Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Some (other) thoughts on the 10th

Since the runoff between Jim Whitehead and Paul Broun is between a pair of Republicans, I think it's safe to do a little analysis of the special election for the 10th Congressional District now. And I've asked a couple of folks to submit their thoughts, and I'd like to include some of those for you here ...

It's still all about the ground game. Three yards and a pile of dust is not the most exciting offense but when executed properly it allows a mid-80s Oklahoma to run up the score. Whitehead essentially inherited Charlie Norwood's "machine". I suspect Dr. Broun's surprise second place finish would not be so surprising at all if you figure in all the people who knew his "diddy". The Democrats on the other hand struggled, as they have in recent statewide elections, forming their own "machine". In Georgia, as in most elections, people vote for who they know. And now with yet another election where democrats can't even must 40%, in this case not even 30%, it may be becoming clear how little anyone knows the Democratic Party of Georgia.
- GriftDrift, Drifting Through The Grift


I think it tells us that despite protestations early on, the 10th is a solidly Republican district and the General Assembly successfully marginalized Clarke County. I also think it raises questions about the present effectiveness of the Georgia Democratic Party.

As for what this sheds light on overall, I suspect that had 2006 not been such a repudiation of the GOP nationwide, both (John) Barrow and (Jim) Marshall will need to start getting nervous, Barrow more so that Marshall. We're in for a ride of GOP leadership for a while. However, I do find it interesting that the allegedly grassroots GOP candidates have performed craptacularly against the allegedly establishment GOP candidates. Perhaps the base is not as far to the right as some would suggest. See e.g. Whitehead's victory in the 10th and Jackson's in the State Senate District 24 race.
- Erick Erickson, Peach Pundit


Now that the dust has settled from the first round of the 10th Congressional District election, with Democrat James Marlow conceding Monday that Republican Paul Broun earned the votes to challenge leading vote-getter Republican Jim Whitehead in a July 17 runoff, it’s time for a bit of a review.

First, among the biggest losers in this race, through no fault of his own, is Doc Eldridge. Eldridge, former Athens-Clarke mayor and now president of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, was among the early names to surface in connection with the special election to fill the 10th District seat upon the death of Congressman Charlie Norwood. Eldridge reportedly got an early call from U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, a former Athens resident now serving the Savannah area in Congress, telling him that he (Eldridge) had been mentioned as a strong potential candidate in the race.

Due to a couple of family emergencies, Eldridge balked, and the money started lining up behind Whitehead. In the world of woulda, coulda, shoulda, if Eldridge coulda run, he shoulda, because he woulda made a great candidate. Stand the gregarious, glad-handing Eldridge up against the over-handled, under-performing Whitehead, and Eldridge’s viability as a candidate becomes clear.

Second, and a bit surprising to boot, is the fact that June 17 balloting showed a Democrat could make a strong showing in a heavily conservative district like the 10th. If the Democrats had gotten around to employing the discipline needed to get behind a single candidate, we’d be looking at a Whitehead-Marlow runoff later this month. That’s supposing, of course, that the votes that went to the two other Democrats in the race, Evita Paschall and Denise Freeman, had gone to Marlow – a not unreasonable assumption.

Third, both parties should start – right now – to find other candidates for next year’s race for a full term in the 10th District seat. Neither the front-running Republican nor the front-running Democrat for the special were particularly inspiring candidates – even for the sort of motivated voters that cast ballots in special elections. Both parties have some recruiting to do if they want to capture the more ‘casual’ voters who account for a large part of the ballots cast in a general election.
- Jim Thompson, Editorial Page Editor, Athens Banner-Herald


Unfortunately, I think the immediate political future of Democrats and Republicans in the 10th is very similar to the recent past. The 10th will most likely have a representative who votes very similar to the late Norwood, and Democrats will go back to rebuilding the local party apparatus.
- FlackAttack, Tondee's Tavern


Blogger Oconee Democrat said...

Great summary McG!

4:32 PM  

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