Despite hype, Obama won’t carry Georgia
By Jim Wooten | Friday, July 18, 2008, 09:24 PM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
What happened? The throw-the-rascals-out sentiment never materialized at the polls last Tuesday. Incumbents won. Clayton County voters pitched a fit about a sorry school board and the local system’s possible loss of accreditation. And when it came time to do something about it, only one in five bothered to go to the polls.
The lesson from last Tuesday? For one, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is more secure than I’d previously thought. Part of it is that both Republican and Democratic incumbents fared well. The same was true for incumbents in the Georgia House and Senate. A loss or a runoff here and there, but through the primary, it’s an incumbent’s year. And Clayton. Passionate people did nothing to follow through. A primary is not a presidential election. People who register now may indeed turn out in November for a historic event — the first general election with a black man as a major-party nominee.
But, stripped of the hype, it seems even less likely that Georgia could be in play for Barack Obama or that this will be anything other than the usual strongly contested presidential election. Those who are most excited about the Obama candidacy — the young — are historically no-shows at the polls.
George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in the state by about 550,000 votes in 2004. The last Democrat to carry Georgia was Bill Clinton in 1992. He won by a 14,000-vote margin because independent Ross Perot siphoned off 300,000 — one reason no disenchanted conservative should abandon John McCain for Bob Barr. The primary point to be made here is that a gap exists between political hype and reality. We’re being spun. It is shaping up to be, well, a typical presidential election year — hyper and partisan. Georgia is not in play, the hype notwithstanding.
More at the link.