A new Insider Advantage poll of the state has found that Democratic candidate Jason Carter is leading Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, 41%-38%.
Insider Advantage Georgia notes that the margin is within the poll’s 4.3% margin of error, so the race is technically tied. This was the fourth time they polled this contest, and each poll has been close.
Georgia is changing. The Center For American Progress describes the demographic shifts in the state:
In the last decade, Georgia had a rapid rate of increase in its minority population, going from 37 to 44 percent minority over the time period. The increase in the minority population accounted for 81 percent of Georgia’s growth over the decade. Unusually, the biggest contributor to minority growth came from blacks, who alone accounted for 39 percent of Georgia’s growth. The next largest contributor was Hispanics, whose numbers increased at a scorching 96 percent pace and accounted for 26 percent of the state’s growth.
By 2020, along with Nevada and Maryland, Georgia is almost certain to join the ranks of majority-minority states. These ongoing shifts should continue to move Georgia in a more competitive direction.
Texas has more white Democratic support, but Georgia is expected to flip back to the Democratic column before Texas does. Anyone who looks at the demographic shift in Georgia can clearly see that the state is slipping away from the Republican Party.
Most experts believed that Georgia wouldn’t change until 2016 or 2020, but with the rise of the next generation of Democratic leaders (Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter are just two examples), it’s clear that Democrats could pick up both the governor’s mansion and a U.S. Senate seat in the state.
The grandson of former president Jimmy Carter is given Nathan Deal all he can handle. The corruption that dogged Deal as a member of Congress has followed him home to Georgia, as the FBI is currently investigating an ethics scandal close to the governor. Deal’s complete incompetence, along with his birther views, have combined to make him a very vulnerable governor.
The national prognosticators who have Republicans easily taking control of the Senate hinge their predictions on two things that may not happen. They assume that Mitch McConnell will win in Kentucky, and Republicans will keep control of the retiring Saxby Chambliss’s Senate seat. It looking more possible for Democrats to win both of these elections.
Instead of waiting until 2016 or 2020 to turn Georgia blue, Democrats have the ability to make the future be now by winning two key elections this year.
The future is arriving, and Democrats have the power to take a big step towards turning Georgia blue in 2014.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association