Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gerrymandering Hurts Potential Black Candidates with Aspirations for Higher Office Here in Georgia.


The idea of creating majority-minority districts came from the thought that blacks (or other minorities) would have a better chance of being elected and thus be better represented in a district where the majority of the voters in the district are black. The 4th District is a prime example where more than 60% of the voters are African American. In SW Georgia, Sanford Bishop district has changed numerous times. Bishop first won the 2nd when it was a majority white district. In the other two districts, the 4th & 13th, those districts have over 50% African American Population. So does that prove the system works?

Yes and no. Yes, Rep. John Lewis, Hank Johnson & David Scott will get re-elected in 2012 and every year after and chances are when they retire a black Democrat will succeed them. Sanford Bishop's 2nd District has a great shot of being represented by a white democrat once he retires from office more so than the other more liberal districts in the state. But, could a Scott, Johnson, Lewis ever win statewide? No. They are simply too liberal. They are fine for their liberal, cut out district which they need to be, but that would not fly in the state as a whole. Before I thought Bishop had best chance of all of the black Georgia Democrats to win statewide because he represented a rural district in which he got a substantial number of white votes, but all that went out the window with his support for the unpopular Heathcare Bill & his close ties to President Obama. Each with the exception of Bishop can win re-election without a single white vote

The problem with them (xcept Bishop) is that their districts are not representative of the state as a whole because of the deliberate elimination of all those who are not traditional liberal, democratic voters. The same point could be made for most districts in the state House and state Senate. If African-Americans from the state legislature want to win a statewide election, they are simply going to have to moderate their positions on a host of issues. Of course, they risk losing the black vote when doing so, but that's a risk they are going to have to take.

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