It is that time in the election calendar when … when people stop being polite … and start getting real. Campaigns are at the point where everything has to be put on the table and nothing can be left in the tank. Whether it is bringing in comparisons to 5th Century nomads, dredging up insider trading charges and foreign money scandals that were found to be not to be substantiated, or making your zoom debate background as appealing as it can be for undecided voters who were looking for the latest episode of House Hunters, we are in the home stretch of the 2020 general election.
My Buddy and Me! In the Georgia 1st!
Rep. Buddy Carter can’t get any respect. His own local paper’s Opinion Editor is openly recruiting Democrats to field a better challenger to Carter. Carter has faced minimal opposition in the last few cycles from either fringe or underfunded candidates; but this isn’t solely based on the lackluster Democratic party infrastructure on the coast. Georgia’s 1st Congressional District continues to be favorable to the GOP. The June 9th Primary saw almost 55% of the total ballots pulled for the Republican races. This measure is probably underselling the split a little, given that the Democrats had a contested primary for who would challenge Carter which should stoke interest. GA-01 may be the next domino to fall in, but even with 2020’s increased turnout it would take a major shift for the race to be truly competitive.
More concerning for the state Democrats, the Georgia coast is nearly devoid of any real Democratic bench. The two biggest political names who could one day consider a challenge would be Savannah Mayor Van Johnson or state Representative Al Williams (Midway). Neither of them has had to manage a full-fledged campaign that could appeal to a district that not only stretches the entire coast, but also cuts along the Florida border to Valdosta.
Looking to the future, it seems likely that GA-01 is going to be a key focus for state Republicans in redistricting. Rolling in the rest of Effingham County to the district, for instance, would give Buddy Carter, or whoever comes next, another lifeline of partisan alignment as some other parts of the coast continue to trend left.
State House 110
One of the first signs any political district is about to flip parties is the incumbents find the exit first if they are smart. On the Congressional level, Rep. Rob Woodall showed us this cycle how it is done. And in the State House, Rep. Andy Welch did so as well. From a bird’s eye view, HD-110, which cuts from northern Butts County to parts of Henry County to southern Newton County, would be a GOP stronghold. However the data is showing just how quickly the southern suburbs could be leaving the Republican Party.
The raw vote total from the June Primary had the Republican candidate at 4,472 to the Democratic candidate’s 4,081, but neither faced opposition in their respective primaries. This would seem to back up that high level historical view of this area. The telling data point from June is only 50.6% of the ballots cast in the district were Republican. With 23% of the votes cast so far in the general being new voters from the 2016 general election, there’s a very real chance this district could flip even though neither campaign has raised significant funds. Proving to everyone once again that sometimes all it takes is for a candidate to sign up to maybe win a seat.
There’s a lot going on in politics, so we wanted to also share a few other links that we found interesting this week.
- Recalling one of the greatest tragedies in American History, Atlanta’s own Ambassador Andrew Young and Killer Mike, are launching Greenwood Financial. This continues Atlanta’s FinTech leadership and addresses a banking imbalance that has long been ignored by old line banks. They’re not the only Atlanta company on this mission though, check out CapWay as well.
- If you wondered how Georgia politics is going to stay interesting next year, the coming debates around city/county consolidation is probably a good place to start.
Is there a part of the state we are missing? Do you feel left out let us know. We also do above average in pronouncing most of our Georgia hometowns. We continue to respond to what we are hearing. Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions, by responding to this email or reaching out to Ryan directly on Twitter (@gtryan).