A tough slog for Democrats in Georgia may be getting even tougher, thanks to one of their old friends: Cynthia McKinney has filed paperwork to run for Congress in Georgia’s 4th District as a member of the Green Party.
The incumbent, Hank “capsized Guam” Johnson, has made more than his fair share of gaffes since defeating McKinney in 2006 and entering Congress. But compared to her, he’s a statesman of the highest order.
Still, it took a runoff for Johnson to beat her in that year’s primary, and even then she won 41 percent of the vote. This will be a general election, and 41 percent of the Democratic vote would be enough to keep Johnson from winning a majority. The GOP candidate last time out, Liz Carter, won 25 percent against Johnson. Neither she nor any other Republican will win this heavily Democratic district. But the GOP candidate will get enough votes to make it tough for Johnson to beat McKinney — or (shudder) vice-versa — without a runoff. McKinney would need just a quarter of the vote, or about one-third of those who usually vote for Democrats.
Now, I would still put Johnson as the favorite in the race. But if McKinney gets any traction at all, Georgia Democrats will have to put into the 4th District resources that normally could be used elsewhere. As you may recall, Georgia Democrats aren’t exactly flush with money to begin with. The Republican in the 4th District might not have a shot at winning the race, but he or she, along with McKinney, might be able to make the Democrats sweat over a safe seat — the loss of which would be just plain humiliating.
Speaking of humiliating, a word of advice for the Green Party: If you want most Americans to think your party belongs anywhere near the mainstream of politics, stop associating with the likes of McKinney. Latching onto her, in the belief that bad name ID is better than no name ID, is more humiliating for you than you may realize.
– By Kyle Wingfield