The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, a/k/a “The Fix”, talks in an article today about a potential “expand the map strategy” for Hillary Clinton. He advises Democrats against focusing on Georgia, citing 2014’s results as exhibit A:
Stewart’s second bucket makes more sense — although he may be getting a little ahead of himself demographically speaking. In that bucket sit Arizona and Georgia, two states where the growth of the Hispanic vote — and Democrats’ continued dominance among that group — is in the process of making both states much more competitive. In Georgia, George W. Bush won 58 percent of the vote in his 2004 reelection race but four years later John McCain won less than 53 percent in the state. In 2012, Mitt Romney won a similar 53 percent of the vote. Arizona’s trajectory is similar. A decade ago, Bush won it with 55 percent. In 2008, McCain, the homestate senator, got only 54 percent; Romney got that same 54 percent in 2012.
That’s the right trajectory for Democrats. But, Georgia in 2014 provides a reminder of why the demographics just aren’t there yet for Democrats to win. Democrats recruited their best possible candidate — Michelle Nunn — for the seat of retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R). Many Democrats (and neutral observers) expected Nunn to, at a minimum, keep Republican David Perdue under 50 percent and force a Jan. 6 runoff. Perdue won 53 percent, an eight point victory margin. While Nunn swamped Perdue among black voters (92 percent to eight percent) and won easily among Hispanics (57 percent to 42 percent), he absolutely destroyed her among white voters (74 percent to 23 percent). That’s instructive. For someone like Clinton (or any Democrat) to win statewide in Georgia, she/he would need to equal Nunn’s margin among black voters while over-performing Nunn significantly among Hispanics and whites. Possible. But not likely — at least in 2016. By 2020 (or 2024) — maybe.
That sound you hear in the background is the collective wincing from sales managers at every TV and radio station in the state. Being a battle ground can be quite lucrative if you have some air time to sell.