Can Obama take Georgia in 2012?

Sunday, May 8, 2011 7:13 AM
Last updated 7:17 AM

Will Georgia be up for grabs in the 2012 presidential election?

Speculation intensified after President Barack Obama got a bounce in the polls following the death of Osama bin Laden.

But let's not get carried away.

Sure, in the not-too-farfetched event that Obama carries 40 states, Georgia might be one of them.

Otherwise, don't bet on the Peach State turning blue.

Not that you can't make a case for it.

Begin by noting that Obama took 47 percent of the vote here in 2008 against Republican John McCain. That was the best showing by a Democratic White House hopeful in the state since 1980.

Just over 3 more percentage points - less if there's a third-party candidate - would put Obama over the top next year.

Next, cite recent polls showing his approval ratings here have climbed to so-so - up from awful last year.

Then observe that almost none of the budding GOP wannabes poll very strongly against him in Georgia.

The main exception: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won Georgia's GOP primary in 2008. But Huckabee may end up not running.

Lastly, cite 2010 Census data.

Minority group members - who tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic - now make up nearly 40 percent of our population.

And the even bigger percentages that they represent among young people suggest that their slice of the population pie will grow.

"Obama looks like a pretty viable contender in the state," said a recent analysis by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning firm.

But that hypothesis at least starts to wilt under closer scrutiny.

Many view Obama's 2008 showing in Georgia as a solid platform to build on. But it's just as easy to see 2008 as a high-water mark for him and fellow Democrats.

He was shiny and new. Voters were weary of George W. Bush, war, recession and Republicans; they often got lumped together.

Obama rallied many new voters - mostly minorities and young people - to the polls. And McCain was never all that popular in Georgia.

But by 2010, the Democrats' allure had worn off.

No statewide Democratic candidate won as much as 44 percent of the vote; the average was barely 41 percent.

Yes, it makes sense to suppose 2010 was a high water mark for Republicans, just as 2008 was one for the Democrats.

But it makes just as much to suppose the GOP will ebb no lower than mid-tide in 2012. Unless it does, it would seem to be a reach for Obama to top 45 percent in Georgia.

But what should we make of the polls?

Not much just now; at this point in the 2008 election cycle, they showed Obama far behind in the race for his party's nomination.

And of the demographics?

Once again, not much just now; despite the ongoing shift, Georgia's electorate still will be lopsidedly white next year.

Historically, Democrats have needed close to 30 percent of the white vote to win; they've usually drawn around 23 percent - or less.

Lastly, lack of a corps of statewide officeholders could make it harder for the Obama campaign to get traction here. Aside from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, the president has no Georgia heavyweights in his corner.

GOP political consultant Dan McLagan may have put it best.

"The Democrats have lost the Senate, the House and now every statewide elected office in Georgia," McLagan said. "Who's going to greet Air Force One?"

A good question.

Senior reporter Larry Peterson covers politics for the Savannah Morning News. He can be reached at 912-652-0367 or at larry.peterson@savannahnow.com.

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bclicious
718
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bclicious 05/08/11 - 07:44 am
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Not a chance in Hades! I

Not a chance in Hades! I would rather vote for Ralph Nader long before I would vote for Barrack, and we all know Nader has a 0% chance of winning.

RunningMan
346
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RunningMan 05/08/11 - 08:06 am
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You should stop for a moment

You should stop for a moment as ask yourself why vote for someone who brings nothing to the table when there is a more experience President who will be able to improvement the economy and ensure the defense of this great nation during a second term. Cannot forget the fact he was given a bad hand from the previous administration, and if nothing else was able to stabilize or improve most of those situations. The biggest issue still in question is the economy, but there is still time.

bclicious
718
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bclicious 05/08/11 - 09:18 am
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3 names: Herman Cain Donald

3 names:

Herman Cain
Donald Trumph
Mike Huckabee

That's about it.

smartie
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smartie 05/08/11 - 09:30 am
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well, sure, with the

well, sure, with the uneducated voters multiplying like rabbits, his chances are certainly better. probably time to start revamping our election process. perhaps, contributing to society, should be a requirement.

