Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Wanted: Democratic Candidate for Georgia Senate 2020

Democrats are still searching for a strong candidate to run for the soon to be vacant senate seat of  Republicans Johnny Isakson who's stepping down due to health reasons.

The party so far have Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, Former Lt. Governor candidate and Business Executive Sarah Amico. Also Jon Ossoff who ran for congress back in 2017 who raised a record $32 million dollars in the special election for Ga-6 and Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry. That maybe the field for that race against incumbent David Perdue.

But the other senate seat is what giving many Democrats headaches.  For one, the bench is relatively thin so they need to attract someone who's been in Georgia Politics for years, decades. They gotta start somewhere.

Stacey Abrams who lost the race for governor by a razor slim margin have said she will not make a run for the Senate. So with her out of the picture, where do democrats turn?

Names that have been mentioned so far are

Ed Tarver, a moderate black democrat who served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia and U.S. Army Veteran

Lindy Miller who ran for PSC Commissioner back in 2018

Michael Thurmond, Dekalb CEO and former Labor Commissioner

Dekalb County D.A. Sherry Boston

Jen Jordan, State Senator

Now the logic among some Democrats that a Black Democrat is needed in the other Senate race to boost black voter turnout. Black voters, I believe will turn out to vote regardless who is the nominee.

Now let's take a look at some candidates who should get a look:
James Butler

Demetrius Douglas
*State Rep. Demetrius Douglas (D-Stockbridge) UGA Alum, where he was also a Linebacker. He's currently a Real Estate Wholesaler and High School Football Coach and briefly played in the NFL and CFL

*State Rep. Brian Prince (D-Augusta) (Ret.) U.S. Army Signal Officer and CEO of Brock's Driver Education School

*Macon District Attorney David Cooke

*James "Jim" Butler, Prominent Trial Lawyer, Founding Partner of Butler Wooten & Peak, UGA graduate and Philanthropist. His name have been mentioned before for office. Why not now?






The Weight of the letter "D" in Rural Georgia

Democrats are losing rural votes not because of what they propose but because rural voters identify more with the Republican Party. “Democratic” ballot initiatives do well in rural, but Democratic candidates don’t.
In politics these days, it’s not as much what is said as who says it. Urban voters are getting more Democratic and rural voters more Republican.
What we can see now, however, is that Democratic candidates are paying an “identity penalty” in rural counties, they are losing votes not because of what they propose but because of the “D” that sits beside their name on the ballot.
Party is largely about identification these days, not policy. Okay, here's an example...Imagine walking down a hall of a large building. There are gatherings happening in two separate rooms. You can look through a door and see the people in each group. You size them up, seeing what kind of clothes they wear and imagining whether they would be the kind of folks you’d want to spend time with or have your children visit. You make a judgment, pick a room and go in. You join a team.
That’s how political parties are chosen. It’s about identification and social solidarity, not issues. And that identity is strong and divided by geography. Rural residents went in one door and urbanites went in the other.
Identity is not something that people easily give up. (Have you ever convinced a sports fan to change his or her team?) Like someone asking me to switch being a Georgia Bulldogs fan to a Florida Gator fan. Not happening!
And so the “identity penalty” Democrats pay in extremely heavily Republican areas might be too great to overcome. Candidates might do better if they run as independents rather than as Democrats in particularly “red” states.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

What Happens to Rural Areas After Trump Leaves, whether it's in 2020 or 2024?

If one word can capture the sentiment of rural and small-town dwellers in recent years, it is resentment.

Residents of rural and small-town communities believe they are not getting their fair share of government attention and vital resources compared to urban dwellers. They believe that America is moving away from them.


People in rural areas like feel as though they are being ignored by urban elites and urban institutions like government and the media at a time when they are struggling to make ends meet.
They believe their communities are dying, the economy is leaving them behind, and that young people, money and their livelihoods are going somewhere else.

They think that major decisions affecting their lives are being made far away in big cities (which is true). And perhaps most importantly, they feel that no one is listening to them or their ideas about things that are important to them. Most distressing to those living in this situation is the belief that no one, and especially no one in government, really cares.

To date, the phenomenon of resentment has been responsible for adding another layer of heightened division among Americans, including an increase in political polarization.

That makes it much more difficult for federal government officials, as well as those at the state and local level, to reach consensus on important issues of the day

It is this frustration and anger of small-town and rural area folks has resulted in increasing political support for Republican candidates, generally, and for Trump, specifically.

Given their intensifying feelings of resentment for being ignored and left behind, rural and small-town folks were particularly receptive to the slogan touted by Trump in his campaign “Make America Great Again!”

Trump won the country’s small town and non-metropolitan areas by 63.2 percent to 31.3 percent, with his largest vote shares coming from the most rural areas.

Like other Republican presidential candidates over the last 10 years, Trump garnered a large majority of the vote in traditional rural areas like Appalachia, the Great Plains and parts of the South.
Surprisingly, however, Trump also won a substantial proportion of the traditionally Democratic small town and rural vote in several key Midwestern industrial areas
 
Other appealing policies were tax cuts for both businesses and individuals; significant reductions in the regulation of business and industry; and import tariffs on foreign goods that compete unfairly with American-made products.

People living in small towns and rural areas who supported these kinds of policies were more likely to vote for Trump rather than Clinton in 2016 and they did.

Above all, Trump promised a shift in the focus of the national government so that much more attention would be directed to rural areas and small towns and the challenges they faced.
This evidently buoyed the hope of Trump supporters in these areas that they would be getting something closer to their fair share of government attention and resources.

Residents of small towns and rural areas are much more supportive of the Republican Party and its candidates than people in urban and suburban areas.

In addition, the most ardent supporters of Republicans are among those small-town and rural folks who are white and male, have less than a college education and vote on a regular basis.

I believe that the urban-rural/small-town divide will continue to act as a major force in politics for the remainder of the Trump era and probably longer.

Small Town Voters like Democratic inspired ideas, just not Democrats

In politics these days, it’s not as much what is said as who says it. The reports on last year's Nov. 6 election have been largely about the growing political divide between rural and urban. Urban voters are getting more Democratic and rural voters more Republican.

What we can see now, however, is that Democratic candidates are paying an “identity penalty” in rural counties, they are losing votes not because of what they propose but because of the “D” that sits beside their name on the ballot.
Rural voters both rejected Democratic candidates by close or in some cases, by wide margins but, on the same ballot, voted for Democratic (if not downright liberal) positions in nonpartisan propositions and amendments.

Party is largely about identification these days, not policy. Its like being a sports fan than a policy wonk.

Imagine walking down a hall of a large building. There are gatherings happening in two separate rooms. You can look through a door and see the people in each group. You size them up, seeing what kind of clothes they wear and imagining whether they would be the kind of folks you’d want to spend time with or have your children visit. You make a judgment, pick a room and go in. You join a team.
That’s how political parties are chosen. It’s about identification and social solidarity, not issues. And that identity is strong and divided by geography. Rural residents went in one door and urban/suburban dwellers went in the other.

Second, identity is not something that people easily give up. (Have you ever convinced a sports fan to change his or her allegiance?) And so the “identity penalty” Democrats pay in heavily Republican areas might....MIGHT be too great to overcome depending on the candidate.
This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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