Georgia already is “purple," or in-play in the presidential election in November, Paul Glaze, a field organizer for the Democratic Party of Georgia, told a gathering of Oconee County Democrats on Thursday night.
The goal now is to win the governorship in 2018 and then start to run Democrats in local elections, even in heavily Republican Oconee County, Glaze said.
About 40 people turned out to hear the two talk about Democratic Party present and short-term plans.
Glaze said the Party has “never once in the modern history of the state of Georgia run this state like it was a battleground state.”
That, he said, is going to change.
If the Party “can flip the state” in November, he said, it will be in a much better position to take the governorship in 2018.
Glaze said that demographics are in the Party’s favor, as is the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump and of Libertarian Gary Johnson.
Issues As Well
Glaze said the Georgia Democratic Party has three issues that should have appeal to people in the state.
The Party has the “benefit” and “luxury of running in a state where Republicans don’t support local control,” he said.
He cited the amendment to the constitution on the ballot in November as an example. That amendment would give the state the ability to take over schools it designates as failing.
He said the unwillingness of Gov. Nathan Deal and the Republican-controlled legislature to accept Medicaid money under the Affordable Care Act has had negative impact on healthcare in Georgia.
He said the party also is committed to protecting and expanding the Hope Scholarship.
Glaze told the group that his goal is to build a data-base of people who have been contacted by local volunteers and expressed support for the Party.
He asked those present to step up and lend a hand in that effort.
He acknowledged that he expected to find more people willing to help in Athens-Clarke County than in Oconee County.
All of the Oconee County offices are held by Republicans.
The Democratic Party did not have any candidates on the ballot in the May primary.
In 2012, President Barack Obama got 45.5 percent of the vote in Georgia.
Of those states where the incumbent president did not get half of the vote, Georgia followed only North Carolina in vote percent for Obama.
In Oconee County, Obama got only 24.8 percent of the vote in 2012.
Obama got 47.0 percent of the vote in Georgia in 2008 and 28.2 percent of the vote in Oconee county.
Georgia voters do not register by party, so the primaries are one indication of party orientation of the voters.
In the March 1 presidential primary, 62.9 percent of the voters statewide chose the Republican ballot, and 38.8 percent voted for Trump, who got the plurality of Republican votes in the state.
In Oconee County, 79.7 percent of the voters chose the Republican ballot on March 1, and 31.4 percent of those chose Trump, who got the plurality of vote in the county.
Hillary Clinton won the statewide Democratic primary with 71.3 percent of the vote. In Oconee County, she received 52.4 percent of the Democratic vote.
The video of Glaze’s comments at the meeting on Thursday night is below.
I missed his very first comments, in which he said that the state already is “purple.”
The gathering took place in the home of Gail Karwoski, 1040 Sweet Gum Way.