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If you look at the electoral maps since 1992, the only reason the Republicans are even still in the game is because of Texas and Georgia.   That's a total of 50 electoral votes that will usually go the GOP's way unless the roof has fallen in on them.  If I'm a Republican strategist waking up this morning, I'm afraid--very afraid, when I look at the results in Georgia.

Despite Obama effectively ceding the state, Romney still only won it by eight points.  And yet, based on the demographics, this may be the last time Georgia is on the sidelines in a presidential election for a long, long time.  For one thing, it looks like the days of Republicans running up insane margins in the Atlanta suburbs may be over.  Romney won Cobb County by 12 points--outperforming McCain by four there.  Impressive--until you consider Bush won it by over 30 in both elections.  He also won Gwinnett County by only nine points, three fewer than McCain--and way under Bush's margins of 30 or better.

Two lessons here are obvious.  One is that we could have competed in Georgia, even though under normal circumstances we can get to 270 without it.  Forcing Romney to spend a ton of money on expensive Atlanta television would have spread him very thin.  The other is that once the Atlanta suburbs turn more purple, Georgia is going to be as much of a dogfight as North Carolina is now.  Which means the Republicans will now face having to spend money in three very expensive markets--Atlanta, Charlotte and the Triangle.  Given the current demographic trends in these three areas, it could be enough to make things mighty interesting in Georgia for a long time to come.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, sure, but (7+ / 0-)

    Just because the Republicans have to burn money in essential markets, wouldn't we as well?

    I'm just spit-balling out loud now, but I really do believe that this election, more than anything, disproved the value of TV based advertising. More than anything, it was the media narrative and personal connection that drove voters. Going forward, more than anything, it is going to be nothing more than the best ground game that will win.

    But if Georgia goes into play, the Repubs are finished. But that's only if North Carolina becomes a lean D state.

  •  Hopefully (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz

    this is a trend that continues

  •  Race played a big part in slave States (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, ahumbleopinion, AreDeutz

    Only 1 in 4 white males in those States voted for Obama. Nearly twice that voted for Obama in other regions. Hopefully, the South will finally get over the Civil War.

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:56:07 AM PST

  •  I was very happy to see Georgia... (5+ / 0-)

    Be as close as it was. I was hoping Texas would also show signs of being close but that's not to be -- at least not yet. North Carolina is looking like a bonafide swing state now, and that's excellent for our side as we've expanded the map away from the 2000 and 2004 versions. Arizona will also be below 10% by the next presidential election, although I had hopes of it being there this year. Too bad -- one disappointment in an otherwise great night.

    Indiana could become a swing state again but we need to cultivate some more voting strength in the state. Missouri, Mississippi, and South Carolina also look pretty promising but it'll take a few cycles of registering voters to get those states more competitive.

    All in all, it seems as though we've strengthened our hold on states we can use to form our winning coalition while at the same time bringing more potential swing states into the fold.

    The most dangerous... programs, from a movement conservative's point of view, are the ones that work the best and thereby legitimize the welfare state. Krugman

    by BasharH on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:59:23 AM PST

  •  I would have said NC was the only reason even (6+ / 0-)

    I mean, it's 15 electoral votes, and the number of electoral votes there will continue to change places with Ohio as the years go on and populations change. Every statistician new it: Romney couldn't win without North Carolina. There were so many combinations Obama could have taken to win without Ohio and several other states.

    So I think Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, and South Carolina will get more interesting as Latinos make up more of those states' populations. Yes, seriously, Tennessee and South Carolina. Those two states had the fastest growth in Hispanic residents in the last 10 years.

    The Dems will have another upcoming advantage to work with: the Western strategy. Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado are looking more and more favorable. The GOP will need a dramatic soul search and a shift towards the center if it wants to stay relevant. Even the Free Republic people seem candidly concerned that no "conservative" Republican will ever win a general election again. That may include some caveats, but I think the prognosis is mostly correct. They need a new direction or they're toast.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

    by rovertheoctopus on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:01:36 AM PST

  •  I don't think it's as encouraging as it seems. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lovelyivy, JamieG from Md

    If Mitt Romney had been an evangelical Christian rather than Mormon, his margin in Georgia would have been humungous.  There are many dimensions to this.

    "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

    by Troubadour on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:07:37 AM PST

    •  Really? McCain was not an evangelical. Sure Palin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AreDeutz

      was on the ballot but that hardly explains all of the drop off with Romney.

      Further, affiant sayeth not.

      by Gary Norton on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:20:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Both McCain and Romney were far lower (0+ / 0-)

        than Bush, who is evangelical.  The GOP's next logical move will be to replace race with religion as the bedrock of their Party, which could - over the longer term - give them inroads into African Americans and Latinos.  People do forget, and the South will take any kind of bigotry it can get - if race won't cut it anymore, religion will.

