Racial Lines Define Results

Cameron McWhirter, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 4, 2009

Mary Norwood swept predominantly white precincts of the city Tuesday, and also found support in key black precincts, while former state senator Kasim Reed dominated his base in southwest Atlanta and had a strong showing in predominantly black areas of northwest and west Atlanta.

City Council President Lisa Borders saw support collapse throughout the city, giving her a weak third-place showing.

Despite balmy weather Tuesday, turnout was low, even for an off-year election.

{snip}

Many voters on the fence about Reed seemed to be convinced in the end he was their man. {snip}

With a run-off between Norwood and Reed set, their staffers will be poring over the precinct numbers in coming days to try to figure out how to capture Borders’ voters. {snip}

Now the two candidates have roughly a month to fight for every voter among an electorate that seems to be exhausted and mistrustful. And the ever-present issues of race, gender and class–which showed up throughout the campaign–likely will be amplified in coming weeks as the contest settles into one between a white woman and black man. Many Atlantans found the prospect unsettling.

“The town is divided in so many ways,” voter Ralph Dickerson said Tuesday, shaking his head.

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