The battle to control the United States Senate has entered the last phase as the Senate’s majority will be decided soon. As Republicans focus on dirty games like voter suppression, the Democrats strategy in Georgia to win the elections comprises attracting the Black voters while not offending the white people at all.
While Democrats campaigned in the final days for the Georgia Senate runoff elections, the leaked tape of Donald Trump to “find votes” in Georgia sparked a new controversy. In an hour-long leaked phone call, Trump asked the Georgia election officials to find “11,780 votes,” one more than Joe Biden’s winning margin. Not only this, he threatened the election official about a “big risk” in case he fails to comply with the orders.
Amid all of these election crises, the authenticity of all Trump’s post-election lawsuits has also been questioned.
While on the other hand, Democrats are focusing on attracting voters of all colors in Georgia to get as many votes as possible. Similarly, they are also capitalizing on the other progressive factions within Georgia politics to swallow their vote bank.
What is the Democrats strategy in Georgia to win the elections? How are Georgia’s political dynamics different from the other states? How are the progressives helping Democrats in winning the Senate? Let’s have a look.
Democrats Strategy in Georgia to Kick Republicans Out of the Senate
Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are new for the Georgia Democrats, but they were the best they had. Warnock is a black pastor, while Ossoff is a liberal Jew who is only 33-years-old. Georgia Democrats mostly incorporated two strategies in Republican-dominated Georgia in the past.
- First, they took conservative stands on many issues, even against the stand of the national Democratic party.
- Secondly, they have been embracing white candidates in statewide races.
Both policies were total failures as they failed to take the state away from the Republicans.
Stacey Abrams criticized this Democratic strategy in Georgia as it ignored the growing number of voters of color in the state. In some cases, this strategy worked, considering the election of three Democratic governors in red or purple southern states in the recent past. However, it never worked for Georgia.
Ossoff won the Democratic primary in June with the help of his big following and funding network, which he has been building since his failed effort to win the House in 2017.
Ossoff won 2017 primary with the help of two Atlanta-region Congressmen, John Lewis and Hank Johnson. Ossoff has worked with both of them as an intern. These two black members of the House helped Ossoff garner support from the Black political class of Atlanta and other regions of the state.
Raphael Warnock is rooted in Atlanta’s Black community, being a pastor in the church where Martin Luther King Jr. once served the same position. Some people even believe that Warnock is sacredly destined to complete Martin Luther King’s mission. Warnock has been active in politics for a long time and has even run for Senate back in 2016.
This Democrats strategy in Georgia to use Warnock to win the Senate seat seems to be good. Democrats know that he can win the votes of Black people in bulk. There were some concerns when Johnny Isakson left his seat, urging many Democrats, including Stacey Abrams, to encourage Warnock. One of the primary concerns was the majority of white candidates for the Perdue seat.
As Democrats are so sure about winning the Black voters, the current Democrats strategy in Georgia is to attract as many white voters as possible. This is the only way for them to shatter the vote bank of the Republicans., No candidate is saying anything bold on racial issues, which seems to be a safe strategy to get votes from people of both colors.
Democrats need to win at least 30 percent of the white voting population of the state. Their main target is the independent or moderate white voters who do not like Trump but are otherwise fine with voting for a Republican candidate.
Former President Obama also praised Ossoff in his TV commercial and campaigned virtually for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
They are backing stances popular among the Black population, such as Medicaid expansion and decriminalizing marijuana. There is ample evidence suggesting that Georgia’s white population is moving towards the left. Therefore, the electorate is not divided by the issues that are historically linked with people of color.
The visit of President-elect Joe Biden last month has marked significant changes in the Democratic strategy in the Georgia runoff election. Democratic candidates are tying themselves with Biden, hoping that those who voted for him in the general elections will also vote for them in the runoff now.
Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez believes that Democrats can win Georgia by expanding the electorate. There are thousands of first-time voters, and if candidates succeed in attracting them, they will easily defeat the Republican lead. This Democrat strategy in Georgia is well-directed and can turn the odds in their favor if implemented well.
Democrats are luring the voters in these trying times of the coronavirus pandemic. Similarly, the fate of the Affordable Care Act is also in the doldrums, giving the Democrats a favorable ground to play.
Hence, the multi-pronged Democrats strategy in Georgia is the right approach that can help their candidates win the elections and take a majority in the Senate.
Progressives Supporting Democrats to Ditch the Mitch:
Democrat Senate candidates from Georgia have been harnessing support from progressive groups such as the Sunrise Movement.
The Sunrise Movement helped register 10,000 to 20,000 Georgians who will turn 18 by Election Day to favor the greater good. As Democrats now control the White House, without their support, these progressive groups fear that they will not acquire the necessary support to help implement their policies.
These progressive groups also helped Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in raising campaign funds. The Progressive Change Campaign helped to raise $386,000 for Democratic candidates. Similarly, MoveOn, another progressive group, raised $250,000. These groups are also mobilizing their members to help increase the voter turnout for the Democratic party.
Many Democrat candidates who won Georgia last month were progressives, suggesting that progressive support in the state can have a huge impact on the election results. However, if Democrats win both of these runoff seats now, all 50 Democrat senators will stand behind the far-left policies that progressives want to implement.
The Politics of Georgia: Why Democrats Need a Different Strategy Here
Georgia’s political dynamics are much different from those of the Midwest, and so are the political affiliations. So, the Democrat’s strategy in Georgia needs to be different as well. Another defining characteristic of Georgia is its large Black population.
Georgia holds the third-highest Black population in the country after Mississippi and Louisiana. The interesting thing is that the Black people of Georgia are overwhelmingly Democrats, and the white population is mostly inclined towards Republicans.
The non-Hispanic white population is the biggest bloc in both parties. According to reports, almost 80 percent of those who voted for President-elect Joe Biden from all across America were white, and 20 percent were black. However, in Georgia, Democrats have a Black majority of voters over the white ones.
The large majority of black Democrats significantly influence the campaign efforts and is committed to getting the victory for their party and Joe Biden. As a matter of fact, Black people in general vote for the Democrats, especially in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder.
Hence, this faction is bound to cast the deciding vote in the Georgia Senate runoff election.
Georgia has been a Republican stronghold for decades, but the recent victory of Joe Biden in the general election suggests that the Republicans game is over now.
The outdated strategy of the Democrats backfired in recent times. The current Democrats strategy in Georgia is multi-dimensional, with a lot of lessons learned from the previous defeats.
Democrats can also mention the dirty games that Republicans play in the Senate runoff, including the voter suppression tactics and Trump pocketing the Georgian’s money. With this Democrats strategy in Georgia, they will be able to tackle the long-lasting Republican menace in the state.