Politics in Georgia

Politics in Georgia

Politics in Georgia

Politics in Georgia

Excerpt

Much has changed since the first edition of Politics in Georgia was published in 1997, yet much about Georgia politics has remained the same. In the introduction to the first edition, the major historical changes that we stressed were government restructuring, the declining influence of rural areas, the growing clout of blacks and the Republican Party, and a proliferation of interest groups. The continuing patterns that we highlighted were racial conflict, the political influence of business, limited regulation of campaigns, and low voter turnout. Outside the political realm, we emphasized Georgia’s rapid population and economic growth along with its poor showing on social indicators such as poverty and educational achievement.

In some ways, we got it right in pointing out these trends to readers. Then again, we did not anticipate or might have downplayed other developments. Beyond the general growth in population was the huge increase in immigrants to Georgia. While suburbs continued to grow, they became more diverse, especially in metropolitan Atlanta. For its part, the city of Atlanta surprised many by increasing its population by more than twenty thousand during the 1990s and continued to grow during the early years of the new century. Perhaps more startling was the city’s changing racial makeup: the percentage of African Americans dropped from 67 percent in 1990 to 61 percent in 2000 and continues to decline.

On the political front in 1997, Zell Miller was Georgia’s Democratic governor, the state’s two U.S. senators were Democrat Max Cleland and Republican Paul Coverdell, and Democrats controlled both houses of Georgia’s . . .

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