By Saba Long
In the spring, I sat down with a good friend – a white, male Millennial — to discuss, among many things, electoral politics.
In the course of the conversation, he expressed his indifference towards Georgia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter. That’s when I knew it was a goner, and Gov. Nathan Deal would end his political career undefeated.
Compelling messaging married with authentic action matters to voters, regardless of party. With Deal’s opponent lacking both, the governor’s camp smartly navigated their way to a resounding win.
Across the country, Democratic candidates for office and reelection ran away from numbers too big to ignore, mostly because they were achieved by the Obama administration. The candidates and the party did a poor job convincing swing voters – Millenials, Independents – and their base.
In Georgia, a candidate running away from President Barack Obama was the proverbial elephant in the room at Democratic gatherings. There has been quite a bit of bellyaching and Monday morning quarterbacking going on in Democratic circles, along with a Twitter debate last week.
Under an Obama Administration, we’ve seen a record of Initial public offerings, corporate profits are through the roof, and the unemployment rate is below 7 percent. All these facts never used in a Democratic campaign.
Who’s hoping to pick up support from a division in the Democratic ranks?
U.S. Senator Rand Paul.
Just weeks ago, the junior Senator from Kentucky sat with an intimate and diverse group of Georgia voters as part of his targeted, yearlong listening tour.
Sen. Paul was a recent guest on “Real Time With Bill Maher” in what appeared to be part of a strategy to win Maher’s future endorsement.
He deviated from the Republican Party on a variety of topics, including taking a stand against further military action in the Middle East and calling off the “war on drugs.”
Paul even flirted with addressing climate change.
“We need more energy, and maybe cleaner energy will supplant less clean energy over time — and it already is — but I don’t think that shutting down dramatically one form of energy is a good idea for an economy,” Paul said.
Translation: I’m voting for the Keystone XL Pipeline, however, I’ll listen to your concerns.
While Paul is singing the right tune to attract new voters to the Republican Party, the question remains will Democrats across the country do anything differently.
If they learn any lessons from the 2014 shellacking, they will.