Random thoughts on fallout following President-elect Donald Trump’s victory on Tuesday, in no particular order:
-- Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, returns to influence in Washington by tamping down the evangelical revolt against a thrice-married candidate. He’s got a morning press conference in D.C.
-- Look for chatter to start about a former President Barack Obama making a 2020 run for the White House. Or Michelle Obama?
-- Not that it matters, but Democrat Hillary Clinton is winning Tuesday's popular vote by a mere 150,000 ballots or so. In Georgia, Trump received 2,076,119 votes. That could change, but right now, that's 2,569 fewer votes than Mitt Romney won in 2012. Clinton votes stand at 1,853,445, another number that could change. But that's 79,618 more Georgia votes than Obama won in 2012.
-- We’ve heard the talk about Newt Gingrich. More interesting, and with heavy Georgia implications, is whether U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., is talked into a Trump cabinet post. Perdue was on WGAU (1340AM) in Athens with host Tim Bryant this morning. The senator didn't take the bait:
“I’ve got a full-time job here in the Senate, but I’m so excited about having somebody in the White House that won’t veto when we repeal Obamacare this time.”
-- Speaking of which: U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, is now the man to talk to about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. He’ll need to step ever so carefully if he’s to run for governor of Georgia in 2018. On the other hand, if he becomes the architect of the death of Obamacare, he might also be drawn into a Trump administration as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
-- Speaking of which: The effort to expand Medicaid in Georgia just died.
-- Pat McCrory, the Republican incumbent governor, has apparently lost his re-election bid in North Carolina, by fewer than 5,000 votes. So it’s unclear whether the LGBT community got the deterrence they were seeking against yet another “religious liberty” fight in the Legislature.
On the other hand, in a Republican wave year, McCrory finished well behind Trump and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina. And in heretofore-Republican Gwinnett County, state Rep. Valerie Clark, R-Lawrenceville, lost to Samuel Park, a Korean-American. He's the first openly gay man to be elected to the Legislature.
-- The Republican side of the 2018 race for governor in Georgia just became much more conservative. Trump’s margin of victory in Georgia was just under 52 percent, consistent with the last two presidential contests. But with Hillary Clinton winning the GOP strongholds of both Cobb and Gwinnett for the first time since Jimmy Carter in 1976, a Democratic candidate just became more real.
-- State Capitol casualties of Tuesday appear to include Rep. Taylor Bennett, D-Brookhaven, who lost to Republican Meagan Hanson. State Rep. Mike Cheokas, R-Americus, has apparently lost to Democrat Bill McGowan by fewer than 300 votes.
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