Despite all of the hope and enthusiasm from Georgia Democrats, Tuesday night was a reminder that more work needs to be done in order to be competitive again here in the Peach State.
The biggest problem facing Democrats here in Georgia is their inability to attract white voters and having a message that can appeal to moderates and conservative democrats....plain & simple! Forget Independent Voters because there are no such thing as a TRUE independent voter....most lean either to the democrats or republicans.
Nunn and Carter got under 25% of the white vote, which is not enough to be competitive statewide int he near future. On the bright side, they got close to 30% of the black vote, so despite all the talk about black voters not turning out, they did this year despite voter turnout being at a record low across the country during Tuesday's election.
For all the talk about demographic changes and registering more minority voters they need to do a better job at attracting those who are already registered to vote, black and white. Too much they rely on urban and suburban areas of Atlanta, Lilburn, Albany for their votes and very little on rural, mid-sized areas of Fitzgerald, Swainsboro, Douglas, thus leaving huge swaths of the state to the GOP.
Look at the state legislature, democrats have done a poor job at candidate recruitment on the house and senate side and that starts with the leadership in both chambers. That needs to change and change soon and that starts with electing new leadership who knows that leaving 80% of the republican legislature unchallenged is not good for the state, nor the party. Now is the time for Rep. Scott Holcomb, yes I'm talking to you, to run for minority leader and to locate potential democratic candidates to add to a democratic house caucus that's (with the exception of a dozen legislators) made up of 'Dead Weight" or "Seat Warmers".
Michelle Nunn ran a good race, but she ran the type of race that made National Democrats proud, but on the flip side, this is still the south and this is still Georgia and she didn't put enough emphasis on Georgia and too much on National Issues. Even Rep. Jack Kingston said she didn't exert enough independence from the National Democrats and looking back on it, he's right! That Ferguson mailer did have a negative impact on both Nunn and Carter thus their white support fell below 25%.
DuBose Porter should run for the 12th Congressional District in '16, if he decides to bypass a full four year term as head of the Georgia Democratic Party. Porter came in under tough circumstances to rebuild the state party that hit rock bottom and now is a viable and fully functioning party. And there's always 2018 in which Porter will be in his 60s.
I for one do not see Nunn running for political office again. That's the feeling I get, but who knows.
Jason Carter also ran a good race, but you have to give the Deal Campaign credit for highlighting his experience, which I think hurt Carter towards the end. Why Carter didn't run on expanding medicaid is a question only he can answer. That was a winning issue, but he made very little mention of it. Everyone assumes he will the front runner for governor in 2018, but you better look out for Kasim Reed and possibly John Barrow.
And speaking of Barrow who I call the smartest politician in the entire state, I didn't expect to see him go down to Rick Allen who ran on absolutely nothing, except tying Barrow to Obama, just like Austin Scott who also ran on nothing when he defeated Jim Marshall in 2010 by tying him to Nancy Pelosi.
Barrow is the wildcard here because he has options. He gets to sit back and re-charge his batteries for another "likely" run for office...either for the U.S. Senate in 2016 or for a statewide office in 2018. And it's a longshot, but Barrow could be on a list of possible VP contenders for Hillary Clinton.
Another is Kasim Reed. You know and I know he's going to begin to lay the groundwork for a potential 2018 race. And look over to Columbus, Ga where Teresa Tomlinson (D) will be someone who may look to move up the political ladder if she has a successful second term as mayor of Columbus.
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