Georgia Republicans pick up a win in an unexpected place

 

While you were sleeping, a Republican won in what’s increasingly considered Democratic territory within metro Atlanta. From my colleagues at the Political Insider blog:

“Republicans claimed a big victory late Tuesday in the runoff to decide who fill a Democrat-leaning Georgia Senate seat representing parts of DeKalb, Rockdale and Newton counties.

“The early returns showed ex-Rockdale commissioner JaNice Van Ness, a Republican from Conyers, leading former Democratic state Rep. Tonya Anderson of Lithonia.

“That means the GOP will expand the party’s advantage in the Senate to beyond-supermajority status, since the seat was held by Democratic Sen. Ronald Ramsey. He was tapped by Gov. Nathan Deal in July to a judgeship.

“‘Tonight’s victory in Senate District 43 proves that Georgia Republicans can win anywhere,’ declared Georgia GOP chair John Padgett.”

 

When you talk to Georgia Republicans who think beyond the next election cycle to the future of the party, one of the examples they often mention about an area that is seemingly lost to Democrats is Rockdale County. A rule of thumb is that any district where at least 30 percent of the voters are black is a tough one for Republicans to win. According to the latest registration statistics, that figure in Rockdale is 46 percent. Rockdale’s state House delegation includes four Democrats to two Republicans.

JaNice Van Ness (from her campaign website)

JaNice Van Ness (from her campaign website)

What’s more, the district includes a large chunk of Newton County, where the local GOP in recent years has featured a great deal of infighting. And on the other side of the district lie Lithonia and southeast DeKalb. The areas represented by this Senate district make up a big chunk of Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, where incumbent Hank Johnson didn’t even face a Republican opponent last year; the last time he had general-election opposition, in 2012, he won by a margin of 3-to-1.

So to see a Republican not only win last night, but do so by taking a 1,000-vote margin in Rockdale to erase her Democratic opponent’s lead in DeKalb, is noteworthy. Even if the difference between the two was barely more than 1 percentage point. Even if it was a special election — and a special-election runoff at that.

It may well be that in next year’s normal cycle, with a far larger turnout due to the presidential election, a Democrat will unseat Van Ness. In fact, that’s the most likely outcome. But at the very least, her victory last night will force the Democrats to go on offense in a district where a Republican hadn’t even contested the race since 2010. And, win or lose, Georgia Republicans may also see the district as an opportunity to test the effectiveness of some potential inroads into the African-American electorate, from school choice (Van Ness leads a private school) to cityhood in traditionally Democratic areas (she pledged to sponsor legislation to create a city of Stonecrest in DeKalb).

If they don’t see that opportunity, they will have missed a good one.

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40 comments
LogicalDude
LogicalDude

"A rule of thumb is that any district where at least 30 percent of the voters are black is a tough one for Republicans to win" - And this is the basic problem with the Republican Party. They seem to be doing everything they can (in actions) to make it difficult for minorities to vote for them.  Especially in Georgia, any discussion on the poor leads to minorities being called "moochers". Any discussion on crime leads to minorities being cast as "thugs". Any discussion on inequality leads to "but minorities have all the same opportunities that whites have!" when minorities know it's not even remotely true.  Unfortunately, I do not see many Georgia Republicans changing these tunes to be more inclusive of minorities as partners.  I certainly would like to see it, but so far, I still see either racism or unintended blindness to the inequalities that minorities face.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

There is a new post up about San Bernardino. If you want to comment about that or guns, do it on that thread.

PudHead
PudHead

Here is an idea, every American server 2 years active duty, and 2 years reserve, directly out of high school. Then issue them a weapon, and take the bullet “finger print” every few years, because it does change with use. If a bugler knows that there is a weapon and a person trained to use it in that house, don’t you think that they would think twice before breaking in?

Oh and by the way this is what the Obama agenda is, he wants more Muslim’s here so that we can enjoy the terrorism that the rest of the world has been enduring for years…Congrats Obozo you have succeeded….

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

I'd like to think that African-Americans are waking up to the reality that Democrats have done little to improve their lives. This slow economic recovery may have them rethinking their support for dem candidates.

While they may not consider a GOP candidate, they can withhold their votes for a Dem candidate in order to get their point across. GOP voters have done so in the past, not that it turned out so well. 

lvg
lvg

Has GOP gerrymandered up Dekalb yet so no dark faces will represent it in the  circus under the gold dome?If not what does it take?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@lvg The DeKalb Senate delegation now has 2 R's and 5 D's. So, no.

332-206
332-206

More 2nd Ammendment Freedom occurring in San Bernardino CA. 


Maybe the NRA can sponsor a Christmas Healing event for all the 4th Quarter survivors.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@332-206 Or it could be ISIS making good on their threat to hit us. Neither of us has a clue what's happening, but you're perfectly willing to go political anyway. Remind us, were you OK with people politicizing the Paris shootings?

lvg
lvg

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206 Kyle and GOP will be overjoyed if it is a terrorist attack. They can then prove that Obama lied when he said ISIS was contained. We will hear about that JV team stuff  he said and Benghazi  too all day long on Fox

332-206
332-206

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206 If ISIS, then we do them a favor by making weapons so readily available to do their dirty work.

