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  GA: Survey USA: Republicans only barely ahead of Obama (search mode)
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Author Topic: GA: Survey USA: Republicans only barely ahead of Obama  (Read 1205 times)
pbrower2a
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« on: February 28, 2012, 10:46:11 pm »

Georgia also has a large military presence. Young soldiers (most are young enlisted people) probably vote as they would in the communities whence they come, except that they might be more deferential to candidates who are military veterans. Black and Hispanic soldiers probably vote much like young blacks and Hispanics on the whole -- but white soldiers tend to be drawn from more conservative parts of the public.  Young white enlisted people are likely to be more politically conservative than white people of similar age, and that alone would be enough to give the Republicans an unusual edge in Georgia.

Young white voters in 2008 were less likely to vote Republican in 2008 than white people of any age -- except in Georgia.  Remember of course that the Republican nominee for President was a war hero in 2008; such will not be so in 2012. For young soldiers, military and diplomatic policies can be the difference between peace and the worst-possible scenario (a bungled war).

Barack Obama so far is not running away from his military and diplomatic policies. Against someone who has question marks the President could do better this time than in 2008 among military voters.  That could be enough to flip Georgia to the President.  The President so far has no vulnerability on military or diplomatic policy. That said, if one is an incumbent one usually either runs on ones record of achievements and wins or from one's record of failures and loses.

The President does not need Georgia. The state is probably the difference between about 385 and 400 electoral votes.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 07:02:38 pm »

You always bring up the military argument, Pbrower, and while it's true that Georgia has a large military presence, it doesn't affect our politics as much as you'd think. Conservative voters in Georgia are very pro military, as they are pretty much everywhere else, but- living in Georgia- I can tell you that the Military/War hero heuristic doesn't carry any more weight than it does anywhere else, outside of the military towns, which tend to be conservative anyway.

Maybe. In a close statewide election (which can include not only Gubernatorial and Senatorial elections, but also the Presidential race in that state) some voting blocs can be the difference between a win and a loss. In a state like Indiana in 2008 the LGBT vote or the Jewish vote could be the difference  in a state in which those blocs are usually insignificant.

If President Obama is capable of presenting himself as having the steady hand on foreign and military policy and the Republican nominee can't, then President Obama will do very well with the military vote in Georgia which includes the only significant young conservative vote.  For these voters 'race' is not so relevant. Republicans had the advantage of that vote in 2000 and 2004 nationwide and in Georgia in 2008.     

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Anyone who has spent time in Georgia understands that the biggest issue is race here. If Obama's election somehow created a "post-racial" America, you certainly couldn't see that the day after here in Georgia. I was in college in Athens at the time, but my friends back home told me stories of white hot tension back at my old high school between black students and white. The black students openly taunted the white students about Obama's victory, while the white students openly showed their deep fear of an Obama presidency based on his race and heritage.

I will take your word for it as the norm in Georgia. Except for Mayor of Atlanta, Georgians had little experience with black leadership of any kind.  Now they can't avoid it unless they emigrate. Except for Atlanta and perhaps Athens -- and military towns -- Georgia is not "post-racial".  Of course President Obama has done little to scare white people since his inauguration.

Virginia is far different. Long a safe haven for the GOP in contrast to most Southern states (the only Southern state to not vote for Carter in 1976), it actually elected a black man as Governor.   Douglas Wilder proved himself a moderate... and Virginia will never be the same politically. 

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And it's continued today. Many white Georgians put their absolute faith in the Republican party based on fear. They're incredibly scared of a fast growing minority presence and an influx of liberal white voters who don't seem to share in their fear. That's the reason for the harsh immigration laws that have been passed as well as the dog whistle racism constantly fed to the voters by the Republican politicians here. Of course, even in Georgia, you can't openly claim your fear of minority power, but anyone with half a brain understands where the fear is coming from.

Undeniable. But if any people are "post-racial" it is members of the Armed Services. They have no alternative in view of the unique features of military life.  Note well, of course -- Georgia voters are getting accustomed to someone who looks very much unlike any prior President.

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The Georgia Republican party is sitting pretty, but they know their position of dominance becomes more precarious by the day. Maybe this is hackish of me, but Georgia is a few years behind North Carolina, heading towards the tipping point. A growing minority population of blacks, hispanics and asians who are becoming politically active, combined with even a slight uptick in democratic votes from whites, will make Georgia a swing state. In my opinion, it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

The Southern Strategy of picking up racist white people is failing -- maybe more slowly in some places than in others. In 2012 Georgia is no swing state; it is likely the difference between 385 and 400 electoral votes or so. Maybe Georgia white people decide in adequate numbers that President Obama is not the sort of black person who scares them. He didn't take away their guns, he didn't use welfare as patronage, and he didn't set loose packs of criminals.
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