Saturday, July 22, 2006

Can Democrats Win in November?

In November, we will discover whether Georgia Democrats have chosen candidates in the primary who can also prevail in the general election. While Georgia is pretty evenly divided between die-hard dems, die-hard republicans and "swing voters", there is no question that the demographics of a Democratic primary in Georgia are different than the demographics of a general election. Republicans "insiders" tell me that they feel confident that they will take four, perhaps all six of the constitutional offices and at least maintain their majority in the legislature. Let's hope not.

This is not just a problem for Georgia Democrats, but also on a national level where Democrats have had trouble getting a candidate through the presidential primary who can then be elected. This weekend, Democrats are meeting and will consider a proposal to make changes in the primary system that would move a western state and a southern state near the beginning of the process. Recent history suggests that Democrats cannot win the presidency unless the nominee has appeal in the south and west. Nostalgia is great, but it just does not make sense for Iowa and New Hampshire to determine the momentum for the race. Prominent candidates, like Hillary Clinton, object to the change, but this Democrat hopes that the DNC does the right thing. Read more in today's AJC .

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Chris said...

I think for 2008 moving Southern States up is a terrible idea. The Clinton name is so popular among African American voters that she would have an enormous edge in a Southern State primary. Since I am not particularly sold on Hillary Clinton as our nominee, this might not be such a great idea.

Meanwhile, Edwards was leading the pack in Iowa -- let's keep that first this time!

Lyman Hall said...

We can win in November. I'm enouraged that more people pulled D ballots than R ballots (that was a huge surprise, no matter how GOPers try to justify/spin it now). Our two congressmen who have new districts meant to defeat them (Marshall and Barrow) are looking stronger and stronger. We have strong House and Senate challengers. I don't think Republicans will win any statewide office with a D incumbent (Baker, Thurmond, Irvin, or the PSC race). I think voters will give a good long look at Jim Martin because he is such a different type of pol. Finally, we all know what I think of the Big Guy. :) He has a good chance to pick off Sonny, especially since the GOP voters don't seem that interested in turning out. I think an added benefit of Mark's candidacy will be his willingness and ability to campaign with House and Senate candidates. That should help increase turnout for his race and for all of our candidates.

Lyman Hall said...

Plus, Mark's message--his issues like PeachKids, GeorgiaRX, and sales tax off medicines--can translate to all of our candidates. They can all run on PeachKids. Usually, voters complain that Dems don't have any plans/ideas.

Amy Morton said...

Interesting analysis, Chris. I just want us to be able to get a president elected, and Lyman, no one hopes you are right more than me.

Tina said...

Don't forget that we need to work extra hard for our Georgia house candidates. They are key to turning the tide in GA. I am going to be working really hard for our "little" guys and gals from now until November. It's time for us all to plan events (AMY ALREADY DOES, BIG-TIME!!), attend events, and loosen up our wallets for our Dem. state house and senate candidates.

Ed Hula III said...

Kerry made sure we won't kerry a southern state for at least 10 years when he conceded the south before the race began.
Dems will win everything. Never say you won't win a race.