I file this dispatch from Swing State Virginia, where I decamped to knock on doors for Barack Obama and Tim Kaine. The atmosphere at the Kaine victory party in Richmond was electric as the votes finally started to be reported from Fairfax County and the city of Norfolk and first Kaine took the lead and finally Obama was declared the winner. Virginia wasn’t as solidly blue as it was four years ago, but a win is a win and Republicans currently do not have a path to electoral victory in Presidential races.
To Georgia – where Romney turned in a mostly similar victory to McCain’s 4 years ago. Our final poll for Better Georgia put it at 52-46, and I expect with rounding the final number will be 53-46. On the local front, our firm (20/20 Insight) had accurate results, as did Landmark. Matt Towery emailed two days ago to say that Obama would not get 42% in Georgia due to a rising tide of Republican voters. Anyone who listens to or hires this guy should be ashamed of themselves.
In a year when the national popular vote tightened and Obama won some swing states by much narrower margins than four years ago, Georgia stayed about the same. We are trending Democratic. And soon enough, with the Hispanic vote rising each year and the share of the white vote decreasing, the Republicans will have the same problem winning here that they had last night for Mitt Romney in the rest of the country. To my Republican friends: well done so far, but I see no evidence that you’re doing anything to combat this problem. Let’s take two local races as examples.
Scott Holcomb is a moderate army veteran running in a suburban white district with a slight Democratic tilt. Primary voters rejected a moderate female Republican in favor of an extreme, Georgia Right to Life pledge signing whack-job who pulled out every crazy Republican idea in an attempt to swift boat Holcomb. It backfired big time, and Holcomb isn’t likely to have a tough race for this seat again in the next ten years. Good job on that one, guys!
Now over to House District 66 in Douglas and Paulding counties. Republican mapmakers never understood the early vote math, and even though I calculated this district as one Obama won four years ago, they were confident of it’s Republican lean. Douglas and Paulding are fast changing – getting more diverse by the minute. Democrats nominated a local NAACP leader. What was the Republican response? Did they find a young, attractive moderate to nominate? Nope. They rallied around a literal dinosaur, a former GOP member (Bob Snelling) who joined with the extreme wing of the Republican caucus back in the 90’s to sponsor bills that make it harder to get divorced and prevent teaching of evolution in schools. Again, this is the future?
Now overall I applaud them for a map well drawn. With Rusty Kidd’s swing vote, they will have their super majority. How will they use it? My prediction is that they will use it to fight yesterday’s battles – the ridiculous Milton County idea will be devoted hours and days of debate even though 95% of Georgians couldn’t care less. I predict we’ll see a personhood amendment and other nonsense added to the ballot. Just remember, Democrats are sitting at 46% of the electorate and doing better in places like Scott Holcomb’s district where voters are already paying attention. Republicans right now are like a lottery winner in this state. It will be interested to see whether they plan for the future or go on one last spending spree and blow all of their political capital. If you’re a Republican, you better hope it’s the former, if you’re a Democrat, you know it will be the latter.