An independent pollster for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Georgia Newspaper Partnership conducted a survey and it shows that the U.S. Senate race found incumbent Republican Johnny Isakson has garnered 52 percent of the vote and 33 percent had gone to Democrat Mike Thurmond.
These poll numbers are just a snapshot, and things could change with approximately 40 days to go before the November 2nd election.
How can Mike Thurmond close the gap between him and Isakson?
Georgia needs to see more of Mike Thurmond publicly talking about the issues–especially in Central Georgia.
Houston County is one county that Thurmond must win. In recent years, this county has trended Republican for many election cycles, but could turn in Thurmond’s favor if he were to focus more on these areas that include Warner Robins, Perry, Centerville and Bonaire.
In 2008, John McCain won 59% of the vote and Barack Obama collected 39% of the vote. The vote difference was approximately 11,000 votes. Saxby Chambliss won by approximately 9,000 votes against Democrat Jim Martin.
One of the larger progressive voting precincts in Houston County is the Recreation Department precinct with nearly 3,600 registered voters. Another large progressive voting precinct is the Elberta Center voting precinct with 3,122 registered voters.
These two particular precincts voted for Obama in 2008 with 58% (Recreation Dept.) and 77% (Elberta Center) of the vote respectively. Thurmond could do well in these areas, and it is a must for him to close the gap between him and Isakson in Houston County.
The largest voting precinct in Houston County is the (FMMS) or the Feagin Mill Middle School Gym location. In 2008, only 28% voted for Obama.
The second largest voting precinct in Houston County is located in Perry and it is called the (ROZ2) Rozar Park location. There are two voting locations at Rozar Park, the more progressive leaning location vote at the Gym and the (ROZ1) is located in the Community Room. The Gym location at Rozar Park has over 6,000 registered voters and the Community Room location has approximately 5,000 registered voters.
It will be great to see Thurmond hold a Town Hall meeting at this location and explain himself to the Houston County community.
Bill Clinton, who is a friend of Thurmond’s, made the town hall meeting format a famous setting for public discourse in the 1990’s, and Thurmond could benefit greatly from this.
According to Keith MacCants at Peanut Politics, Thurmond will speak at a luncheon event on Saturday, September 25th at Ryan’s Steakhouse in Warner Robins.
Does Thurmond need to moderate his political views to accommodate conservative Republicans or try to find a way to bridge the gap between progressives and open-minded independents in Houston County? Or develop a stronger strategy to draw younger voters who tend to trend Democrat.
Recently, Thurmond was quoted in the Augusta Chronicle and said he is no fan of either of Obama’s stimulus plans and went on to say that raising taxes by allowing 10-year-old Bush tax cuts on upper-income individuals would be a mistake, according to the senator.
“It is unconscionable that the President would seek to raise taxes on any Americans during a recession,” he said.
Is veering right the best approach to close the gap in Houston County for Mr. Thurmond?
Republicans have been able to win Houston County by 10,000 or more votes in past election cycles and has helped to cancel any nominal gains in Bibb County (Macon), a traditionally Democratic stronghold.
Thurmond will have challenges in Houston County, but if he is able to close the gap enough, it will definitely increase his chances against Johnny Isakson.
And if Bill Clinton could make an appearance or two in Houston County it would definitely be a boost.