Points By Drew Pritt


McKinney Nomination Nullifies Nunn
July 15, 2008, 5:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

 

Blake Rutherford continues to report on the drumbeat for former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) as a running mate with Obama. Rutherford cites John Brummett’s recent column on the suggestion. The reason by both of them is with Georgia’s significant African-American voters, and the nomination of former Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia as the Libertarian nominee, then the state may be in play. However, the nomination of the Green party by radical former Congresswoman Cynthia McKInney, also of Georgia, may have ended that scenario.

McKinney appeals to African-American voters, especially the New Black Panthers, who have served as her bodyguard. As this weblog has pointed out, McKinney is not without her foibles, but her nomination would still siphon off enough votes from Obama to nullify any narrow advantage.

In the 1992 election, McKinney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as the member of Congress from the newly created 11th District, a 64 percent black district stretching from Atlanta to Savannah. In 1995, McKinney’s district was subsequently renumbered as the 4th and redrawn to take in almost all of DeKalb County. The district is about 50% black and heavily Democratic, though it has pockets of Jewish and Republican voters whom McKinney has irritated with her pro-Palestinian positions and outspoken comments about the war on terrorism. As a result of the fragmented primary opposition, McKinney won just enough votes to avoid a runoff.  McKinney finished first in the 2006 Democratic primary, edging DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson 47.1% to 44.4%, with a third candidate receiving 8.5%.However, since McKinney failed to get at least 50% of the vote, she and Johnson were forced into a runoff. McKinney’s loss is attributed to a mid-decade redistricting, in which the 4th had absorbed portions of Gwinnett and Rockdale Counties. In the runoff, McKinney received about the same number of votes as in July. Johnson won with 41,178 votes (59%) to McKinney’s 28,832 (41%).

Now, I do not forsee McKinney winning all of those votes, but I can see her winning even 15% of those votes or more, which would be enough to throw the state once more back into McCain’s advantage.

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