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Some people in Georgia believe everything they hear on talk radio.
State Rep. Mickey Stephen, a Democrat from Savannah:
Sweeping Measure Expanding Rights of Gun Owners Is Signed Into Georgia Law - NYTimes.com
Despite the South’s continued economic and population growth, there’s not much sign that the gap between the South and the rest of the country is poised to narrow. Young voters have moved the rest of the country abruptly to the left on issues like gay marriage and immigration, but young Southern whites are just as conservative as their parents and grandparents. If they remain so, the gap between the South and the rest of the country could grow further.

Nate Cohn writes in a deeply disturbing story:

The Democratic majority has failed to materialize because the Republicans made large, countervailing and unappreciated gains of their own among white Southerners.

From the high plains of West Texas to the Atlantic Coast of Georgia, white voters opposed Mr. Obama’s re-election in overwhelming numbers. In many counties 90 percent of white voters chose Mitt Romney, nearly the reversal of the margin by which black voters supported Mr. Obama.

While white Southerners have been voting Republican for decades, the hugeness of the gap was new. Mr. Obama often lost more than 40 percent of Al Gore’s support among white voters south of the historically significant line of the Missouri Compromise. Two centuries later, Southern politics are deeply polarized along racial lines. It is no exaggeration to suggest that in these states the Democrats have become the party of African Americans and that the Republicans are the party of whites.

It makes us the laughingstock of the nation because it’s a silly bill. I want to know what kind of religion these guys practice that they have to carry a gun to church.
State Representative Mickey Stephens, a Democrat from Savannah, commenting on Georgia’s new Guns Everywhere law:
Sweeping Measure Expanding Rights of Gun Owners Is Signed Into Georgia Law - NYTimes.com

The Washington Post writes in an editorial:

"VIRGINIA IS MOVING quickly, though not quickly enough, to join the vast majority of states that quickly restore the voting rights of most felons after they have finished their sentences. On Friday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe, building on his predecessor’s policy, sharply expanded the numbers of nonviolent former convicts who will be re-enfranchised when they have paid their debt to society. He also shortened the wait for former convicts who committed violent crimes to three years from five."

After the Sandy Hook school shooting, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) was one of a few congressional Republicans who expressed a willingness to reconsider the need for gun control laws.

"Put guns on the table, also put video games on the table, put mental health on the table," he said less than a week after the Newtown shootings. He told a local TV station that he wanted to see more research done to understand mass shootings. "Let’s let the data lead rather than our political opinions."

For nearly 20 years, Congress has pushed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to steer clear of firearms violence research. As chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that traditionally sets CDC funding, Kingston has been in a position to change that. Soon after Sandy Hook, Kingston said he had spoken to the head of the agency. “I think we can find some common ground,” Kingston said.

More than a year later, as Kingston competes in a crowded Republican primary race for a U.S. Senate seat, the congressman is no longer talking about common ground.

In a statement to ProPublica, Kingston said he would oppose a proposal from President Obama for $10 million in CDC gun research funding. “The President’s request to fund propaganda for his gun-grabbing initiatives though the CDC will not be included in the FY2015 appropriations bill,” Kingston said.

Women who make the deeply personal and often complex decision to end a pregnancy after 18 weeks should do so in consultation with their physician, not politicians.
Felicia Brown-Williams, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast, criticizing the “extreme agenda” of Mississippi’s new anti-abortion law: Gov. Bryant signs 20-week abortion ban

The New York Times reports:

Four Senate races in the South that will most likely determine control of Congress appear very close, with Republicans benefiting from more partisan intensity but a Democratic incumbent, seen as highly vulnerable, holding a surprising edge, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

The survey underscores a favorable political environment over all for Republicans in Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas — states President Obama lost in 2012 and where his disapproval rating runs as high as 60 percent. But it also shows how circumstances in each state are keeping them in play for the Democrats a little more than six months before the midterm elections.

The New York Times reports:

Despite strong dislike of President Obama’s handling of health care, a majority of people in three Southern states – Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina – would rather that Congress improve his signature health care law than repeal and replace it, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

The poll also found that a majority of Kentucky residents – and a plurality in a fourth state, Arkansas — said they thought the health care marketplace in their state was working well, even as they expressed strong disapproval of the health care law. More than twice as many Kentuckians say their state exchange is working well than say it is not.

The findings in the four states — all with political races that could tip the balance of power in the Senate — underscore the complex and often contradictory views of Mr. Obama’s principal domestic legislation four years after it became law.

Daily Kos reports:

About 225,000 Arkansans are too poor to qualify for a subsidy to buy health insurance on the exchange, and too “wealthy” to qualify for the state’s traditional Medicaid. But because the state expanded, using a “private option” to provide coverage, 155,567 of them now have insurance.

"We now know that an overwhelming majority of Arkansans in the program would have likely gone without health insurance had the Legislature not passed the Private Option," said John Selig, director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services. "Clearly there was a real need in a lot of these families." […]