Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rural Georgia is Ripe & Ready for Roy Barnes to Pickup in Nov.

And I hope the other democratic candidates recognize it also. Its time for a change! Its time for some middle ground! Its time for some Common Sense!

There is a sense among folks here, as in many rural areas across the state, that they are invisible, at least politically. You go ask voters of rural Georgia, and they will say neither party has a vision or game plan for us. There is no respect for agriculture, No planning for our infrastructure, No understanding of the long distances people have to go to access medical care.

As I remember, democrats once dominated the rural landscape here in Georgia until 2002 came along. When democrats had control of the state Capitol, rural Georgia was well taken care of, by the likes of Larry Walker, Tom Murphy, Georga Hooks, Jimmy Lord, Newt Hudson, Henry Reaves & others. The Rural Democrats have been replaced by the Suburban Republicans of Chip Rogers, Jan Jones, Ben Harbin, Allen Peake. As a result Rural Georgia has fallen off the radar of the current GOP majority now occupying the state legislature.

Now you can argue that because Sonny Perdue hails from Rural Houston County, that rural Georgia has always been taken care of, or well well tended to under Perdue, but Perdue let the inmates (GOP) run the asylum instead of taking more of a leadership role when it came to critical issues facing us here in rural Georgia.

That sentiment has many predicting a bitter battle between the political parties to capture the votes of rural Georgia. Although these areas tend to lean Republican, support for Governor Perdue and the GOP has waned after 8 years of GOP control of every level of state government.

Rural Georgia remains conservative, (some parts moderately conservative) with social issues in the forefront, but voters here are also consumed by economic concerns and the lack of job opportunities. Regardless of what party they belong to, many say they vote for the candidate who can help them, not the party. Social Issues was dominant in the GOP runoff, but let me tell you right now, those issues will take a backseat this november with the state unemployment higher that the national average, along with education, ethics, & other critical issues.

Ignoring these areas can be politically lethal for candidates. While rural Georgians make up only about 30-35% of the state electorate, they in my opinion are key to any candidate running for office whether its governor or Labor Commissioner.

Getting to far-flung, isolated areas is time-consuming, and crafting an effective message is difficult because many politicians don't understand the complexities of rural Georgia, For instance: many rural residents resent interference by the federal government, but their towns' existence often depends on grants and funding for infrastructure. To be more blunt, ITS OUR LIFEBLOOD!

The reason rural Georgia is competitive now is not because they love the Democrats. It's because they are beginning to fall out of love with the Republicans.

Here's my thought: that to capture rural votes, dems must find cultural and economic connections. "VOTERS AREN'T LOOKING FOR GRANDSTANDING OR CHEAP SYMBOLIC PERFORMANCES (Like questioning someone's Birth Certificate or claiming to be something that's not true).

See Roy Barnes, despite what his critics say about him understands what's happening in Rural Georgia. He has spent more time in Rural Georgia than his hometurf in Metro Atlanta. Herman Talmadge made this statement after he was defeated in 1980 by Republican Carpetbagger Mack Mattingly, who moved to Georgia 3 years earlier: "Had I spent more time in places I was the weakest, instead of the the places I was the strongest, I might have won my re-election against Mattingly". That is so true! Rural Georgia is where Barnes campaign will either "make it of break it" this coming november.

Rural voters can be bagged, if they're stalked properly. "Politics is team work. You have to have a good team and a candidate who is 100 per cent committed in going into areas where there are only one traffic light.

Rural Georgia is a Blue collar Region, with Bluecollar Jobs out numbering White Collar Jobs. And people wonder why someone like Jim Marshall continue to win in the rural dominated 8th District. Marshall has that Bluecollar appeal to voters, & it doesn't hurt when he himself did a lot of odd jobs blue collar workers have also done like Logging for instance.

The main thing that has rural Georgians up in arms in the poorest parts of the state is the crumbling of the local economy, outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries and downgrading of chronic rural problems like poverty. For example, look at Baldwin County. That county has hit hard by the loss of jobs there over the last 5-10 years. It has gotten to a point that folks up there have had it and are looking for a change in their elected officials.

The economic differences within the state are huge. The people in rural areas are poorer, sicker and less franchised. Rates of clinical depression are higher, and there are higher deaths per capita.

1 comment:

J said...

I have a thesis that current "country music republicans" (former conservative Democrats) are willing to give Barnes a look.

Country club Republicans will probably go straight Deal.

The rest of Georgia should push Barnes over the finish line.

This is a Rural Blog that provides views & insights from a Conservative Georgia Democrat

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