Is Georgia turning purple?

In response to ME’s post today about the IRS and separation of church and state, I thought I’d infiltrate the usual sports analysis with a few thoughts about the 2008 election.

Where I Live

In December 2006, I moved from an apartment in Chattanooga, Tennessee to a new house in Ringgold, Georgia.  Along with all of the usual hassles of moving, I had to switch my voter registration over to Georgia, gaining totally new representation in the process.

My U.S. House representative had been fellow McCallie alum Zach Wamp (R) and is now Nathan Deal (R), to whom I have no such ties.  (I really didn’t have any ties with Wamp, either, although I felt some connection because of our high school heritage.  For someone whose positions on several issues are totally backwards from what I tend to believe, he’s very polished and argues his case well, as I found when I contacted his office once in 2006.)  My Senate reps are now Saxby Chambliss (R) and Johnny Isakson (R) instead of Bob Corker (R) and Lamar Alexander (R).  Obviously I live in a very red part of the country.

My old congressional district (TN-3) voted 61% for President Bush in 2004, but my county (Hamilton) was just 57% because Chattanooga is the most urban area of the district.  That’s still pretty red.  My new district (GA-9) was redrawn after the 2004 election and is now even more red than it was before.  It would have gone 77% for Bush in that election.  My county (Catoosa) was not much different at 74%.

What I Think

Personally, I lean toward the liberal and libertarian sides of the political spectrum, depending on the issue, and I have a recent history of voting for Democrats, with the exception of Rep. Wamp.  On the district level, there’s little hope of electing anyone to the House in GA-9 other than a conservative Republican, but it’s possible that I have something to look forward to on the state level (assuming my tastes remain constant for a while).

Georgia is one of 18 states chosen by Barack Obama’s campaign to air his first general election ad.  As states like Colorado and Virginia are becoming swing states, Obama is clearly on offense trying to turn the tide in other Southern states.  Atlanta’s black population and the presence of Bob Barr as a Libertarian Party candidate (he used to be a Republican House Rep.), along with Obama’s grassroots movement, may be enough to turn my state purple in 2008.

With Georgia having 15 electoral votes potentially up for grabs, I may get the chance to participate again in an important battleground nationally (the last being the 2006 Ford/Corker Senate race in Tennessee).  The latest poll by Insider Advantage, which included Barr in the poll, listed McCain as having a slim one-point advantage, a statistical tie.

I had the pleasure of voting for Obama in the Georgia primary, which he won handily back in February, and it would be especially sweet to see him pull off a general election victory in a state no one would have thought possible as recently as 6 months ago.  John McCain to me represents a lot of what’s wrong with American politics and the Republican Party, and I’d love to see Obama beat him this fall.

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4 thoughts on “Is Georgia turning purple?

  1. Bush beat Kerry by 17% in GA in 2004.

    If McCain has to campaign to win GA in 2008, it’s good news for Obama.

    And he may face a similar problem in Arkansas.

    Yee-ha.

  2. Curious question about McCain:

    So I’m sure you were never a fan to begin with, but has your opinion of him gotten worse over the past six months or so?

    I ask because mine has. A year ago, I probably would’ve tried to dispute that last sentence of yours. Now? Maybe not so much.

  3. I think it has, but it’s probably mostly because I didn’t know a whole lot about him before, other than that he was a POW and an Arizona Senator.

    Deep down, he seems like more of a moderate Republican, but he’s tried to change his policies and his public perception to appeal to hardcore right-wing voters, and that completely turned me off.

    Supporting idiocy like the summer gas tax holiday (which Clinton also supported and is terrible economic policy…just pandering) doesn’t help his cause.

  4. Agreed on the last two points.

    Obviously it’s not going to help him with moderate, rational, undecided voters like me. Although I think there are only five of us left, so it probably doesn’t matter.

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