By Mike RuffinAs I hope you know, the Georgia Presidential Primary election will take place on Tuesday, March 24. Advance in-person voting is now underway.The primary (pardon the pun) piece of advice I’d like to offer is this: Vote!But I do have some more advice.And all the people said, ‘Of course you do!’If you plan to vote in the Republican Presidential Primary, you will have only one name on your ballot: Donald Trump. He is, as you are probably aware, the incumbent. So if you’re going to vote in the Republican primary, you’ll vote for Trump. Were I you, I’d be disappointed not to have other options, with at least one of them being an actual Republican. For what it’s worth, I miss real Republicans. From 1976 (the first election in which I could vote) through 2012, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney were the Republican candidates for president. I disagreed with each of them on many things and voted for none of them, but I believed them to be men of principle and character. I also believed the nation would be in capable and decent hands if any of them won, which Reagan and both Bushes did. Those were the good old days, I guess. They seem much longer ago than they actually are.If you’re a Republican, I’d advise you not to vote in the Democratic Primary. You might be tempted to do so. You might think you can help the GOP cause by voting for the Democrat you think would be easiest for Trump to beat. I don’t think you should do that for three reasons. First, I want the strongest possible Democratic candidate. Second, if you’re a Republican and you request a Democratic ballot, you’re lying about your preference. Third, it’s tacky.Of course, you might not have thought about the possibility until I mentioned it. So forget I said anything.My bold prediction: Donald Trump will win the Georgia Republican Presidential Primary.If you plan to vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary, you will have twelve names on your ballot. I would advise you not to vote for Michael Bennett, John Delaney, Deval Patrick, or Andrew Yang. They’ve all dropped out of the race, so you’d be throwing away your vote. I’m writing this the week before the Super Tuesday primaries on March 3, so by the time you read this, other candidates may have dropped out. I’d advise you to know who is still running when you vote, and not to vote for anyone who isn’t. As things now stand, you’ll choose between Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren. It isn’t my place to endorse a candidate in this space. But I like Elizabeth Warren. I’d advise you to take a look at her.But if the polls are accurate, the main contenders in Georgia are Biden, Sanders, and Bloomberg. Allow me to offer a brief synopsis of each one of them.Joe Biden: experienced and knowledgeable. Perhaps most capable of cleaning up the mess the next president will inherit, especially in international relations. Bernie Sanders: a self-described Democratic Socialist. The radical change from the left candidate. Michael Bloomberg: a guy who made a lot of money and ran a big city. Only serious competitor with Kelly Loeffler for the coveted ‘Let Me Run So Many Ads, You’ll Get Sick of Me’ Award. My bold prediction: Joe Biden will win the Georgia Democratic Presidential Primary, with Bernie Sanders running a very close second.Here are my final three pieces of advice: (1) If you’re going to vote for the candidate I’d like you to vote for, please vote! (2) If you’re going to vote for a candidate I’d rather you not vote for, please vote! (3) Please vote!
The March 24 primary: Unsolicited advice and bold predictions
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