Georgia 8th District
The hub of central Georgia, Macon is a city proud of its restored houses and its Japanese cherry trees, which it shows off during its annual International Cherry Blossom Festival. It is the home of music legends Otis Redding, James Brown, Little Richard, and the Allman Brothers, and of the Harriet Tubman Historical and Cultural Museum. Surrounding Macon are the farm and forest lands of central Georgia. Much of this land was the site of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s 1864 march from Atlanta to the sea. Twiggs and Wilkinson counties have been among the world’s major sources of kaolin, a clay used for china and ceramics. A short drive north on Interstate 75 is Juliette, an old mill town that’s too small for most maps. Many scenes in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes were filmed there. In 2008, the area suffered from major job losses in manufacturing and health care services, and construction of a new tire plant was delayed.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 8th Congressional District of Georgia includes all of Macon and Bibb County and stretches about 200 miles north and south, from fast-growing Newton County in metro Atlanta to Colquitt County nearly at the Florida border. About one-half of its votes are cast in the five-county Macon metro area. From 2000 to 2007, Bibb County had virtually no change in population. With its Air Logistics Center and testing and repair site for the F-22 Raptor, Robins Air Force Base and the surrounding city of Warner Robins have grown significantly in recent years. This was Democratic country from the time of Gen. Sherman’s march until the civil-rights revolution of the 1960s. Today the political balance is different. More than 70% of whites usually vote Republican. About 90% of blacks usually vote Democratic. So the political leanings of any district in this part of Georgia depend on the racial percentages. Redistricters in 2005 significantly changed the district with the goal of electing a Republican. It was renumbered from the 3rd to the 8th, and its shape was elongated to add new Republican territory. Slightly more than half of the population was new to the district in the 2006 election, and the new lines reduced the black population from 40% to 33%. President Bush’s 2004 performance in this district was 61%, up from 55% four years earlier. In 2008, Republican John McCain won the district 56%-43%.