Last Night we saw the re-election of President Obama to a second term as leader of the free world. Despite a sagging economy, the President managed to get re-elected with 50% of the popular vote to Romney/s 49%, a razor thin margin. The president got 45% of the vote here in Georgia, which tells you that either in 2016 or 2020, Georgia will become a purple state. In addition Democrats won seats in red states such as Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota & Montana, but lost more seats in Congress.
Here in Georgia, Blue Dog Democrat John Barrow won re-election as representative for the 12th Congressional District, despite losing his democratic stronghold of Chatham County. Barrow garnered 54% of the vote to Lee Anderson, who was a relatively weak candidate. Barrow may have written the playbook on how democrats can win again not only here in Georgia, but in conservative-leaning regions.
On the state level, not a good night for Georgia Democrats as Barbara Massey Reece lost her bid for another term & Rick Crawford who said he would switch parties if he was re-elected both lost to republican challengers. Democrats picked up ZERO seats in the State House & State Senate, which again highlights the glaring problem for the party. This is the 4th election cycle that democrats have failed to pickup any seats against the GOP who are one seat away from a Supermajority (Rusty Kidd, Independent who beat back a challenge from Quentin Howell is said to be in talks to switch to the GOP, which will give them their Supermajority. I think its a foregone conclusion that he joins the GOP.
The Democratic Party of Georgia, the House & Senate Democratic Leadership really need to do some serious soul searching. Way too many seats went unchallenged this election cycle, weak infrastructure & organization continue to plague the party & the disconnect with Rural Georgia has gotten wider.
Two years from now, all statewide offices will be up for election. As I mentioned before, President got 45% of the vote, down from 48% in 2008, but Democratic Candidates here in a off election year only manages to top out at 40-42% & that comes from Urban Centers such as Macon, Savannah, Metro Atlanta, etc. The challenge for the party is to find a John Barrow style Democrat who can appeal to Independent-Conservative leaning voters, while holding on to the party base, which is a difficult thing to do, but Barrow proved that it can be done. But are there any John Barrow type Democrats left in Georgia?
But things have gotten so bad here in Georgia for the Democrats on the Legislative Level that I would advise any Democrat who's thinking about running for legislative office to run as a Independent or Libertarian. Running as a Democrat in Rural Georgia means you will run alone, with no assistance from party leadership who pick & choose which candidates best fit their left- wing ideology. It would not surprise me that some Georgia GOP Statewide Officials go unopposed in 2014, like what happened in Louisiana last year.
Note: Congrats to Scott Holcomb for winning re-election to his House Seat. The party could use more Centrist like Holcome in its ranks
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