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Old 06-23-2012, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Jawjah
2,468 posts, read 1,527,853 times
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Hello everyone,

I finally moved to Atlanta a couple of months ago and have been really enjoying it. The metro area is very diverse, the dining options are equally awesome (Buford highway has become a favorite) and there are shopping and social activities a plenty.

I am however a bit perplexed by a couple of things - on one side Atlanta seems progressive what with the Clean Air act, tons of diversity, and one of the largest LGBT populations in the country (and a city board that actively promotes it via gay-atlanta.com). On the otherhand for the past year or so the Georgia house and senate has been overtaken by TeaParty-Republican members and as a result there have been bills filtering through the state house (mix that with some local birther groups) which might be on par with the zaniness coming out of Arizona.

I am sort of fascinated with this disparity between Atlanta and Georgia as a whole and was just wondering if Georgia will be a swing state this year, or if the state will ever reach a more progressive/conservative swing state status like North Carolina (which, despite Atlanta's showmanship, is the real progressive "Deep South" state).
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:20 PM
 
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Nope. Georgia is a solid RED state.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,261,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rorqual View Post
Hello everyone,

I finally moved to Atlanta a couple of months ago and have been really enjoying it. The metro area is very diverse, the dining options are equally awesome (Buford highway has become a favorite) and there are shopping and social activities a plenty.

I am however a bit perplexed by a couple of things - on one side Atlanta seems progressive what with the Clean Air act, tons of diversity, and one of the largest LGBT populations in the country (and a city board that actively promotes it via gay-atlanta.com). On the otherhand for the past year or so the Georgia house and senate has been overtaken by TeaParty-Republican members and as a result there have been bills filtering through the state house (mix that with some local birther groups) which might be on par with the zaniness coming out of Arizona.

I am sort of fascinated with this disparity between Atlanta and Georgia as a whole and was just wondering if Georgia will be a swing state this year, or if the state will ever reach a more progressive/conservative swing state status like North Carolina (which, despite Atlanta's showmanship, is the real progressive "Deep South" state).
Oh boy your opening up a can of worms...

Basically you're right... Georgia, like much of the nation as a whole, is more polarized in more extreme directions from one another. We also have a bit of a libertarian streak in our population (urban/liberal and rural conservative alike).

A few decades ago Georgia was more progressive... not necessarily more liberal though. We had a moderate progressive... we just want to succeed spirit. We had alot of moderate (blue dog) style white democrats and more moderate conservatives. They often created more moderately conservative legislation, but they were creating proactive legislation. We have lost much of that.

If you travel to the northeast GA mountains you will see a real hard-line conservative spirit... poor Athens is a completely surrounded liberal enclave that is represented by people like Paul Bround Jr. (ironically use to be a southern democrat and was the son of one of the old base of southern democrats). He was that crazy member of congress who went on the rant about how Obama was a Marxist, directly compared him to Hitler, and fueled the birtherism movement.

One of the main issues at the core of that is within the democratic party itself. When voting districts were re-drawn there was a brief period of cooperation between republicans and black democrats. The maps were redrawn in such a way it solidified Republican majorities, but it increased total black elected officials. The issue was it came at the cost of white moderately conservative democrats, which we have fewer of. They were our states moderate political body for better and worse and they have been weakened politically over the past few decades.

As far as the Clean Air Act is concerned... That is a federal law! We were in violation of it throughout the late 90s, because of the really bad smog we had. We were forced to make changes. Many of the more successful programs to improve on that problem often go overlooked as it was a change in regional zoning issues with the help of the ARC (Atlanta Regional Commission).

But there are a few small areas of hope... I mean the Republicans (before they were recently verbally against it) actually set up the TSPLOST up for vote in July. I think we kind of hit a breaking point where even they had to realize the state was neglecting Atlanta's core counties and nearly 1/3 of the states population by disproportionately spending money in rural and exurban areas. The issue that came up is we started facing more serious competition for economic development than we did in previous decades (ie. Charlotte, Nashville, Tampa, etc..)

