May 31, 2002


Cynthia McKinney (GA, D) could have real reason to worry about job (Tom Baxter, May 31, 2002, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
The last time McKinney had a Democratic primary challenge, she handily defeated three white male opponents. Is there any reason to suspect Denise Majette, a little-known former state judge, has any better shot in the Aug. 20 primary?

Enter Alan Secrest, who has conducted a poll for the Majette campaign.

It's no secret Secrest's most prominent former client in the state is U.S. Sen. Zell Miller, who appointed Majette to a judgeship and has had little good to say lately of McKinney. But Secrest has a long track record in Georgia to point to for validation and says he hasn't talked with Miller about this race. And he says there is an upset in the making.

Although her name recognition is only 28 percent, Secrest says, Majette led McKinney 41 percent to 37 percent, with 22 percent undecided.

[S]ecrest said the poll reflects an "absolutely abysmal" incumbent profile for McKinney and suggested her strong African-American base has been weakened. He wouldn't divulge the percentage of black voters in this survey other than to say they were a majority. Had it been weighted to increase the percentage of African-American voters by another 5 percent, he added, McKinney would still be in no better than a tie.

"Broad swaths of the primary electorate have already written [McKinney] off, and where she had not been written off, she's bleeding," Secrest said.

About the swath of the electorate that could be crucial to this race--African-American women--Secrest had nothing more to say. At this stage it would be hard for any poll to give a solid read on it, but the big question in this race is whether McKinney's demographic advantage breaks down in a race against another African-American Democratic woman. [...]

DeKalb County's politics usually divide along north-south, black-white lines. But in this election an east-west division is also coming into focus: the political differences between the more affluent, predominantly African-American suburbs on the eastern side of the county, and the older neighborhoods closer to the city of Atlanta.

Tom Roberts sent along this story that gives us reason to hope that there may be one less embarrassment on the Democrats' side of the House come next January. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 31, 2002 11:03 AM
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