Thursday, February 08, 2007

The War for Women

History shows us that men are much more apt to start wars than women. Perhaps that's why more and more voters find supporting female candidates more appealing than ever before. But there have been wars started over women. And I think battle lines are being drawn for yet another one - this time for Georgia women voters.

This morning, Cracker Squire refers to an article written by UGA's Dr. Charles Bullock, perhaps Georgia's most respected political scientist, in Insider Advantage. Dr. Bullock talks about the challenges that lay ahead for Jane Kidd, newly elected chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

This paragraph in particalar caught my eye:

"By selecting a white woman to lead the party, Democrats put at the helm a representative of the key swing group in Georgia politics. When Democrats won statewide contests in the 1990s, white males gave significantly larger shares of their votes to the GOP than did white women. Women continue to display more loyalty to the Democrats making up almost 58 percent of those asking for Democratic ballots in the 2006 primary but only 48 percent of the Republican primary voters. However in recent general elections, white women have given the same levels of support as white men to the re-elections of George Bush and Sonny Perdue."

I found this interesting because of two reasons.

First of all, back in the 90's, almost 100% of the local elected officials that I worked for and with ran as Democrats, even though they supported and voted for Republicans nationally. They did this for their own political survival as the GOP had been so irrelevent in local politics for so many decades, running in the Republican primary would've left them vulnerable to a primary upset where fewer voters would participate. Or, locals used to voting for Democrats in general elections, may continue the trend and vote those party-changing incumbents out in November.

I think Jane's going to work hard on this. For those that still run as Democrats locally but vote for Republicans on the state and national level, she's going to try to find a way to bring those people back into the Democratic fold. It really starts with them. Voters in rural areas need to look at these Democratic officials as more than just DINO's (Democrat in name only). Rural voters need to be reminded that the Democratic Party is still the party of the people. And Democratic principles are their principles too.

And secondly, a lot of Georgia Democrats recognize the fact that women need to play an increasingly important role in DPG. We've had many to take all sorts of roles within DPG and run for elected office. But I think it will only help Georgia Dems to put more vibrant and talented women (like Jane Kidd) out front for the voters to see - particularly female voters whose numbers are undeniable in recent trends.

Perhaps some in the Georgia Republican Party have noticed. I find it interesting that the Republican-leaning blog, Peach Pundit, has broken with its own policy and endorsed a candidate for Georgia GOP chair. And their endorsee just happens to be a woman.

Personally, I think electing her Georgia GOP chair would be a smart move. From what I hear, she's bright, talented, and someone that can work with anyone. Like Amy from Georgia Women Vote, I hope they screw this one up and elect someone else.

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