Georgia Democrats came though for the fourth time in two years. Senator Raphael Warnock is returning to the Senate and this time for a full six-year term. Democrats had to jump through hoops and crawl through trenches two years ago to give Joe Biden Democrat’s first win for a Democratic Presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter. They also had to put up with special elections for their Senators – and delivered. For John Ossoff it was a full term but in Warnock’s case only for two years to fill out his predecessor’s term. This year, after falling just short of the 50% mark GA law requires Warnock (and Democrats) had to put up with another runoff election. This time there were even more barriers to Democrat’s being able to vote than in 2020.
But Democrats in places like Georgia are used to having to overcome voter suppression. And due to the tireless, years long effort of Stacey Abrams were organized and ready to overcome once again. Democrats were both energized and mobilized. Most importantly they were organized – and by now well practiced! It was an extraordinary GOTV effort that didn’t stop with getting people to cast their votes. Those who did were challenged to find others who hadn’t and get them to cast their votes! And it made the difference in a race that polled within the margin of error right to the end. It should never have been that close to begin with but that’s another discussion entirely.
The point is that the Democratic GOTV operation in Georgia had a solid, well-rehearsed game plan and they executed it. In most places Warnock actually increased his margins a bit (as Walker either only held his ground or fell off a bit) and in the end Warnock won by almost a three percent margin.
Because while Republicans, who have traditionally showed up and voted even in off-year and special elections while Democrats tended to fall off significantly in non-Presidential elections found themselves facing a Democratic Party that was up to the challenge of matching them. That old advantage Republicans had was gone, at least in the state of Georgia the past couple of years!
Democrats showed up. And got others to do so. As is always the case there were barriers, especially ridiculously long lines in Democratic strongholds (in GOP enclaves people tend to be able to show up and vote and be back on the way home in ten minutes!) but like I said Democrats expect that. And in four elections in two years AND in the face of a new round of voter suppression aimed directly at them gave a giant double-bird to the Georgia GOP. And for good measure turned around, “dropped trou” and mooned them.
I was a huge fan of the TV Series West Wing. If I had a thousand bucks (or two) that I was only allowed to spend on things I don’t actually need but would love to have the box DVD set of the entire series would be one of the items I’d buy.
For those not familiar with the series, or if you are but have forgotten there was the episode that concluded with the fictional President getting shot. He’d been giving a lecture at Georgetown where his youngest daughter was an undergrad, and at the end got into the part that I quoted in the title. He stressed the importance of taking part in the democratic process, and bear in mind when this series aired – long before 2018 and all of a sudden the votes of first-time/young voters, the so-called youth vote wasn’t much of a factor.
It was an interesting soliloquy that delved into the opening of the Declaration of Independence and the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident; That all men are created equal.” The fictional President noted how remarkable that statement was because it was the first time in recorded history someone had bothered to write it down. (At least I guess in something that would be published and widely distributed)
He noted that youth participation in voting wasn’t what it should be.
And he concluded his time with “Decisions are made by those who show up.”
Senator Warnock’s voters showed up and in impressive fashion. They didn’t take things for granted, and “ran through the tape” so to speak. You can’t gerrymander and entire state. So it matters that everyone, even folks in blood red counties who are Democrats show up and vote. It made a difference in Arizona. It made a difference in other states too. Sadly, in some places our voters didn’t show up and it’s cost us control of the House.
But Georgia is “on my mind” because of what they’ve done repeatedly in the last two years. They’ve shown us that by grab no GOP asshat is going to stop them from voting! Democrats around the country should take heed.
Again, as “President Bartlett” said: “Decisions are made by those who show up. Class dismissed.”