Release: Friday, October 9, 2015
Democratic Party of Georgia to Cohost Presidential Candidates Forum with South Carolina Democratic Party and Other Southern State Parties
Atlanta, GA – Wednesday, the South Carolina Democratic Party announced that Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and US Senator Bernie Sanders will attend the First in the South Presidential Candidates Forum moderated by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Friday, November 6 at Winthrop University. The Democratic Party of Georgia will cohost the event, along with other Southern state parties. DPG Chair DuBose Porter and First Vice Chair Nikema Williams will be in attendance.
“Georgia Democrats and our neighbors in the South know that our region will play possibly the most important role in next year’s elections,” said Democratic Party of Georgia Chair DuBose Porter in a statement. “Now—and rightfully so—the nation’s attention is shifting to the South, serving as a testament to the strength and opportunity found here.”
“This is a very exciting and significant moment for Georgia and our Southern allies,” said DPG First Vice Chair Nikema Williams. “It only makes sense for the South to have this kind of platform. We are truly representative of our nation’s rich diversity, and I’m thrilled that the rest of the country will have the opportunity to see this first-hand.”
“The South Carolina Democratic Party is excited to partner with Georgia and other Southern Democratic parties in hosting this important forum,” said South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison. “This forum will give our Presidential candidates the opportunity to speak about the issues that matter to voters in the South and highlight the diversity of the Democratic Party.”
Interested media may RSVP with the SCDP at this link.
Earlier this year a collation of Southern Democratic state parties conducted a survey whose results indicated that Southern Democrats are in a strong position to win over voters in the South.
Southern voters view Democrats more favorably overall than Republicans (Democrats 47/49%, Republicans 42/53%), and about as many voters believe Democrats share their values as Republicans (Democrats 40%, Republicans 43%).
Southern white voters have a strongly unfavorable view of the Democratic Party, but blame Republicans for focusing only on the special interests and the wealthy.
Southern white voters say their biggest concern with government is the influence of the wealthy and large corporations. This clear Democratic territory outpaces traditional Republican boogeymen such as welfare or big government.
Defying conventional wisdom, Democrats start at parity with the Republican Party in the South, with a third of voters holding a very unfavorable rating of Democrats (34%) and a third holding a very unfavorable view of Republicans (31%).
Young southerners favor Democrats by 40 points, 65% to 25%. More than half of these likely voters under 30 view the Republican Party unfavorably, 37% favorable to 52% unfavorable.
Taxes and helping the poor are no longer a third rail of southern politics. Only 9% of all voters (and only 7% of white voters) felt that taxes were too high. Only 6% of white voters felt government only worked for the poor.
Among the fastest growing segment of the electorate, 71% of non-white Southern voters view the Democratic Party favorably compared to just 27% for the GOP.
Full results can be found here.