Democrats Work to Defy History in Georgia Runoffs That Have Favored G.O.P.

first_imgBut those intimately involved in the two previous Senate showdowns say what happened before is not necessarily predictive of the future. Demographic and cultural change has led to rapid shifts in the state, and Democrats have made concerted efforts to energize and turn out their voters, work that paved the way for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s strong showing in the state.“Both times before, Republicans really turned out and the Democrats didn’t,” said Saxby Chambliss, the former Republican senator of Georgia who won a second term in a 2008 runoff weeks after Barack Obama won the presidency. “This time around, I’m not so sure that is going to be the case. I have told my Republican colleagues that Democrats are fired up going into the race, and with Biden winning Georgia, I assume that gives them momentum.” – Advertisement – In the runoff, held two days before Thanksgiving, almost one million fewer votes were cast than three weeks earlier and Mr. Fowler saw his initial lead vanish, losing to Mr. Coverdell by 16,000 votes — 50.6 percent to 49.6. It was a stinging defeat for Mr. Fowler but a welcome consolation prize for Republicans.“We were more successful in getting our people back than the other side was in getting their people back without a presidential race at the top of the ticket,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who was a consultant to Mr. Coverdell. But he cautioned that the dynamic could be vastly different this time around, given that Mr. Warnock, an African-American, is on the ballot.“Democrats have never had an African-American candidate to vote for at a time when control of the Senate is hanging in the balance,” he said. “The circumstances are clearly different. I don’t know if the outcome will be different.”Mr. Fowler agreed, noting that Black voters now make up a significantly larger share of Georgia’s electorate than they did when he ran.“Whether or not the Democrats can win this thing in the runoff, the demographics are much, much better now they were in 1992,” he said. “The numbers make it more likely than it would have been even six years ago. Either way, it is going to be whisper close.”Mr. Fowler said he shook off the loss fairly quickly, and in 1996, he became ambassador to Saudi Arabia, serving for five years until the election of George W. Bush. Both parties and their allied outside groups are already making huge investments in advertising and grass-roots efforts and a panoply of voter-stirring surrogates — perhaps including Mr. Biden and President Trump — will visit the state over the next two months in an intense effort to win. Vice President Mike Pence is making the trip next week. If Republicans can hold only one of the two seats, they will retain the Senate majority and control much of Mr. Biden’s agenda. If Democrats win both, they will gain a working majority in a 50-50 Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris empowered to break ties. The difference between a Republican-controlled Senate or a Democratic-run chamber is immense when it comes to what legislation would be considered and how nominations would be handled.“I can’t ever recall a time when the difference between a 50-50 Senate and a 51-49 Senate was so stark,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat.Mr. Perdue, like Mr. Fowler, finished first in his re-election bid, with a narrow lead over his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff. Ms. Loeffler, appointed last year to fill a vacancy, trailed her Democratic opponent, the Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, a Black minister.The twin runoffs amount to an extraordinary accident of timing that came about because Mr. Perdue’s regularly scheduled re-election race coincided with a special election to finish the term of former Senator Johnny Isakson, who retired in 2019 for health reasons, creating the opening Ms. Loeffler was tapped to temporarily fill.But the unusual runoff rules in Georgia — which require a candidate to gain a majority of the vote to win, and automatically prompt a second contest between the top two vote-getters if no one does — are very much by design. They grew out of efforts by some white Georgians in the 1960s to keep control of the state’s political apparatus after the Supreme Court struck down a system that gave sparsely populated, heavily white rural counties more voting weight than dense urban areas that had large numbers of Black voters.A federal study published in 2007 on the fight for voting rights described how segregationist state legislators then turned to runoffs, which many believed would reduce the likelihood that Black voters would unite behind one candidate to deliver a plurality victory while other candidates split the white vote. By requiring the winner to square off in a head-to-head race, backers of the plan were confident they could better control the outcomes. “Yes, I was disappointed, running six points ahead of the president and being the only state in the country that had this kind of crazy system,” said Mr. Fowler, now 80, looking back on a storied runoff election 28 years ago after Bill Clinton won the presidency.Now that same “crazy system” that overturned Mr. Fowler’s lead, defeating a popular member of Congress known for his folksy stories, has once again seized the attention of both parties. This time, the scenario is playing out in double: Not one but two incumbents, Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, both Republicans, are facing runoffs to keep their seats. This time, the ramifications are even more consequential. The racist origins of the runoff have faded into the background over the years, and defenders argue that it is only fair to require a candidate to win at least half the state’s voters to be elected. “It was just another form of gerrymandering,” Mr. Fowler said.The special election offers a textbook example of why Republicans have wanted to retain the system. Mr. Warnock drew just under 33 percent of the vote, while Ms. Loeffler received just under 26 percent, and another Republican, Representative Doug Collins, captured just under 20 percent. With Mr. Collins now out of the picture, Ms. Loeffler has the potential to consolidate the Republican vote in a one-on-one contest.center_img Georgia’s runoffs, the vestige of segregationist efforts to dilute Black voting power, will determine control of the Senate in races to be decided on Jan. 5. In the past, such contests have heavily favored Republicans because of a drop-off among Democratic voters, particularly African-Americans, after the general election.- Advertisement – In 1992, Mr. Fowler, a former city councilman for Atlanta and congressman considered an up-and-coming force in the Senate, was seeking his second term. He had won in 1986 by surprising a Republican, Mack Mattingly, who had been swept in on Ronald Reagan’s coattails in 1980. Mr. Fowler’s opponent this time was Paul Coverdell, a Republican and a low-key Atlanta businessman, state legislator and ally of the elder George Bush, who had named him head of the Peace Corps.Mr. Clinton’s Southern roots helped him carry Georgia with 43 percent of the vote — the last Democrat to win Georgia before this year — while Mr. Fowler surpassed Mr. Coverdell with 49.2 percent, besting him by 35,000 votes. But under Georgia’s unique law, it was not enough.The runoff rapidly escalated into a bitter clash. As Mr. Clinton prepared to move into the White House, Republicans saw an opportunity to deliver him a quick blow by defeating Mr. Fowler. They pulled out the stops, pouring in money and sending Republican luminaries into Georgia by the planeload, including Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, who promised to turn over his Agriculture Committee seat to Mr. Coverdell if he won.Mr. Fowler drew his own big-name visitor when the president-elect popped over from Little Rock, Ark., for joint appearances in Albany and Macon, where he played the saxophone with a high school band. He and Mr. Fowler raised clasped hands to celebrate what they anticipated as a coming victory.But Mr. Fowler had problems. It was going to be hard to re-create the enthusiasm of the presidential election with the voting finished and Mr. Clinton victorious. Mr. Fowler was also facing backlash for his vote the year before to place Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Mr. Fowler remembered Justice Thomas, a Georgia native, had strong support from the state’s Black community, but was opposed by leading women’s groups because of his anti-abortion stance and accusations of sexual harassment. He said he believed that opposition cost him. “I’ve had a good, adventurous life,” he said.He said he had steered clear of politics over the years but was changing course in this election, relaying knowledge and ideas to Mr. Warnock and his campaign.“I have dusted off my campaign shoes,” Mr. Fowler said. “I think it is that important.” Updated Nov. 12, 2020, 7:30 p.m. ET WASHINGTON — A first-term senator in Georgia narrowly bested his opponent, outrunning his party’s standard-bearer only to face voters again a few weeks later under a quirky system that briefly made the state the center of the political universe after a hard-fought presidential election.The year was 1992, and Senator Wyche Fowler Jr., a Democrat, had amassed more votes than his Republican opponent on Election Day. But he lost his seat three weeks later.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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WBB : SU plays inspired 1st half in loss to Connecticut