Atlanta's location is still desirable, but our transportation issues (which in turn leads to employees lifestyle issues) seems like too much of a cost to some companies.

The law was set up far from perfect and very much with a pro-sales tax republican mentality, but it shows more movement in transportation spending than we had in the last 15 years or so.

Glad you like it here! Where are you from?
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Oh yea... and we will remain a solid red state for at least another election cycle or two. I think that will change as the demographics of our state change....(those changes are trending towards democrats in the long run) That isn't to say the GOP won't change their messaging to win over new groups, but they will have to become more moderate to attract the new demographics.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Jawjah
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cwkimbro, that was a great history lesson !

I moved from Birmingham, AL
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:31 PM
 
27,760 posts, read 24,784,942 times
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GA will not be a swing state this year. It may be in the future, but the issue is that Atlanta is the only metro that's really carrying the state in that direction and it's not yet big enough to carry the whole state, much like Chicagoland does for Illinois. And you're not about to see any of the other metros in the state become large enough to help influence voting patterns as far as national elections go.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 21,901,972 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rorqual View Post
I am sort of fascinated with this disparity between Atlanta and Georgia as a whole and was just wondering if Georgia will be a swing state this year, or if the state will ever reach a more progressive/conservative swing state status like North Carolina (which, despite Atlanta's showmanship, is the real progressive "Deep South" state).
Social conservatism runs deep in this state. I don't see Georgia becoming a swing state yet. Even among the more educated people I run around with, I see a lot of attitudes here that shock me more than a little (speaking as a suburban midwesterner now) towards race, towards public education, towards regional cooperation on almost anything, etc. I get that there are some pretty bad examples in the history down here which my own native area doesn't share. Still, it's eye opening to see viewpoints I used to take for granted being mocked down here by people who are my social/academic/professional peers.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:56 PM
 
12,917 posts, read 20,990,812 times
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Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
Social conservatism runs deep in this state. I don't see Georgia becoming a swing state yet. Even among the more educated people I run around with, I see a lot of attitudes here that shock me more than a little (speaking as a suburban midwesterner now) towards race, towards public education, towards regional cooperation on almost anything, etc. I get that there are some pretty bad examples in the history down here which my own native area doesn't share. Still, it's eye opening to see viewpoints I used to take for granted being mocked down here by people who are my social/academic/professional peers.
Good to hear your observations and perspective about this. Thanks for posting.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Jawjah
2,468 posts, read 1,527,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
Social conservatism runs deep in this state. I don't see Georgia becoming a swing state yet. Even among the more educated people I run around with, I see a lot of attitudes here that shock me more than a little (speaking as a suburban midwesterner now) towards race, towards public education, towards regional cooperation on almost anything, etc. I get that there are some pretty bad examples in the history down here which my own native area doesn't share. Still, it's eye opening to see viewpoints I used to take for granted being mocked down here by people who are my social/academic/professional peers.
Are you talking about Georgia or the Metro Atlanta area? It would be surprising to get that kind of conservative attitude in large doses in the metro area especially considering the large LGBT population and the general acceptance of that community in the area and the large number of immigrants.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:47 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,261,125 times
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well I can't speak for rcsteiner, but from my experiences growing up here... it depends where you are. The suburbs are very red. They are less red in parts of Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton where the areas are denser, more diverse, and attracting immigrants at a rapid rate, but many of the bedroom communities within them are bright red....

some are red for different reasons. Some are more accepting of social issues, but not fiscal issues and some are not very accepting of social issues at all. Some people are actually good natured and haven't been exposed to many people with lifestyles different from their own and some people flat out aren't.

Speaking about the LGBT population in particular I can imagine people in the chruch I grew up with being very friendly with someone who is gay one-on-one (and would probably say in their mind... oh bless his heart...), but would they would be adamantly against politically and religiously. I would say generation Y is coming around more.

...and I definitely knew people that would be more uncomfortable and combative about the issue personally and politically.

The new suburbs/exurbs are exceptionally red socially and fiscally.
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