and know that you’re not going to have to worry about them being forced to cave to the leadership. The liberal Republicans were able to exist back in the 90’s because Newt would let them vote for the most part to represent their district.

            • I Miss the 90s says:

              Being the difference between social liberal and a social conservative is freedom. Liberals want it and the conservatives want to imprisone dissidents.

              The economic platforms have not changed much over the past 30 years…but voters have. Blame the voters.

  19. SmyrnaModerate says:

    The 2008 election in some ways was a preview of the future to come when the democratic base is motivated to vote. Georgia was John McCain’s 3rd smallest margin of victory of all the states he carried. He won the state by only 5.2% (only Montana and Missouri were smaller margins). By comparison, McCain carried the supposedly going purple sooner Texas by 11.7%. He also carried our southern neighbors by significantly larger majorities SC (8.9%), AL (21.6%) and TN (15.1%). As another point of comparison, Obama carried Virginia (6.3%) by a larger margin than McCain won Georgia.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Obama carried Virginia in 2008 mainly on the strength of Northern transplants in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. (Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Loundon and Prince William counties) which is pretty much socially, culturally and politically the very southern tail end of the Boston-NYC-Philadelphia-Baltimore-DC Northeastern Megalopolis, a part of the state that is trending socially liberal and which is often in very sharp conflict with the rest of the state which is extremely conservative (“Old Virginny”).

      Northern Virginia or “NoVa” as it is called is often especially in frequently bitter conflict with the State Capitol in Richmond which was (and still is in the hearts of many a Virginian with deep roots in the state) the capital of the old Confederacy.

      • caroline says:

        Polls have pretty much consistently shown VA staying blue so far this year. NC might go back red but VA probably not and it’s all a numbers game when it comes to the presidential election. More people live in Northern VA than the other parts of the state.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          The irony is that as the conservative rest of Virginia used to impose its social, cultural and political will upon Northern Virginia, now the tables seem to have turned and culturally and socially liberal Northern Virginia seems to be starting to impose its political will on the rest of what is an extremely conservative state (Virginia is even much more conservative than Georgia in some respects as Georgia has some stronger libertarian tendencies that Virginia does not necessarily have when it comes to cultural issues).

          The irony is even more pronounced when considers that Northern Virginia has made some serious attempts to breakaway from the rest of Virginia and form its own state due to extreme cultural, social and political differences that could not possibly be more stark (rural Confederate romanticizing Southern Baptist Bible thumpers in the rest of the state vs. urban Northeastern Union secularists in Northern Virginia).

          • caroline says:

            I think the GOP nominating George Allen for the Senate has actually helped Obama’s polling in the state. George Allen is the quintessential neo-confederate and an embodiment of everything people in northern VA can’t stand about the rest of VA. So it probably motivates people who otherwise might be sitting home due to Obama’s record to show up and at least vote against Allen. VA kind of proves Chris’ point above, that you can have a state where the metropolitan areas are large enough and blue enough to override the whole state.

    • Ken says:

      John McCain is probably not the GOP candidate to use as a baseline. There was little enthusiasm for McCain in Georgia and with the election apparently decided in his favor in Georgia, conservatives did not exactly throng to the polls to support a man with no discernible core or philosophy.

  20. Jane says:

    The bell weather races to watch to see if the GOP is making inroads will be Gwinnett School Board 5, where a Rino turner Democrat is running against a pro-charter school HK Dido, a Kenya=American. Dido has strong support with the local party and will get some non-traditional GOP votes. If he wins, then it could open up some groups to other Republicans. While she may not win, Lisa Kennemore, a Black middle class social conservative, is running against old line white feminist Michele Henson. The Black Demcrat district will be hard to win, but if Lisa does well it will show that the life experience and cultural values are more important than party in the black community.

  21. Jane says:

    Gwinnet school board is lead by anti-charter school Republicans, these were the people who started the first law suit against charter schools. They are trying to kill a locally popular charter school in the 5th district. The RIno turned Democrat is very much opposed to what ever the unions tell her to oppose. Dido is a reformed minded immigrant who supported by all, but the most liberal Republicans. While Charter schools may not be a real issue in 90% of the races, it is in some school board races and it is in some districts.

    I think both races I outlined will be tough to win, but the better the GOP does even if they do not win, the better they will have with minority voters in the future. The Republicans do not need 50% of minority votes to win, 30% will do. Unfortunately they are getting less than 10% now.

    • Charlie says:

      “The RIno turned Democrat is very much opposed to what ever the unions tell her to oppose.”

      Seriously Jane, I know you live in a world that is consumed by direct mail talking points, but here on a blog people have an opportunity to point out willful ignorance and intentionally misleading statements.

      You know as well as the rest of us do that Georgia doesn’t have teachers unions. Period. End of story. Not a debatable fact. And again, I know you know this. So why continue to lie to our readers? Is this about party loyalty too?

          • Charlie says:

            No, they don’t. Period.

            Regardless what Harry reads on World Net Daily, GAE is a professional association. They have no form of collective bargaining. And he will continue to deny this, because he so firmly believes it can’t be true.

            I’ve covered this in a few posts here. We have a huge education “establishment”. It goes well beyond teachers, and isn’t about being a union. It’s administrators, school board members, and even PTA organizations.

            Understanding the political influence of that juggernaught is key to making real changes with education reform.

