Political Insider

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Shifting South: Why Virginia's purple takeover could be a blueprint for Georgia Dems

NORFOLK, Va. — The message coming out of a local southern-style restaurant on a recent balmy evening here was loud and clear: people shouldn’t buy Donald Trump’s “what the hell do you have to lose” pitch to African-American voters.

The scars of the past still run deep in this state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy. And some of the speakers addressing the crowd of more than 100 at a meet-and-greet sponsored by the Greater Hampton Roads Black Democrats framed the choice in November as one that could affect voters’ future access to the polls.

“Let me tell you what we’ve got to lose: decades of progress if this man gets anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” said state Sen. Mamie Locke of Trump. The chairwoman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus added: “We cannot turn back the hands of time.”

Read: Shifting South: Changing demographics drive Virginia’s purple reboot

The rest of our Shifting South series

More: Why the South is anything but solid for either Clinton or Trump

More: Shifting South: Why Alabama is Trump’s red-state constant

More: Shifting South: Political trends that shape the region


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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.