ATLANTA — Although it looks like Georgia voters should dig in for a possible runoff in the heated governor’s race between Nathan Deal and Roy Barnes, the Georgia Democratic Party desperately needs a win in the Governor’s Race. This election will most certainly influence the course Georgia takes over the next four years. Overall, in Georgia, it does not look good for the Dems. Daily, more money and attention is being placed on the important Governor’s race, because it is the one shot that can help shape the political party landscape in Georgia for the upcoming decade.
Redefining Voter District Lines from the 2010 Census
Remember that little form we all filled out for the U.S. Census this year? Well, 2011 will begin to determine what all those numbers mean in the way of voting in the state for the next decade. Districts, based on population, will have to be redrawn, and this influences not only the Georgia state house, but Georgia’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well. Although all legislative races have influence in this area, the Governor wields the most influence. This is one of the reasons why Democrats need the Governor’s win.
Georgia Voter and Citizen
Politics in Georgia has become increasingly lopsided over the past twenty years. When I go to cast my vote, I will be voting a split ticket, as I usually do. The problems come from this extreme lopsidedness in the two large political parties. The current system of no checks and balances has spawned Nathan Deal’s ethics trouble, but has also spawned the education and job crisis. There is no one to slam the brakes on a Republican Georgia government speeding through one widespread crisis after another. One entity is a rubber stamp for another. We need balanced voices and policies to move Georgia over the hump. If Georgia was dominated by the Democrats, I would feel exactly the same way.
Why Barnes is a Decision for Some Republicans
Compared to other Democratic candidates across the country, Barnes is actually extremely conservative. He has historically held conservative positions. For example, he has distanced himself from President Obama’s camp. I have found it amusing lately to see “Obama Barnes” signs across my northwest Georgia community. Nothing could be further from the truth. Barnes does not buy into the Obama healthcare issue on any level. He also holds very conservative views regarding immigration. We certainly have not seen a single endorsement from Obama for Barnes. We have not seen a single appearance by Obama for Barnes. Either Obama does not like Barnes’ conservative positions or Barnes does not want the White House’s seal of approval. This certainly shows a divide and not a connection.
Many Republicans, including those who supported Karen Handel, and other prominent Republicans across the state have pulled support for Deal and have formed the ‘Republicans for Roy’ group. The Handel supporters are very vocal across political blogs about how they feel Deal’s substantial ethics violations were hidden until after the Handel-Deal runoff at the end of the Georgia primary.
Regardless, we shall know in a few days if the large sums of money spent by both sides of the political aisle will change the Georgia voting landscape. If there is one important time to vote for Deal or Barnes, this is it.
Sources: Roy Barnes for Governor, Nathan Deal for Governor