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MSNBC guest: ‘There’s a clear path’ to turn Georgia blue in 2016

By Samantha Kimmey
Sunday, December 23, 2012 20:19 EDT
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Following a discussion of U.S. Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), an African American member of Congress recently appointed to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), the panelists on UP with Chris Hayes discussed the possibility of Georgia turning blue in the next presidential election.

“Georgia is a place that, whose demographics and politics are changing in a way that a lot of people think that it might be the next state — we have Virginia and North Carolina, we’ve shown that those can go blue — that Georgia might be the next place where that happens,” said Hayes.

“I mean, I think there’s a clear path,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, citing North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida as examples. “I happen to believe that Hillary Clinton’s going to run for president,” he said, claiming that with enough serious investment, she could win Georgia in 2016.

“I think Georgia will remain a Republican state. I’m hopeful that we’ll continue to make strides as a party with respect to reaching out to minorities,” said Dylan Glenn, former special assistant to President George W. Bush.

He went on to say he believed that the message of low taxes and small businesses will resonate with minority voters. “Having messengers for that message in the form of Tim Scott and others is part of what our challenge is,” he explained.

Glenn said that he himself ran for office in southern Georgia, where he said he polled well with white voters and “not as well as I’d hoped” among minorities. “This is a process, not an event,” he said.

Maya Wiley, of the Center for Social Inclusion, made the argument that someone like Colin Powell would have received significant African American support had he run for president because he is more willing than politicians like Tim Scott to discuss issues relevant to minorities and believes that affirmative action still has a place in America.

Mayor Reed agreed that a Republican like Powell could have had substantial success among black voters, arguing that the idea that African Americans vote Democrat en masse “because of some strange predilection tied to our race” needs to be questioned.

Kevin Alexander Grey, of counterpunch.com, said that African Americans in fact do go along with some of Obama’s policies because of race and political affiliation. “If a white Republican, if a Republican were talking about raising the retirement age on Social Security, folk would be up in arms. But they’re not up in arms now.”

Chris Hayes then argued that while one can slice the data a million ways, “Nothing ever to me jumps out as much as regional differences,” and that the South simply “has different politics than the rest of the country.”

Glenn agreed that the South is fundamentally culturally conservative. “That’s what makes Georgia a difficult state for Democrats regardless of race,” he said.

Watch the video, via MSNBC, below.

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