Thursday, October 4, 2012

(GA-12) Can John Barrow Defy The Odds in November?

Conservative Democrat John Barrow (D-Augusta) is in the midst of another tough campaign to be re-elected, this time in a gerrymandered district that forced the 4 term Bluedog to relocate to Augusta after republicans placed his home of Savannah into Jack Kingston's 1st Congressional District.

Barrow has a few factors working in his favor, starting with his incumbency, second he has carved out a independent streak which enables him to appeal to independents, moderates & like-minded republicans & third he's likable among his constituents.

In the new 12th, only Laurens, Coffee, Applimg, Columbia, Wheeler, Telfair, and Jeff Davis County are counties that weren't in the old 12th CD.

One problem Barrow, as well as other moderate and conservative democrats across the country face is that President Barack Obama is vastly unpopular in many of the rural districts in places like the 12th that Blue Dogs are trying to represent.

John Barrow talking with Business Leaders
Voters in the 12th who have supported Barrow in the past know he's not the type of guy who just walk the party line. Barrow in his time as congressman has heard criticism from his own party over that, but at the end of the day, majority of folks over in the 12th appreciate that he's different.

Barrow is the last remaining white, rural male democrat in the south. The ONLY reason the Georgia GOP has continued to target the likes of Barrow is the face that he's....WHITE! Nothing else. The goal of the GOP here in Georgia is to absolutely solidify this state into a GOP bastion for the next decade or decades, with white republicans in the majority and black democrats in the minority for years to come. We're having the same conversations like many had 40-50 years ago, that black people can only represent black people and white people can only represent white people.

The bigger picture is to ultimately make the Democratic Party in Georgia represented only by people of color. The GOP's long-term goal is to enshrine a system of racially polarized voting that will make it harder for Democrats to win races on local, state, federal levels. Taking out Barrow will make prospects for Democrats in Georgia that much harder down the line.

Despite many pundits predicting Barrow's defeat, I say otherwise. I say Barrow wins re-election because he hasn't done anything to fall out of favor of voters in the 12th. The only people who are calling for Barrow's ouster are the hyper-partisans who'll vote for anything with a "R" next to it. Another reason I predict Barrow to win is the refusal....or the ducking of State Rep. Lee Anderson in debating Barrow. Anderson is a unknown to voters outside of Columbia County. The only thing that's helping Anderson is the fact that he has a "R" next to his name. Other than that, he's a WEAK candidate. Wright McLeod would have been a much stronger candidate to challenge Barrow, but the fact that the weaker candidate won & you are seeing it now by Anderson's refusal to debate John Barrow only solidify my prediction that Barrow will defy the odds to retain his seat. I've been wrong before, but that's what I think will happen.

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