Why Georgia May Not Turn Blue Anytime Soon

August 19, 2014 14:00 pm

by Jon Richards · 35 comments

Much has been said about the demographic and social changes that are supposedly sweeping through Georgia. Democrats hope these changes will make the Peach State competitive in 2014 for Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn, and might lead to Democratic wins in the 2016 Presidential and Senate races.

Is Georgia ready to go blue? A New York Times Upshot story says maybe not.

Nate Cohn’s theory is that southern states like Virginia, North Carolina and Florida have become swing states because of a large number of new residents hailing from the northeast and west coast. These migrants, along with others not originally from southern states, make a Democratic takeover more likely. For example, 41% of Florida residents were born outside the south. In Virginia, it’s 30%. Contrast that with Georgia, where only 20% come from outside the south.

If you look at this chart showing where Georgia residents were born going back to 1900, you can see that the percentages of migrants from other states and U.S. regions have stayed fairly constant since 1990. Indeed, the drop in the percentage of Georgia born residents can mostly be explained by the increasing number of migrants who were not born in the United States. Many of those migrants are not U.S. citizens, and are therefore ineligible to vote.

While the Upshot story focuses on Texas as a state not likely to flip from red to blue in the near future, perhaps the same thing can be said about Georgia:

The proportion of native-born residents from the South versus the Northeast and California roughly parallels President Obama’s share of the white vote in 2012, which was lowest in states like Mississippi and Louisiana and as high as the mid-30s in Virginia and Florida. Those tallies are good enough for victory in states where nonwhite voters make an above-average contribution to Democratic tallies, as is the case across most of the South.

Democrats were able to become competitive so quickly in states like Virginia and North Carolina because they combined a growing nonwhite share of the electorate with gains among white voters, particularly in postindustrial metropolitan areas full of Northern expats. Without additional gains among white voters, Democrats will be forced to wait a long time for the children of foreign-born residents to carry them to competitiveness in Texas, a state that Mr. Obama lost by 17 points in 2012, and where there isn’t a flood of Democratic-leaning voters from New York to bail them out.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

John Konop August 19, 2014 at 3:04 pm

In all due respect the following is the number trend in Georgia for Governor race.

GOP by 19 % in 2006

GOP by 9% in 2010

I would bet the GOP will win between 6% to 4% in 14…if so the trend is obvious…I am just a numbers guy….

Ed August 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm

That’s barely a trend.

Anyway, I am glad people are finally starting to agree with me.

John Konop August 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

HUH what would you call it? The numbers are trending with increase in inter racial marriages, immigration…..

Three Jack August 19, 2014 at 3:44 pm

John,

Those numbers more likely reflect GOP angst with the gubernatorial candidates and a failure to accomplish much since assuming power 10-12 years ago. Deal in 2010 was not the best candidate and he ran against a former governor who still had a decent following. In other words, your trend line is meaningless as presented.

John Konop August 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm

If it is 6 to 4 points or less….. victory GOP this time than it is real….If not you are right…

Bobloblaw August 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

In 2006 you had an incumbent in 2010 you had an open seat with one of the guys a former governor who had a decent record.

caroline August 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm

2010 was a wave year for the GOP nationally too.

Chris Huttman August 19, 2014 at 3:19 pm

A lot of Georgia’s southern in-migration is black residents leaving places like Alabama and Mississippi and coming to metro Atlanta. But anyone is welcome to go to the SOS website and look at registered voter totals by race from say 2002 and compare them to now. And then ask themself the following question: is it really that impossible to believe that a Democrat could get the same share of the white vote as Roy Barnes got in 2002?

Bobloblaw August 20, 2014 at 9:27 am

So are MS and AL then becoming more GOP?

Chris Huttman August 20, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Yes.
2000 for Gore %:
AL: 41, GA: 43
2012 for Obama %:
AL: 38, GA: 45

Harry August 20, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Looks like Obama got very few white votes in Alabama in 2012. I guess there’s not so many pro-Obama whites there. OTOH we have midtown Atlanta.

Noway August 19, 2014 at 4:22 pm

What do the Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and Santy Claus all have in common? The all offer free stuff to people who haven’t worked for it. Same with politicians, especially the Dems. Whoever promises the most free s..t wins. Nothing more simple than that. The shortest Masters thesis ever submitted!

Ed August 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm

It’s also wrong.

John Konop August 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Really? Have you ever heard of Medicare?

Noway August 19, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Or SS, Medicaid, Section 8, student loans, food stamps, free school lunch? Shall i stop?

