More Democrats are weighing in on Tuesday's performance, but there's a purpose behind it. State Sen. Vincent Fort, the chamber's No. 2 Democrat, says he'll ask the Democratic Party of Georgia for an independent analysis of what went right and what went wrong.
"We took a spanking," he said.
"It's easy to focus on the negatives of our opponents, but we need to focus on the issues. If we argued that Republicans put forth policies that didn't support raising the minimum wage, we might get more voters than we do if we just say negative things about our opponents. I know it's challenging in a campaign because there's only limited time. But we've got to do a better job."
If you're wondering why you've heard so much crossfire from Democrats since Tuesday, it's not just the embarrassment of being caught in a national GOP wave. In February, Georgia Democrats will gather to elect a chairman to a four-year term -- a term that will not only preside over the 2016 presidential race here, but the 2018 race for governor as well.
DuBose Porter, the former state lawmaker who stepped in after the resignation of Mike Berlon, has not announced whether he intends to seek a full term as chairman.
Regardless, there's certain to be a fight. This is what strategist Tharon Johnson, who is very close with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, told our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin on Thursday:
“The thing that disturbed me the most about DuBose is when he said they would not do anything differently. That is a flaw and a failed strategy of going forward in Georgia. Any time you win or lose by the magnitude we did you always have to have a post-analysis and get in a room and have a candid conversation about what worked and accept constructive criticism about how we move forward. It was absolutely irresponsible for him to say that publicly.
"The old rule we always say: you can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results. We did it in 2002, in 2006, in 2010 and in 2012 and got the same results. What they need to focus on is getting more of these 1.6 million registered black voters out in non-presidential years.”
Meanwhile, Steve Anthony, a political science lecturer at Georgia State University and former chief of staff to House Speaker Tom Murphy, is prepared to give his fellow Democrats a bleak assessment now: Given how little the election night results have changed since 2002, don’t count on Georgia being in play in the near future – regardless of how much campaign money is poured in.
“It’s pretty much locked in. You can almost say, keep your money and you’re going to get 45 percent,” Anthony told us this morning.
Tom Crawford at the Georgia Report digs a little deeper into those demographic shifts and finds Democrats, slowly but surely, gaining in metro Atlanta:
Cobb and Gwinnett counties could always be counted upon in past elections to deliver solid majorities for Republican statewide candidates. But take a look at the change in voting performance between the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections (those are comparable election years because there was a race for governor and for the U.S. Senate at the top of each ballot).
In 2010, Gwinnett voters delivered 62.4 percent of their votes to Sen. Johnny Isakson and 57.5 percent of their votes to Nathan Deal in the governor’s race. In this week’s election, however, the Republican Senate vote dropped to 54.2 percent and the governor’s race vote to 54.5 percent.
Cobb County voters in 2010 gave 63.4 percent support to Isakson and 55.1 percent to Deal (Deal’s total was depressed somewhat because his opponent, Roy Barnes, was a Cobb resident). By 2014, Cobb’s Senate vote dropped to 55.4 percent Republican and the governor’s vote was 55.7 percent, about the same level as when Roy Barnes’ name was on the ballot.
Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter aren't talking about what's next for them, but others are. Sheinin and Jeremy Redmon analyze it all here on our premium site. A taste:
A person involved in the Nunn campaign, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said that at first it appeared this year’s campaign “was an all or nothing deal for her.” But, that person said, as time went on and she grew into the role, “she decided she liked it and was good at it.”
“I think she could certainly do it again,” that person said.
Here's a fun stat: After a flip of the 12th Congressional District on Tuesday, Republicans now sit in 10 of Georgia's 14 U.S. House seats and both senator slots, an all-time high of 75 percent Republican control of the delegation.
Even immediately after the Civil War, the Georgia delegation was only two-thirds Republican. After Nathan Deal's party switch for newly installed House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the delegation was 69 percent red.
The Daily Report examines whether disputed federal judicial nominee Michael Boggs could get a better shake in a Republican Senate. From R. Robin McDonald's story:
Charles Johnson, a partner at Atlanta's Holland & Knight who has been pushing for more diversity in appointments to the federal bench in Georgia, acknowledged that Boggs' nomination could be resurrected. For that to happen, Johnson said someone on the judiciary committee who has opposed Boggs would have to switch positions during the lame duck session or the White House would have to renominate him next year.
"If he's renominated, I think it's a whole new ballgame," Johnson said. Yet, because of Boggs' track record as a Georgia legislator, Johnson said there is still a question about whether the president will be comfortable with Boggs' appointment becoming part of his presidential legacy.
U.S. Rep. David Scott, a Democrat who represents Georgia's 13th Congressional District and has vigorously opposed Boggs' elevation to the federal bench, said he believes that when Boggs' nomination officially expires in December, the White House will not renominate him. "I think that Boggs' [nomination] is dead, and I think that is a battle that has been very courageously fought by a broad and wide and energetic coalition of Americans who have come together all across this country," he said. If the president were to renominate Boggs "it would be just plain stupidity," Scott added. "However, we've always got to stay vigilant … to always make sure that the victory remains a victory."
Senator-elect David Perdue also plans to meet with Boggs and any other Georgia judicial nominees who don't get through by year's end, McDonald reports.
The hiring of 700 new workers that Gov. Nathan Deal announced on election-eve may not actually be complete until after his second term ends. The Augusta Chronicle reports that Unisys will hire the new jobs in waves of 40 - and that it will take five years to reach the 700-person level.
If you are still keen on digging into Tuesday's exit polls, Fox News has the most crosstabs we've seen anywhere.
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