Early voting has already begun in Augusta for the Senate District 22 runoff election to be held February 2nd. Former Senator Ed Tarver, who currently sits as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, left the seat vacant. The two candidates in the runoff election, Hardie Davis and Harold Jones II failed to get a majority of the popular vote. Officials predict a lighter than usual turnout for this election given that Davis and Jones are both democrats. “Runoff election? Naw, I won’t vote. I voted for Bryant in the first one,” says Emily of Harrisburg. “Besides, I ain’t got a horse in this race now.” Even though the AP reports the election as “nonpartisan”, Taylor Bryant was the only libertarian candidate of the original four who was not a democrat. More troubling are the results of the House District 122 election where democrat Earnie Smith won that seat unopposed.
Conservatives noticeably absent
Do conservative values trump the high-riding progressive movement? Conservative voters may begin to believe the futility of their arguments, especially after these two critical state elections and a noticeably absent conservative representation on the ballots. As well, conservative politicians seem to be waiting for a sign to let them know about the warming of the political waters and to dive right in. Either way, the political environment has become rough and tumble for many moderate candidates. Conservative hopefuls must know that enough ideological divide rests within the GOP to doom his or her chances if he or she does not meet with conservative standards. Furthermore, the tea party and conservative movements have insisted repeatedly that candidates will meet their criteria before they commit any support.
Pundits quick to pick winners
Contrary to pundit impetuosity, the Democrat Party may have the near-term edge as the recent and ongoing Georgia Congressional elections have shown. Truly conservative candidates are either unwilling to run for fear of committing resources on what they perceive to be a doomed candidacy, or too many will run on one ticket; therefore, allowing a democrat to win. On the other hand, two possibilities could account for the conservatives’ ability to regain some lost ground. First, citizens of a particular district are incensed over years of democrat mismanagement and vote for the conservative candidate. Second, support for the conservative candidate in a district is so overwhelming that the DNC does not bolster its own candidate; thus, assuring victory.
Enter the revitalized conservative party
However, these near-term losses may prove to be healthy for the conservative movement. If the democrats continue to win by default, those victories will only coalesce with the already existing amalgamation of crony politics present in public office currently. Eventually, voters will vie for any candidate different from the status quo. Enter the revitalized conservative (not republican) party. Conservative voters must keep to the courage of their convictions and continue to support conservative candidates despite the odds. Then, these candidates will know that the political water is fine and pseudo-republicans will know that their time has passed. Regrettably, the Georgia congressional elections may prove to be a harbinger of the upcoming mid-term elections. However, this one omen should serve as a learning tool for those who seek true party reform.