Thursday, December 04, 2008

Positive trends, actually (Part Two)

The above image shows the breakdown of how Georgia's 159 counties voted in Tuesday's runoff with red showing counties that backed Saxby Chambliss and blue showing counties that backed Jim Martin. I note this image because RuralDem has posed a question concerning the future of the Democratic Party in Georgia and whether or not the DPG will focus on urban areas, namely Atlanta.

This breakdown would suggest a problematic trend for Democrats, right? A handful of blue dots surrounded by large swarths of red? Surely that can't be good.

Then again, is it any different than any other areas? Check out this electoral results map and click on Indiana or Nevada or Pennsylvania. If you do, you'll see a similar trend of Democrats faring well in urban areas and Republicans faring well in rural areas.

This holds true in Georgia, which isn't a bad thing for progressives. The urban areas of this state are the fastest growing, are demographically more diverse, feature voters who lean toward progressive views on most issues and, of course, have more people than rural areas.

The four counties with the largest turnouts in the runoff election were DeKalb County, Fulton County, Cobb County and Gwinnett County. Martin and Chambliss split these counties with Martin rolling up decisive wins in DeKalb County and Fulton County and Chambliss enjoying health margins of victory in Cobb County and Gwinnett County.

In the general election, however, the numbers in Gwinnett County were much closer and more indicative of the long-term trend of that county.

The point being that the state's urban areas continue to grow at solid, healthy rates, and they continue to be strong centers of progressive support. Over time, I believe, their impact will grow even greater on the electoral success of Democrats in Georgia. It won't happen as quickly as it's happened in Virginia and appears be happening in North Carolina, but it will happen.


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