“The importance and influence of the Republican primary voter cannot be overstated, as they are the ones who will decide the majority of Georgia elections for the next decade.” – Charlie

He’s absolutely right. But with the decline of the Democratic Party in Georgia* and the non-existence of a third party, more and more Democrats, Independents and Libertarians will choose to vote in the Republican primary.  I live in a district and county that will likely never see a contested Democratic primary except for the statewide offices and let’s be honest, there’s not much on the horizon on that front. If I want a say, I’ll have to start voting in Republican primaries.  Let the games begin.

* We can debate this in the comments, but the maps have pretty much sealed the fate of many districts.


24 Responses to One Party Rule

  1. TBS says:

    I’m having flashbacks to the late 1990s when I lived in western Henrico County, VA… home of Eric Cantor. The area where I lived was exclusively GOP. The Dems often didn’t field a candidate. If I wanted any say whatsoever in my representation, at ANY level, I had to vote in the GOP primary. I tried to vote for the least bad GOPer whenever possible, and I’m proud to say I voted against Eric Cantor in the contested primary to succeed Tom Bliley. Interestingly, in that race, I ended up voting for the candidate who was supposed to be MORE conservative because Cantor’s whole campaign was “Tom Bliley told me I could have this seat. It’s mine! You’ve got to vote for me b/c Tom Bliley says so.” Advancing the notion that a Congressional seat is OWNED by an individual to be passed on as he/she sees it is a sure fire way to lose my vote. At least Cantor’s douchebag opponent believed he should represent the district as the people’s representative. Unfortunately, the people in that district were a SOLID majority conservative assclowns.

  2. Chris says:

    And can I add that what we really could use is an open primary pick anyone in any race, with the two top vote getters moving on to the general election, like California (or Washington state) have recently implemented.

    In ITP that might mean two Democrats, in Paulding County two Republicans, in Cobb & Gwinnett D vs R. But that would seriously help this state a lot.

    • Jen B. says:

      “And can I add that what we really could use is an open primary pick anyone in any race, with the two top vote getters moving on to the general election..”

      Agreed. Completely.

  3. jules says:

    I may consider voting in R primary this election.

    I wish that the convesation about term limits also included one about meaningful campaign finance reform. One without the other is useless. As long as big money is involved in campaigns, then term limits are never going to happen.

    As I an others have said, we’ve got to start running folks in local municiples races. We are not going to influence anything in GA from “on high”and in running for Congress.

  4. ire says:

    FWIW: I’m going to keep voting in Democratic primaries. Because I’m a Democrat.

    And I won’t vote in Republican primaries. Because I’m not a Republican.

    • Jen B. says:

      What if you live in a district where there aren’t any Democratic primaries? I mean, shit. I could be a Republican. Somewhere else. Like.. Oregon.

      • ire says:

        Again…because I’m a Democrat, I vote for Democrats. I could be a Republican….anywhere…but I’m not.

        • Tony says:

          Are you a robot?

          So I guess that means that you would have voted for Alvin Greene if you lived in South Carolina? Over any candidate, including independents?

          I’m dead serious with that question. If you answer “yes,” then I will have lost all hope in democracy and in humanity (and/or in robotity).

          • Ed says:

            A) Alvin Greene had opposition in the primary.
            B) You shouldn’t have had any faith in democracy.

            • Tony says:

              Fair enough.

              But if you are willing to take the best candidate in a general election, then I don’t see any reason to not do the same in a primary.

          • Jen B. says:

            “So I guess that means that you would have voted for Alvin Greene if you lived in South Carolina?”

            Wait a minute. I would have voted for Alvin Greene for the pure comedy.

  5. Billy says:

    As Jen pointed out, Huttman will know details of this better, but I can tell you that my recollection is that in the 4th Congressional district when Cynthia McKinney was first defeated by Denise Majette there was a whole lot of talk about “crossover voters” swinging the election for Majette. However, statistical analysis seemed to suggest that any identifiable Republicans who were voting in the primary just didn’t amount to enough votes to swing the election. Or, as Dr. Bullock put it, “There aren’t enough Republicans in the 4th district to fill the Tucker gym, much less swing an election.”

  6. Gunner says:

    @Jen I think you are right. I have never really seen hordes of people just waiting to spoil the other party’s primary. I could see the GAGOP trying to close the primaries in hopes of solidifying their hold on GA even more. If what everyone is saying is true and that the fate of Georgia will be decided in the GOP primary why not try to control it as much as possible? Does closing primaries require DOJ approval?

    @JMPrince you running for congress?

    • JMPrince says:

      Er, No, Gunner, but thanks. And BTW? As I mentioned to Gingrey in a townhall on Monday, we desperately need Term Limits to actually return competitive races to more than a fraction of the seats anyplace. But once the critters get in, they seem to forget all about those promises. It’s still wildly popular with most people.

  7. Charlie says:

    And you’re covering the flip side of the same coin that we haven’t made it in detail on Peach Pundit.

    My question for your readers is, what are you more likely to do?

    Pick the “best” Republican, that’s the closest to what you think you can get, or do you vote for the “worst” Republican in the hopes that the party moves so far right that you can eventually re-capture the center?

    My guess is there will be some of both, probably mostly cancelling each other out. Seems like there was a bit of the latter strategy in the special election when Paul Broun was elected, no?

    • Jen B. says:

      Personally, I’d vote for the person closer to me because it’s hard to “throw the bums out” once they’re in the office.

      But I can also envision a scenario where I’d vote for the crazy ragtag person if there’s likely be a good qualified Democrat in the general election.

      So yes, we’ll all cancel each other and it’ll be a wash. Ha!

    • Gunner says:

      How much further to the right can the GAGOP go? We just elected a person Governor who was demanding to see President Obama’s birth certificate. Immigration laws etc. The fight that will be interesting to watch will be the business community vs. the Tea Party in the coming years.

  8. J.M. Prince says:

    I’m not certain of any contested primaries, never am. But I do know it’s much more likely we’ll be fielding a challenger for the 11th CD this election.


  9. Gunner says:

    Any thoughts on if the GOP will move to close the primaries?

    • Jen B. says:

      That’s an interesting question and I’ve certainly wondered whether Georgia would ever move to a closed primary.

      Crossover voting is often talked about, but I think – and Huttman would know more – it rarely materializes in the voting.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if they went to a semi-closed system whereby registered Independents could choose either primary.

      Seriously though, if Republicans turn out to be the only game in town (like it used to be with Democrats), then why not register as a Republican and vote for the more moderate candidate (assuming there is one)?

      • Chris says:

        To the extent that crossover voting works, the crossover voters have to ally with a pretty large minority in order to be effective.

        Cynthia McKinney lost mostly because a lot of Democrats don’t like her, and it was easy to add a few indies/Republicans to the mix to form a majority. Even when she won in 2004 (when she stayed under the radar and didn’t alert the crossover voters) she only got about 51% I think.

        But additionally as far as I can tell, crossover voters are usually motivated by positive intentions in their vote selection. So, you generally don’t have Republicans crossing over to vote for Cynthia McKinney (thinking they’d want the worst Democratic candidate) or Democrats crossing over to vote for Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann.

        You’re much more likely to have a Democrat crossover to vote for Romney or a Republican for Majette etc. Now as far as Cobb County goes, it will be Democratic soon enough (not as soon as Gwinnett though). That’s why the redistricting is so vicious – they’re losing their grip. Best Republican year since at least ’94 and most of the candidates barely got 53%.