Obama Wins Nomination, but Can He Win Georgia and Alabama in November?

June 4th, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WXTX) - After months of battling for the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama clared victory Tuesday night...making history as the first African American nominee for president.

"We've never had an African-American nominee, nor anyone ever come this close, not even Jesse Jackson back in 1984," said Dr. Scott Buchanan, an associate professor of political science at Columbus State University.

Attention, though, has quickly turned to the general election...and the electoral map.

Over the primary season, Barack Obama carried many states that normally go to the Republicans...he says he can make those states winnable again for democrats.

In Georgia, over one million people voted for the Democratic party candidates in the primary.

In Alabama, more people voted Republican, with the numbers still very close.

Experts say those trends won't carry over to November.

"You can throw all that out when it comes to the general election...Obama is very unlikely to win Georgia or Alabama in a general election," said Dr. Buchanan

Recent history proves the point...

Back in 2004, both states turned out big for the Republicans, with George W. Bush winning 62% of the vote in Alabama and 58% in Georgia.

Local democrats, though, say with Barack Obama as their nominee, they feel like they have a fighting chance.

"It would be unusual for Alabama to go Democratic, but we feel the time is now," said Jesse Brennan, chairman of the Russell County Democratic Party.