Brad Owens
4455
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Brad Owens 05/08/11 - 10:33 am
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smartie, That would require a

smartie,

That would require a civil war.

Brad

dani
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dani 05/08/11 - 12:10 pm
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The talking heads pretty much

The talking heads pretty much agree that you can credit the Osama mission on the progress made in our war on terrorism the last 10 years. Obama is working with the same CIA and military, with all the improvements and and hard work, that got us to this point.
If the economy improves then Obama should have no problem in his re-election bid. As a rule sitting presidents are re elected for a second term.
He has made massive headway in the polls on security but his polls on the economy is dismal.
It is now mostly up to Republicans to make a case for themselves. Should be interesting.

Gaangel
0
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Gaangel 05/08/11 - 12:21 pm
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I thought the seals killed

I thought the seals killed him last week

dani
12
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dani 05/08/11 - 06:04 pm
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Huh? Osama was killed by the

Huh?
Osama was killed by the Navy Seals, Obama is still alive the last I heard. Confusing?

Gaangel
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Gaangel 05/08/11 - 07:34 pm
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Thanks dani for clearing that

Thanks dani for clearing that up..

CoastalDawg
125
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CoastalDawg 05/09/11 - 12:21 am
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"You should stop for a moment

"You should stop for a moment as ask yourself why vote for someone who brings nothing to the table when there is a more experience President who will be able to improvement the economy and ensure the defense of this great nation during a second term. Cannot forget the fact he was given a bad hand from the previous administration, and if nothing else was able to stabilize or improve most of those situations. The biggest issue still in question is the economy, but there is still time." Exactly how is Obama "more experienced"? The killing of Usama Bin Laden happened on his watch and theoretically he DID have so give the Okay; but the hunt began immediately after 9/11/2001 when George W. Bush was president and his order was never rescinded. Obama really had no other choice once all the pieces were put into place by our intelligence communities and our military. Please, STOP continuing to blame President Bush for everything; Obama promised the country so many things and so far he has only put us into deeper debt, more than all the previous presidents combined, he has done NOTHING so stimulate the economy, he took over two automobile companies and if Obamacare ever goes into full swing the government will then have another 1/6th of our economy? Is that what you call "experience"? God help us if Obama manages to take another term; we will all be groveling at his feet begging for mercy UNLESS we turn back to our real and only true source, the God in Whom we have vowed to trust. Let me address one other issue here - states' rights have been trampled by many in the federal government over the years but the Obama has now taken aim on the states' right of carrying out execution of condemned prisons by seizing the drugs used, without authority or legal standing. Obama has the idea that instead of our government being of, for and by the people it is TO the people, so bend over and get ready for more of his "experience". To add to the list of viable candidates: Allen West a congressman from Florida. But back to Obama for a moment, there is already a constitutional mandate that our president be a native born citizen of the United States, a small issue which the Democrats clearly ignored in their ardor to sweep him into office. There should be added to that the mandate that irrefutable proof be provided BEFORE a candidate is made a party nominee - after all John McCain had to prove his citizenship BEFOREhand. And not with an photoshopped birth certificate. Search "Barry Soetoro" and see what you can find . . .

Dixieman
15006
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Dixieman 05/09/11 - 06:31 am
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Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Not a chance of O winning Georgia.
Most foolish story I have read in a long time.

Runner46
0
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Runner46 05/09/11 - 07:35 am
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The only way BHB will take

The only way BHB will take Georgia in the 2012 election is IF the Republicans field a bozo-the-clown candidate. Now that's a possibility. Instead of passing out political favoritism, the Republicans need to focus on a viable candidate that will do some good for this country, beyond catering to the special interests and foreign nations. The question is: Will the Republicans do the right thing, or will they continue down the path to destruction? U.S. citizen voters are cautiously watching both parties this time. No more change unless it's defined change!

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