Now that the dust has settled, it’s time for Democrats to analyze what went wrong in the recent effort to turn the Sixth Congressional District “blue.”
On the one hand, some cite Jon Ossoff’s performance of 48.1% to 51.9% as a historic, if not a miraculous, turnaround of a GOP bastion where previous election results suggest a 60/40 Republican advantage. Talk of a statewide “Ossoff effect” is also a positive sign, as numerous Democrats throw their hats into rings traditionally reserved for the GOP. These observations fail, however, to consider two important factors that contributed to the close-but-no-cigar race that received national media attention: Democratic disengagement in a changing district and the distracting emphasis of money.
The changing Sixth
Most analyses of the recent election cite statistics from days gone by without recalling how the boundaries of the Sixth District have changed over the years. Today’s Sixth is far more urban and closer to Atlanta than the Western and North Georgian district where Newt Gingrich first ousted old school Dixiecrats in a distant 1979. The Sixth District came closer to the city in 2001…[more]