Monday, March 7, 2011

Forever Red? Not so Fast.

Check out today's Washington Post article, Will the South say solidly Republican? Chris Cillizza explores this question with both conservatives and progressives, with this bottom line: because of the growing population of the region, if Democrats write off the South, they also ultimately write off national elections. Acknowledging the near-devastation to progressives in the region wrought by the November 2010 electoral cyclone,  Robert Gibbs makes a point I agree with - politics in cyclical, even in the South. Keys to a Democratic resurgence? According to John Anzalone, a Democratic pollster, if the economy improves and the Republican Party shows a willingness to step on that third rail, Social Security and Medicare, then we may see victories for Democrats in our region sooner rather than later.

As I keep telling folks, in was just 2008 when President Obama got nearly 48% of the vote in Georgia, and that was after the Presidential candidate pulled up stakes and headed for the bluer pastures of North Carolina. Still, no matter how high the tide may rise, will we have the boats ready to carry us to victory? Will Southern progressives do what is necessary to build an infrastructure to support success for candidates once the tide shifts our way? From policy and message development to on-the-ground voter engagement, Democratic politics in Georgia is like a tent city, up for the election cycle, then gone like it never existed. If we want to see our 48 become 51, we need to invest now, invest differently, grow a broad progressive infrastructure and attend to the Rising American Electorate, unmarried women, Hispanics, African Americans and youth.

What are your thoughts about what needs to done now? What efforts around the region are showing good results?


3 comments:

John Rose said...

"Democratic politics in Georgia is like a tent city, up for the election cycle, then gone like it never existed. If we want to see our 48 become 51, we need to invest now, invest differently, grow a broad progressive infrastructure and attend to the Rising American Electorate, unmarried women, Hispanics, African Americans and youth."

Tell me what this means practically. Send more money to local Democratic chapters? To the state party? To progressive groups? Think tanks?

Amy Morton said...

I believe it means spending our money differently, and rethinking the idea that the party is the epicenter for political action. While the party in Georgia has a very important roll, and needs to be supported to fulfill that role, recent rulings regarding campaign finance make it more important for progressive C-3 and C-4 entities to be a part of the long term plan. We are missing a strong progressive think tank in Georgia. There are a few organizations that do good work, like GBPI, but there are gaps. We also need to facilitate coordination between progressive pacs, the caucuses and party. I think that there is also a place for a kick-ass polling, message development organization. But this does not need to be done haphazardly. Think Colorado, Oregon, Texas....

Anonymous said...

Right on Amy!