John Konop August 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm

The moment you bring up any rational solutions that tighten belts…..all they do is scream about killing granny, death panels, throwing old people out in the cold…..we never get to the debate if we can afford it….

Ed August 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Well good to know that no conservative has ever won an election. Thanks for the lesson!

John Konop August 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Look at the federal debt….

Noway August 19, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Not only that, john, have them look at the unfunded liabilties we’re on the hook for. Upwards of 100 trillion. Does that phase the socialists?

Chris Huttman August 19, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Even if you are scared by that number, it’s about $4,807/person currently alive for 65 years. Seeing as the government lends for less than inflation, it’s really even less. But if big numbers scare you by all means, keep being scared.

Noway August 19, 2014 at 8:08 pm

That’s assuming all of them there people you cite, Chris, ole-buddy, will actually will pay that $4700 you quote. Wanna buy some swamp land? If 100 trillion doesn’t scare you, you’re beyond a rational discussion.

seenbetrdayz August 20, 2014 at 8:33 am

The problem with democrats is that they absolutely cannot comprehend that lots of little amounts add up to big amounts.

You might get a democrat to agree that $100,000,000,000 is a lot of money. But you will never get a democrat to agree that 1,000 x $100,000,000 is a lot of money, and it’s the same damn amount of money!, lol.

That’s why Georgia won’t turn blue anytime soon. Demos have absolutely no understanding whatsoever of budgets, or numbers, or multiplication for that matter. Granted, most in the GOP only pay lip service to spending control, especially at the federal level and particularly during campaign season, but most agree that fiscal sanity isn’t even on the Dem’s radar, as evidenced by Huttman’s comments. $4,807 isn’t a lot of money. $4,807 x millions of Americans is.

Now, if the Dems could revive some of those Blue Dogs from the Clinton era or further back, instead of continuing to replace them with ardent socialists, Georgia would turn blue yesterday . . .

Harry August 20, 2014 at 12:01 pm

As one of my clients very succinctly wrote, the only difference between a hooker and a Democrat is that the hooker will stop s******* you when you run out of money.

MattMD August 20, 2014 at 12:59 am

Again, you are mostly full of crap. We can debate on the how the government has funded SS but people have had to pay into it. As far as food aid to poor people, those numbers are not nearly as high as some far-right people think. Don’t forget, it’s usually on the same bill as the farm aid. I don’t hear you carping about that.

John Konop August 20, 2014 at 5:48 am

Doc Matt,

The biggest liability is Medicare…..the average person takes out 3 dollars for every 2 dollars put in…..The student loan issue is also very scary it has surpassed credit card liabilities….and you do get tax payers are on the hook? As far as SS it could survive with some minors tweeks yet once again a big political football…..The above 3 are a debt death march with babby boomers aging unless something happens….like it or not that is the math….

MattMD August 20, 2014 at 12:56 am

It looks like somebody here had a real supportive childhood.

Noway August 20, 2014 at 7:46 am

Is that a professional opinion, Doc? Didn’t realize your practice included psychiatry. Thanks for the freebie!

caroline August 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Do you realize that these kinds of statements are exactly why the GOP loses national elections? You are basically calling the majority of voters welfare queens are ignoring the fact that the GOP does a FANTASTIC job of driving voters away from Mike Huckabee basically calling any women who uses birth control a slut (really undercuts the smary personal responsiblity lecture conservatives love to give) to the evangelicals who cannot let go of the 1950’s and keep trying t0 resurrect it. Georgia may lag behind the rest of the nation on this account but do tell what new state is going to come into the GOP fold with those kind of statements? And it’s sounds like poor poor pitiful me everybody else gets “free stuff” while I don’t get any. Sniff Sniff. Buck up and start offering people something positive to vote for instead of gloom and doom and people like Michele Bachmann screeching the end times are here.

John Konop August 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm

You did a good job hitting hot button issues the GOP needs to rethink….

saltycracker August 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Demographic change to take over territory is as old as civilization. Jefferson and Madison knew that as they expanded the U.S. south and west. The cultural change to government dependency, selective enforcement and financing with highly leveraged debt is the cancer.

Rich August 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm

One only has to venture into a sit-down restaurant and note all the televisions tuned to FOX NEWS to understand Georgia is still very much red. “Get your bias affirmed while you eat.”

Noway August 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm

And the Dems can tune into almost any other network to get theirs validated.

Chris Huttman August 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm

What do you suggest I watch?

Noway August 19, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Anything but the dreaded Fox, I guess, Chris.

Will Durant August 20, 2014 at 10:01 am

I don’t care if about colors, give me just one candidate who will address issues regardless of ideologies and color me amazed.