first_img Published on January 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: Facebook Twitter Google+ Before Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis could finish her wide-open drive to the basket, Syracuse’s Iasia Hemingway slid over from the opposite block and met her just outside the lane. The Connecticut forward bowled over Hemingway, drawing an offensive foul.The hustle play by Hemingway protected a tied score more than 10 minutes into the game and ignited a fire in her Syracuse teammates. Elashier Hall let out a jolting scream and vigorously pumped her fist as she and the entire Orange lineup greeted Hemingway under the rim.‘I just try to bring positive energy,’ Hemingway said. ‘Even if it’s the little things like taking a charge or getting a stop, you got to really be excited because when you’re excited, it brings everybody excitement.’The excitement for Syracuse (13-8, 2-5 Big East) was warranted as the Orange stuck with No. 3 UConn (18-2, 7-1) for the first 20 minutes Wednesday night. In front of a record home crowd, SU came out energized and thinking upset against the vaunted Huskies. Connecticut only managed a seven-point lead at halftime, but broke the game open in the second half to blow the Orange away 95-54 in the Carrier Dome.Syracuse used an efficient performance on offense and kept the Huskies out of rhythm with its full-court press. UConn came into the game riding a five-game win streak in which they outscored their opponents by an average of 44.4 points.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange came out determined to keep Connecticut from running away with another victory.‘We had the mindset, and we always do in the first half,’ SU guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas said. ‘We got to jump out first, whoever gets the first lick first. And we came out with a lot of energy and intensity and effort, and we had a goal, and we wanted to win, of course.’Hemingway ensured Syracuse kept that mindset in the first half, setting the tone on offense right out of the gates.The Syracuse forward scored the Orange’s first six points, all coming off aggressive drives down the right side of the lane from the right wing.Two minutes in, SU was up four and playing with confidence.‘At the start of the game we understood what we had to do,’ Hillsman said. ‘And we just really needed to get the ball to Iasia and to the 14-foot range and get some straight line drives, and that’s what we did.’With Connecticut soon keying on Hemingway, opportunities opened up for her teammates.Syracuse maintained a 9-6 lead more than four minutes in when Hemingway rolled down the lane to receive an inbounds pass. She was immediately draped past two Huskies and fell to the ground as a result of the suffocating defense. But as she lost her balance, Hemingway hit SU center Kayla Alexander in the middle of the paint for a short jumper.Connecticut seized the lead for good with 6:25 remaining in the half, but Syracuse kept fighting.Down 10 with less than a minute on the clock, Tyson-Thomas grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw over UConn guard Bria Hartley and kicked it out to Coffey for a wide-open 3 from the left wing.The point guard drilled it, bringing the entire SU bench to its feet as it was within striking distance heading into the half.‘We were positive. We wanted to come back out with the same mentality we had in the first half,’ Tyson-Thomas said. ‘We went in the locker room and said the same things that we did at the start of the game. We wanted to continue doing what we were doing.’But Syracuse couldn’t keep it going in the second half. The Huskies hit three 3-pointers to open up a 17-point lead less than three minutes into the half.Hillsman saw it slipping away and tried to salvage the game with two timeouts. But he knew after Hartley put the Huskies up by 13 that the game was over. He jumped out of his crouch to signal for the first timeout before walking out to the paint and clapping his hands twice in a sign of his frustration.And by the time Hillsman stepped to the podium after the game, that positive energy from the first half disappeared in a humbling 41-point loss.‘We don’t take moral victories here,’ Hillsman said. ‘We lost the game. We lost the game big.’rjgery@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img read more