        "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

        by Troubadour on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:23:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I live in Atlanta (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, AreDeutz, HeyMikey

      right in the heart of Atlanta and one thing that struck me this election cycle was the lack of Romney bumper stickers and signs. I didn't see one Romney yard sign till like two weeks before the election and that is even in the suburbs. I even go to a very conservative church in Buckhead (in the really, really rich part of town) and the bumper stickers for Obama was almost equal to the ones for Romney. This was not the way it was just four years ago.
      BUT, outside of Atlanta, like in Middle Georgia, there was not a Obama sign or bumper sticker to be had. In cities like Warner Robins (an Air Force town where my in-laws live) if you even mention that Communist, Gay Lover Obama you are run out on a rail.
      My guess is that it won't be too long till the Atlanta/Savannah area goes very dark blue but the rest of Ga. will stay very red for a while.

      •  I love political colonialism. :D (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        some other george

        "They fear this man. They know he will see farther than they, and he will bind them with ancient logics." -The stoner guy in The Cabin in the Woods

        by Troubadour on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:42:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Report from Cobb County. (0+ / 0-)

          I live in Cobb County--NW metro Atlanta suburbs.

          When I moved here, the county was solid GOP. Now my county commission district (one of four) is solid Dem, but the other 3 are still solid GOP. Mine has gone Dem for just the reasons you'd suspect--expanding populations of African-Americans and Latinos.

          For my county commission race and state House race this year, there were no GOP candidates--just contested Dem primaries. IIRC it was the same for my state Senate race.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 02:01:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Georgia results prove that the GOP was right (0+ / 0-)

    There really is massive voter fraud.   That's the only way you could produce presidential election results that close there.

    Remember all those long lines at the polling places?  Well, they wouldn't have been that long if those people voted just once and went home.  It's quite obvious that those folks were voting again and again and again....

    (So Mr. Rove.... How'd I do?)

  •  Nice diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz, HeyMikey

    I missed this entirely.  I'll be looking at Georgia demographics more closely the next time I see some.  I gather this is about a rising hispanic population and an influx of northerners and even naturalized foreign born into the Atlanta region for its economic opportunities.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:24:47 AM PST

    •  Check Atlanta Journal's breakdown by county (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AreDeutz, HeyMikey

      Obama won like three counties (maybe more it's hard to read thier map) out right and came very close in several others.
      Obama also won Savannah, Macon and Columbus.
      If he hadn't lost so lopsided in the rural counties he might have won.

    •  Not just that (0+ / 0-)

      Not just northerners and Hispanics.  African-Americans from across the South and the country have been moving to the Atlanta metro area because it is viewed as a place of opportunity for middle-class blacks.  There is also a growing Asian population.

  •  Not giving up on Texas. We could elect Juan Castro (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz, JayRaye, HeyMikey

    for governor and then we'll see the power of the hispanic vote in Texas. A lot of Ds stay home for elections since we are so red right now. But a big change is coming fast.

  •  Gives me some hope (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz, JayRaye, MKinTN, HeyMikey

    As a current blue swing stater (Wisconsin) about to move to GA, this gives me some hope. As much as we love GA, we were afraid we might have a hard time finding political common ground, especially given we'll be in the north. But here's to helping turn GA purple some day soon!

    "We shall meet again . . . in the place where there is no darkness."

    by mjo on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 07:55:51 AM PST

  •  Prospects are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AreDeutz, JayRaye, HeyMikey

    getting better for progressives all over the country. Period. Even here in GA and AL (I was born/raised in the former and I just graduated from Tuskegee University in the latter) supposedly locked down white Republican voters aren't really locked down. I talk to alot of them, and really think that if the Democratic party moved into Georgia in a very real way, we could take it. You'd need Bill Clinton "triangulation" type of Dems. but I have no doubt its possible.

    Young-middle aged whites in GA aren't systematically aligned against Democrats like their parents were. Its more that the deluge of right wing media has them believing crazy shit. Once you really start talking to them, and drill down to the issues, alot of them are really Dems. I think once we start competing there, and start challenging R candidates assumptions about the electorate, we can win big elections. We can win regional house seats in AL the same way.

    Of course, all of this is on top of the fact we're threatening big time in the southwest now. We're close to being able to choose to either split the difference between AZ and GA (what I'd like to see us do) or competing big time in TX. Republicans will have to change big time sooner or later. Their electorate is dying, ours is turning 18 and maybe even still being born.

  •  Arizona (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, JGibson

    may become another potential state where the DEMs can win in the future. The DNC should extend their ground game to these states. It wouldn't hurt.

  •  Wow, the map continues to change. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye

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