There seems to be a growing sentiment, that Democrats need to win elections in the rural areas of the state to control the political future of the state of Georgia. That is true! But there is little political wisdom in going about how to do just that.
The fact is, just looking at the numbers for house seats, Senate seats or votes for governor, that Democrats can't control Georgia state politics without victories down in the isolated regions of the state, including the black belt rural areas. However, the rural region is an important bloc of votes and is winnable for Democrats. There is little reason not to compete for rural voters.
Republicans are strong rural Georgia. Despite that, the suburbs of North Atlanta are the base for Republicans here in the state. It is the one region of the state where Republican representation in the House and Senate seems solid. The other, formerly a traditional Democratic region, now controlled by Republicans in central & southern portion of the state were & can become competitive for Democrats once again
Many Democratic activist & pundits seem inclined to write-off rural Georgia to eternal Republican control. That's not a way to become competitive in Georgia if dems start to take that kind of mindset A Howard Dean type inspired DNC 50 State Strategy is a much better approach. (159 county approach). It will take more time and resources to show impressive results. It should be given more time and a much higher political priority
In many Georgia rural counties, the Democratic Party lacks the infrastructure needed to win campaigns. Areas that have strong democratic parties across rural Georgia should partner with a struggling rural Democratic Party to help them raise money, develop public relations operations, candidate recruitment programs and GOTV machinery. Small contribution of resources in those areas should show dramatic results in future elections. The Georgia Republican base was largely developed in a very similar fashion. The fat cats of the Republican Right poured tens, hundreds of thousands of dollars into local Republican Parties, while local Democratic Parties lacked outside help from State Democrats
Depending how redistricting goes, Democrats need to help local Democratic Parties take on Republican incumbents like Tony McBrayer (R) Tifton, Greg Morris (R) Vidalia, Mark Hatfield (R-Waycross), Johnny Grant (R-Milledgeville), etc In 2008, the unexpected strong showing of Barack Obama here in Georgia could would have helped democrats possibly take back some of those seats, but recruitment was lackluster.
A Democratic political message that highlights economic bread and butter issues in a populist form can help Democrats win all across Georgia. Democrats need to aggressively publicize Republican hypocrisy on moral issues. Democrats need to crusade against legal and illegal corruption in government. It is important for Democrats to respond to Republican lies on issues like guns, religious freedom and taxes. Georgia Democrats need to define themselves instead of letting Republicans define them.
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