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Wakaso returns in Ghana’s starting line-up to face Burkina

first_imgGhana coach Kwesi Appiah will name midfielder Mubarak Wakaso in his starting line-up to face Burkina Faso today while winger Albert Adomah will be dropped to the bench, has observed.The coach of the Black Stars will continue to tinker with his starting team in the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations in Nelspruit on made this selection observation during Ghana’s final training session in Nelspruit on Tuesday night as the Black Stars tried their tactics for the clash with the Burkinabe.The second-half heroics of Wakaso in Ghana’s previous game against Cape Verde has helped Wakaso force his way back into the starting line-up of the Black Stars.The Espanyol midfielder was benched in their previous match against Cape Verde because he had only just recovered from a knee injury.But Wakaso came on as a second-half substitute to score two goals to seal Ghana’s place in the last four of Africa’s flagship football competition. His place in the starting line-up was taken by youngster Christian Atsu who was named man-of-the-match in their second Group B against Niger.With Wakaso hitting his full fitness level ahead of the clash against the hard-tackling Burkinabes, coach Appiah is expected to return him to the starting line-up to help in the midfield dogfight.With Atsu also impressing since taking the place of Wakaso it is expected that Albert Adomah, who plays on the right wing, will make way for the Black Stars’ leading scorer in the tournament so far.Ghana will rely on the dexterity of Kwadwo Asamoah to unlock the tough defence of the Stallions with the Juventus star playing just behind lone striker Asamoah Gyan.Emmanuel Agyemang Badu will partner youngster Rabiu Mohammed to provide the steel in midfield. The defensive set up is expected to remain unchanged as they have not conceded any goal since the 2-2 draw against DR Congo in their opening Group B match.Towering Isaac Vorsah and John Boye will stay at the heart of the central defence to provide cover for impressive goalkeeper Fatau Dauda.John Paintsil and Harrison Afful will play at the right back and left back respectively and they must be in their best form to stop the Burkinabe star man Jonathan Pitriopa, who plays in all positions from the midfield to attack.The starting line-up will give Ghana coach the chance to also make strong changes as Anthony Annan, Derek Boateng and Jonathan Mensah will provide strong options on the bench.Ghana probable line-up against Burkina Faso: Fatau Dauda, John Paintsil, Harrison Afful, John Boye, Isaac Vorsah, Rabiu Mohammed, Christian Atsu, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah, Mubarak Wakaso.last_img read more

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Maxwell Konadu hopeful of good performance for local Black Stars

first_imgCoach of the Local Black Stars, Maxwell Kondau is hoping his rather inexperienced side can put up a good performance in their friendly against Japan.The team which was assembled only a few weeks ago will play against their Japanese opponents later today.This will be the first international match for some of these players and Konadu is hoping the presence of Avram Grant can calm their nerves to propel them to a good performance.“We had our last training yesterday and we prepared well even though we should have had enough time to prepare very for this encounter but we will go and put up our best performance,” he told Joy Sports/“We were short of players but Evans Mensah of Inter Allies and Ocran joined us so we are okay and with the performance of the players, I must say that some are average but I must say that it our duty to make sure that everything works together smoothly.”“We want to talk to them individually and give them the confidence they need to go all out to perform we have made them to understand that the level is very good for their them and their career so they should go and enjoy themselves and make Ghana proud as well so I think we are really on course.” “We will meet the technical team and move to the stadium because the match is 7:15 here in Japan and we are hoping for the best because we want them to enjoy themselves and play a very good game this afternoon.”“We need that support every team will need for a very big match like this and the Japanese and very confident because they have prepared very well and I think they can also win the match so will go all out and play and make Ghana proud.”   “Avram Grant is also here giving us the technical support and in the last section of the training he handled it and the players were very happy and they felt very well motivated with the presence of Avram Grant.” –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

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