Is it your position that the NRA is not political? 


Or that the topic of gun violence in the US is not worthy of political discussion?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@332-206 You don't remember everyone complaining about politicizing that attack? Pretty much every single person who a few weeks earlier said it was OK to politicize mass shootings?

For my part, I prefer that neither be politicized in the hours after they take place.

lvg
lvg

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206 i remember GOP instantly claiming it was proof ISIS was not contained and that all Syrian refugees should be deported or refused entry. Of course fact ISIS suffered a major defeat day before at Sinjar is of no consequence to GOP or the fact that there mass graves showing reugees were fleeing genocide did not enter the political crowing by Fox and GOP

332-206
332-206

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206 Our lax gun laws make it easy for them, especially war weapons, to land in the wrong hands. Manufactures and dealers measure profits in dollars. Innocent American citizens measure the cost in blood. 

And the NRA employs every political lever to continue the enterprise. It's as political as it gets. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@332-206 "It's as political as it gets. "

And there is a time and place for everything. If I were @lvg I dare say I might accuse you of being "overjoyed" at the chance to talk about the politics of it.

332-206
332-206

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206 @lvg Do you notice that time buffers the need, politically, to deal with an issue?

How many innocent dead Americans will it take? 

lvg
lvg

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206 @lvg Did you tell Newt that after he said the Paris attack could have been prevented if they had laxer gun laws and the victims were packing? I think the bodies were still warm when he said it.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@332-206 "Do you notice that time buffers the need, politically, to deal with an issue?"

I don't think that's it, at all. I think it's the fact that none of the proposed "solutions" after these events -- or existing proposals that are dredged back up after them, I should probably say -- would have prevented them. That's one reason I call it politicizing: It's not a matter of summoning political will to do something that needs to be done, but of drumming up political momentum for something that was previously desired but wouldn't have made a difference.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@332-206 ""Overjoyed" It's amazing you might say that.

Do you have room in your consideration for "Gut-sick"?"

Talk to @lvg about it. That was his/her word. I was just trying to see if those were the kind of comments he/she might have been talking about.

lvg
lvg

@Kyle_Wingfield @lvg You go on the Fox News blog right now and all the cons are on there claiming iti is an ISIS attack and evidence  of Obama being a failure at national security with many claiming he is playing golf and could care less.I bet Hannity is warming up that line right now.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@lvg And if that were my blog, I'd tell them the same thing I'm telling you now.

332-206
332-206

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206 Is it not useful to be proactive on any level? 

People listed on the no fly list may purchase guns. Could we examine that? There exists no political will to take even that up? We should wait til one of those listed kills?

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@332-206 "People listed on the no fly list may purchase guns. Could we examine that?"

Sure, we could examine that. But are you going to pretend it would have had any effect on any of the shootings we've had? Isn't the entire point to try to stop those?

And are you further going to pretend that those who seek tighter gun restrictions would be content to stop with something like that?

332-206
332-206

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206 The point is, must we wait til after the carnage?

"And are you further going to pretend that those who seek tighter gun restrictions would be content to stop with something like that?"

Is it possible that political will might exist for some steps, but not for others?


Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@332-206 I point out they're already illegal to buy, you call it "deflection." And we wonder why this debate never goes anywhere.

Good night.

gapeach101
gapeach101

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206

You pulled the "ISIS" card.  How is that any different from 332-206 posted?   As you stated, nobody has a clue who's on first.  Why would you do that?

332-206
332-206

Kyle knows the actual aim of every American in favor of any measure designed to protect innocent ciitizens from gun violence.

It's a platform gift.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@lvg "Kyle and GOP will be overjoyed if it is a terrorist attack."

Are you "overjoyed" if it's a white male NRA member? I should hope not. I sure as hell won't be happy in the least no matter who does it, and only a jerk would suggest otherwise.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@332-206 "If ISIS, then we do them a favor by making weapons so readily available to do their dirty work."

If ISIS, our gun laws have no bearing on whether they have the ability to get weapons, as the Paris attack would indicate.

As for the NRA and gun violence, of course those are political discussions. But you seem far too eager to start talking politics while people are still bleeding and the suspects are still at large. That's my point, not that I think you missed it at the outset.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@lvg Thank you for proving my point that the same people decrying such a politicization of that event are perfectly comfortable with politicizing this one.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@lvg And I remember people saying they shouldn't have been politicizing a tragedy, as you and 332 are doing with San Bernardino.

As I wrote above, I think we should all hold our tongues at times like this, at the very least since absolutely none of us really know what has happened.


Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@gapeach101 Strictly to point out there are other possibilities, as should have been clear from the following sentence: "Neither of us has a clue ..."

gapeach101
gapeach101

@Kyle_Wingfield @gapeach101 

" Neither of us has a clue what's happening, but you're perfectly willing to go political anyway"

So, you didn't think playing the ISIS card was political?  

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@gapeach101 Did you read what I just wrote about why I wrote what you're complaining about? I wasn't saying ISIS did it; I was saying we don't even know whether it was that or any of the other myriad possibilities.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

This is the Trump effect in play


African Americans love him. Its going to be great !!!!