            Willful ignorance to continue to call out non-existant unions undercuts any ability to work with (or against) these groups, who then successfully point to the ignorance of their opponants to their supporters to demonstrate that they are the only true stakeholders who understand education, and that they must do everything possible to defend against the ignorance spewed from the Harry’s and Janes of the world who resent all things public.

  22. Harry says:

    happless = hapless?

    Charlie, you’ve made several spelling errors over the last few submissions. Lay off the sauce, use a spell-checker and maybe you’d have more credibility as a ‘journalist’.

          • Harry says:

            I’m just saying as one participant this blogsite, you need to clean up your act and lay off the personal sarcasm relating to your contributors. We all stand or fall on our own arguments, and don’t need your sanctimonious side remarks as to our efficacy. But I will answer in like manner when you descend to that level.

            • Stefan says:

              It’s tough to have a discussion with you, Harry, when you do not accept neutral sources or even commonly accepted positions as having any merit. I do appreciate your willingness to engage, but the shifting sands of the debate make agreement on even minor points nearly impossible.

              • Harry says:

                There are two opposing worldviews, and I recognize and understand that fact. I accept that many US young people have been persuaded by prevailing institutions to accept the more liberal worldview, which is perhaps an overall trend in legacy western culture. I respectfully disagree and assert that it has no future. At least I engage it, which is more than many others on the conservative end can or will undertake. For example, virtually every Islamic, African, Asian, and majority of East Europeans and South Americans agree with my worldview, but rather not get into the discussion. After all, what can they tell us? They’re not involved. But I am. At least I have the comfort of knowing – no matter what happens currently in my immediate neighborhood – that the lessons of history and the undoubted future outcome have and will support my viewpoint.

  23. Engineer says:

    “but if the college students I’m teaching are any indication, we’re seeing a major generational shift across the usual demographic and political lines in terms of gay marriage.”

    That’s because folks like myself in the 18-34 yr old age bracket generally don’t care about what people do in their personal lives (Not to mention because of increased openness on that topic by folks in that age group, many of them know people personally or are friends with people that are gay or lesbian), so long as they are happy, and nobody is being hurt..

    • saltycracker says:

      E,

      Something to consider in the larger picture of individualism and relationships:
      “nobody…being hurt” involves the community setting boundaries and definitions to “nuisances” and “material threats”.
      If it impacts your quality of life or costs you money, it’s a fair subject to resolve by concurrence or regulation.

      • Engineer says:

        Cost of money is arguable (since most of those arguments are based on spousal benefits), but claiming two gays marrying impacts your quality of life is absurd.

        • Harry says:

          When my insurance pool is mandated (forced) to include such high-risk individuals, then two guys marrying IS costing me money and thus impacting my lifestyle, so it’s not “absurd” after all.

          • Charlie says:

            The cost of pregnancy to your insurance from a traditionally married couple costs you more. But you won’t read that on World Net Daily so it’s not a fact.

            • Harry says:

              Charlie, a temporary pregnancy is a cost that many are willing to share in an insurance pool. The costs associated with risk pools involving groups affected by poor lifestyle choices associated with escalating incidence of permanent HIV and STD infections, is not a cost that many are willing to undertake. Yet Obama is mandating we must include such high-risk individuals in the risk pools.

                • Charlie says:

                  You do realize that single people, gay and hetero, can engage in this risky behaviors too, right?

                  And that those committed to monogamous relationships present a lower risk of these diseases of which you speak than the single folks, no?

                  So tell me how this concept of allowing two people to make a contract with each to forsake all others other taints your insurance pool again.

                  • Harry says:

                    I don’t care what “contracts” they may get in and out of, the homosexual lifestyle has a far higher incidence of costly disease and death than does the heterosexual lifestyle – monogamous or otherwise.

              • Engineer says:

                “escalating incidence of permanent HIV and STD infections” citation please?

                From the CDC, “95% of those living with HIV infection did not transmit the virus to others that year–an 89% decline in the estimated rate of HIV transmission since the peak level of new infections in the mid-1980s.”
                http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/factsheets/us_overview.htm

                STD’s have gone up across the board with all groups, most of these being <10%.
                http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats10/natoverview.htm
                http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats10/other.htm

                • Harry says:

                  HIV and to a lesser extent other STDs are largely and disproportionately focused on the homosexual community – and you know it. There’s far more promiscuity among that group, and the physical acts performed are part of the problem as well.

                  • Engineer says:

                    You are talking about a very small minority of Americans.
                    “According to a Williams Institute survey conducted in April 2011, approximately 3.5% of American adults identify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 0.3% are transgender”
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_demographics_of_the_United_States

                    I can assure you there are far more promiscuous acting straight folks than gays in America. Want proof? Walk around a mall, listen to pop radio, watch TV, MTV *cough*JerseyShore*cough*, VH1, Spike TV, TLC and on over the air watch the prime-time programming on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX.

              • Stefan says:

                Temporary pregnancies are very expensive. So are children, perhaps more so. So the end of the pregnancy often brings more costs to your insurance plan. Which is why, btw, many insurers gladly cover birth control, they want to keep thier costs as low as possible.

  24. seekingtounderstand says:

    Geogias downfall continues to be that so few are voting and have the time/desire to be informed.
    In my county we are lucky to get over 15% in most elections.

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