Senator Johnny Isakson (R. GA) recently discussed what he wants to do in the U.S. Senate now that the GOP has control:
“The first thing I’d send the president is the Keystone (XL) Pipeline,” Isakson said, referring to the long-delayed project to bring Canadian crude to the U.S.
The next thing he mentioned may come as a surprise. Last year, Reid invoked the “nuclear option” to eliminate the filibuster for many presidential appointments. Rather than expand it, as some have speculated a GOP majority might do, Isakson said he favors reversing it: “I think the 60-vote threshold makes sense.”
Time for transitioning to power is short. Isakson rattled off five major issues with deadlines on or before May 31: the debt ceiling, the reimbursement rate for doctors who treat Medicare patients, the budget, appropriations bills, and the highway trust fund for transportation infrastructure.
These, Isakson said, are “five things the Democrats have looked the other way on” for years under Obama. Add a reform for corporate taxes that have been driving companies overseas through “inversions” and other maneuvers, and there are plenty of opportunities for the GOP to make progress. - Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/6/14
Yep, Isakson proved that the GOP is Hell-bent on preventing Obama from filling the vacancies and aren't serious about governing. Figures. While I'm certainly disappointed that Democrats failed to win both the Governor race and the U.S. Senate seat this year, don't write off Georgia as a place Democrats can make gains. It's shifting in their direction:
Future elections in Georgia are going to be more heavily influenced by Metro Atlanta voters, as that area already comprises more than half the state’s population and the share will continue to grow.
There are several counties in Metro Atlanta – Fayette, Forsyth, Cherokee, Coweta and Hall – that are reliably Republican on election day, just as there are counties – Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton – that have significant black populations and support Democratic candidates.
But there are more and more counties that are becoming swing counties as the state’s demographics change.
Cobb and Gwinnett counties could always be counted upon in past elections to deliver solid majorities for Republican statewide candidates. But take a look at the change in voting performance between the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections (those are comparable election years because there was a race for governor and for the U.S. Senate at the top of each ballot).
In 2010, Gwinnett voters delivered 62.4 percent of their votes to Sen. Johnny Isakson and 57.5 percent of their votes to Nathan Deal in the governor’s race. In this week’s election, however, the Republican Senate vote dropped to 54.2 percent and the governor’s race vote to 54.5 percent.
Cobb County voters in 2010 gave 63.4 percent support to Isakson and 55.1 percent to Deal (Deal’s total was depressed somewhat because his opponent, Roy Barnes, was a Cobb resident). By 2014, Cobb’s Senate vote dropped to 55.4 percent Republican and the governor’s vote was 55.7 percent, about the same level as when Roy Barnes’ name was on the ballot.
In both of these populous, Republican-leaning counties, the percentage of support for GOP statewide candidates dropped by several points in four years and is approaching the 50 percent level.
Three smaller counties that once could be counted in the Republican column — Douglas, Henry, and Rockdale – have now become true swing counties.
Douglas voters went 53.9 percent for Isakson in 2010 but just 46.1 percent for Perdue on Tuesday. In the governor’s race, Douglas support for Deal dropped from 49.1 percent in 2010 to 46.4 percent in 2014.
Henry County gave 56.1 percent of its vote to Isakson in 2010 but only 48.8 percent to Perdue in 2014. Similarly, Deal’s support in Henry dropped from 55.1 percent in 2010 to 48.6 percent four years later.
Rockdale County voters went 48.8 percent for Isakson in 2010 but only 39.8 percent for Perdue this year. Deal’s support declined from 44.1 percent in 2010 to 40.2 percent in 2014.
Even among the solidly Republican counties, there has been a slight erosion of support for GOP statewide counties.
Cherokee: 81.4 percent of its vote for Isakson but 76.3 percent for Perdue. Deal slid a little from 76 percent to 75.1 percent support over four years.
Forsyth: 85.2 percent support for Isakson but 79.5 percent for Perdue. Deal went from 81.2 percent to 79.3 percent.
Hall: 81.2 percent for Isakson and 76.5 percent for Perdue. Deal went from 80.2 percent to 78.3 percent in his home county.
Fayette: 68.9 percent for Isakson in 2010 and 61.9 percent for Perdue in 2014. Deal declined from 64.6 percent to 61.8 percent.
Coweta: 75.1 percent for Isakson to 70 percent for Perdue. Deal dropped by a point, from 70.7 percent to 69.7 percent.
Democratic majorities are growing, if slowly, in Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties.
Fulton: Democrat Michael Thurmond drew 56.4 percent of the vote in the 2010 Senate race, while Nunn pulled 64.8 percent of the vote in the Senate contest this week. Barnes got 60.8 percent of the governor’s race vote four years ago, but Jason Carter got 63.1 percent this year.
DeKalb: The Democratic Senate vote went from 71.6 percent for Thurmond to 78.3 percent for Nunn. Barnes got 74.5 percent of the vote while Carter got 76.9 percent.
Clayton: Thurmond received 78.9 percent of the vote, but that went up to 84 percent for Nunn. Barnes got 79.6 percent of the vote and Carter upped that to 82.3 percent. - Georgia Report, 11/6/14
We shall see what 2016 brings but Georgia is not a lost cause for Team Blue.