Georgia to be key Super Tuesday state, analysts say

Political analysts say Georgia is going to be a tight race in the GOP presidential primary / Sarah Bleau

Georgia wasn't labeled as a key state at the beginning of the presidential primaries, but now it could be a crucial win on Super Tuesday.

Dr. Kwame Dankwa, political science professor at Albany State University, says it's a tight race in the Republican Presidential Primaries, and with 76 delegates, the Peach State has become more important than it was at the beginning of the primaries.

"For the past two weeks, there's been an intensification of television ads in Georgia. All the candidates and their Super PACs (Political Action Committees) are running ads ... that means more money for Georgia media," says Dankwa.

But it may not mean an easy win for any candidate, even Georgia native Newt Gingrich.

"Georgia has the most delegates for all the ten states that are competing on Tuesday, so if he makes a good show in Georgia and Tennessee, the two southern states, then he can make a stand," says Dankwa.

The Dougherty County elections office says just 567 people have participated in early voting for the primary since it started Feb. 13. Many say the lack of voters signifies a lack of care for the race.

"It's a reflection on the message on the current candidates: if the message doesn't sit very well people aren't enthused and therefore will stay away," says Dankwa.

Many voters mirror Dankwa's sentiments on voter apathy in the Georgia residential primary.

"I think they think they can't do anything about it but they can if they vote," says voter Pat Cannon. "If you don't vote you can't complain and a lot of people are complaining about government right now."

Voter Gary Cooper says a lack of interest along with the economy and gas prices are keeping people away from the polls.

His wife, Sissy Cooper says, "I hope it's not lack of education but I think part of it could be that."

Early voting for the Georgia presidential primaries in Dougherty County continues through Friday at the Government Center in Downtown Albany on Pine Avenue. The polls will reopen on Tuesday for day-off voting in the presidential primary; voting will be at citizens' designated precincts.