Diary

Rick Goddard for GA-08

More like this, please. — Erick

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The president stopped by yesterday afternoon to throw his weight behind the GOP’s effort to unseat Congressman Jim Marshall in the 8th Congressional District. At this point, I’m not so sure how much Bush’s presence helps any Republican candidate, but as the Telegraph points out, it’s pretty much become a tradition for the president to visit the 8th District every two years.I really like Rick Goddard, and will of course support his candidacy. If anyone can unseat the popular Jim Marshall, he can do it. I just don’t think the timing is right for this challenge, though. The last two races against Marshall were incredibly close, and had Goddard been running instead of Mac Collins last time, we may have seen a different result. But we have to remember that Congressman Marshall has been holding onto this seat, albeit by the skin of his teeth and only because he generally votes as a conservative, throughout a period of overall Republican dominance. If we weren’t able to unseat Marshall while the GOP brand was hot, I don’t see it happening now that the Republican name is not well liked.

The only ray of hope lies in the fact that Georgia has been bucking the national trend away from Republicans. Even in the 2006 election – a disaster for the GOP nationally- Collins only fell short by 1752 votes, or one percentage point, after running a fairly lackluster campaign. The problem is that Goddard, or any candidate for this seat, needs to make significant gains in Bibb county, where Marshall received nearly 60% of the vote, in order to win the seat. So far, Marshall has too much support from voters in this area who otherwise tend to support conservatives. Proof of this can be seen in the results for Governor in this same election. Sonny Perdue won over Democrat Mark Taylor by 1881 votes in Bibb County. Overall, 18,954 Bibb County voters chose Perdue, while only 13,893 voted for Collins.

The task for Rick Goddard’s campaign is to convince more of those Bibb County voters that they are best represented by a true conservative. There is no question that the district is conservative – Marshall has, on the bigger issues, voted as a conservative throughout his tenure – but Goddard needs to highlight where he has strayed. His support for liberal party leadership, and his votes on other issues that didn’t get as much publicity (he was a co-sponsor of the ironically named “Employee Free Choice Act”) need to receive attention. Goddard also needs to remind voters in this area that Marshall constantly has to go against his own personal liberal views in order to accurately represent his district, whereas a true conservative can be trusted to fall back on his core beliefs for difficult decisions.

This will be a difficult race – Marshall already has a big lead in fundraising – but we need to get behind Rick Goddard. Go to his site and contribute, or better yet, contribute through Slatecard today.

Red’s Rightings