It remains to be seen which candidate Georgia voters will prefer in the GOP presidential preference ballot March 6, but there’s no denying the fact that a couple of those in contention have had Forsyth County on their radar screens.
Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorium have made visits to Forsyth in hopes of swaying voters in their direction, and Gingrich is scheduled to be back in the county today. With a week to go before the presidential preference vote, there’s still the chance that Gingrich’s visit today won’t be the last for the four remaining GOP contenders.
That candidates have found their way here stands as testament to the role they expect Forsyth to play on Super Tuesday. The candidates are betting on a strong, conservative GOP turnout, given the county’s voting trends of recent years, and know that support of affluent suburban Republicans in the metro Atlanta area is going to be necessary for success statewide.
While the earlier caucuses, primaries and seemingly endless debates already have some potential voters weary of the nomination process, there’s no denying that the upcoming vote is generating a buzz in the Peach State.
Georgia has the largest number of delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday, and as such will be in the political bullseye for the next week or so. That means a lot of campaigning by candidates and their surrogates, and unfortunately the likelihood of more negative political ads than most of us care to see in a lifetime.
For those voters who already have taken advantage of the opportunity to vote early, the last minute campaigning will be little more than background noise.
Thanks to legislation sponsored by Rep. Mark Hamilton of Cumming, early voting had a new twist this year with the advent of Saturday voting this weekend. We expect Saturday voting will prove to be a popular addition to the early voting process, and heartily endorse any change that provides more opportunities for voters to make it to the polls.
Over the course of the next week, Georgians will be bombarded with pleas for support, and then the action will move along to the next rounds of delegate selection in some other states, all of it just a prelude to the real campaign yet to be waged between the eventual Republican nominee and the incumbent president.
When the final votes are counted in November, we may be able to say that the next president of the United States spent a winter day visiting in Forsyth County.