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| | | |-+  Why the Zell Miller transformation?
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Author Topic: Why the Zell Miller transformation?  (Read 15507 times)
Fmr. Pres. Griffin
Adam Griffin
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« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2015, 12:35:43 am »
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It's amazing how as recently as the early 2000s, guys like Max Cleland, Zell Miller, and Roy Barnes strode across Georgia politics like colossi. It must have been multiracial coalitions of whites and blacks that put these men into power. Impossible to imagine today. In many ways, the South has been regressing since the 1990s, similarly to how it regressed during post-Reconstruction in 1873-1908.

Quite remarkable how quickly it all shifted, but it was long overdue, to be fair. Let's take a look at election results and compare them to turnout by race in GA over the cycles in order to see the makeup of the coalition.

% of candidate's voters that were white, 1996:
Clinton 56% (lost)
Cleland 59% (won)

% of candidate's voters that were white, 1998:
Barnes: 59% (won)
Coles: 48% (lost)

% of candidate's voters that were white, 2000:
Gore: 49% (lost)
Miller: 62% (won)

% of candidate's voters that were white, 2002:
Barnes: 54% (lost)
Cleland: 53% (lost)

% of candidate's voters that were white, 2004:
Kerry: 45% (lost)
Majette: 39% (lost)



(the blue/pink line roughly indicates what percentage of Democratic candidate's electorate needed to be white in order to win):


So basically, from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, the Democratic coalition in Georgia went from 60% white to 45% white. It's now about 35% white and yet pulling roughly the same statewide numbers as when Barnes and Cleland lost in 2002 (which tells you how rapid the demographic shift has been here).
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To some extent, Griffin was in many ways elected as a War time President because he was viewed, not as the guy you want a beer with, but the guy you would go to a bar fight with.
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« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2015, 12:44:43 am »
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It's amazing how as recently as the early 2000s, guys like Max Cleland, Zell Miller, and Roy Barnes strode across Georgia politics like colossi. It must have been multiracial coalitions of whites and blacks that put these men into power. Impossible to imagine today. In many ways, the South has been regressing since the 1990s, similarly to how it regressed during post-Reconstruction in 1873-1908.

Quite remarkable how quickly it all shifted, but it was long overdue, to be fair. Let's take a look at election results and compare them to turnout by race in GA over the cycles in order to see the makeup of the coalition.

% of candidate's voters that were white, 1996:
Clinton 56% (lost)
Cleland 59% (won)

% of candidate's voters that were white, 1998:
Barnes: 59% (won)
Coles: 48% (lost)

% of candidate's voters that were white, 2000:
Gore: 49% (lost)
Miller: 62% (won)

% of candidate's voters that were white, 2002:
Barnes: 54% (lost)
Cleland: 53% (lost)

% of candidate's voters that were white, 2004:
Kerry: 45% (lost)
Majette: 39% (lost)



(the blue/pink line roughly indicates what percentage of Democratic candidate's electorate needed to be white in order to win):


So basically, from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, the Democratic coalition in Georgia went from 60% white to 45% white. It's now about 35% white and yet pulling roughly the same statewide numbers as when Barnes and Cleland lost in 2002 (which tells you how rapid the demographic shift has been here).

Excellent info, Adam! It really shows that until 2004, literally every Democrat had a within 60-40 racial balance in his coalition. An ideal image of what a post-racist political coalition in a place like the South should look like-- if anything, it would have been even more so if it were blacks jumping to the GOP. I don't understand why people say the breakdown of that system is "long overdue" though-- the re-racialization of party politics seems like a regression. We're back to the days of Jim Crow where the region is dominated by race-based voting blocs, and while blacks are technically enfranchised by the Voting Rights Act, in practice they will never be a part of the winning coalition so long as such blocs are in place. :-/
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Fmr. Pres. Griffin
Adam Griffin
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« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2015, 01:04:40 am »
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Excellent info, Adam! It really shows that until 2004, literally every Democrat had a within 60-40 racial balance in his coalition. An ideal image of what a post-racist political coalition in a place like the South should look like-- if anything, it would have been even more so if it were blacks jumping to the GOP. I don't understand why people say the breakdown of that system is "long overdue" though-- the re-racialization of party politics seems like a regression. We're back to the days of Jim Crow where the region is dominated by race-based voting blocs, and while blacks are technically enfranchised by the Voting Rights Act, in practice they will never be a part of the winning coalition so long as such blocs are in place. :-/

Well I obviously don't mean "overdue" in the sense that it's a good thing. I mean more from the perspective of the realignment of the national brands, and later, the state brand. Statewide Democrats and those elected to the Senate in particular were governing as liberals throughout the entirety of the 1990s (though maybe not as liberal as counterparts in other regions, liberal nonetheless for Georgia). By the time we got to Barnes - who arguably knocked five years off Georgia Democrats' dominance by himself - it was a relatively modern, national Democratic state government. That combined with the consistent losses in identification with the national brand finally pushed it over. I'm just amazed that it didn't happen before the General Assembly, Governor, Senators et al really began shifting leftward. Even old coots like Zell seem to forget how he zigged and zagged, finding his way to the left in a 1990s Georgia more often than he takes credit for today.
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To some extent, Griffin was in many ways elected as a War time President because he was viewed, not as the guy you want a beer with, but the guy you would go to a bar fight with.
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