Why do presidential candidates stay behind closed doors in Georgia?

8:27 PM, Sep 13, 2012   |    comments
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  • Ann Romney, wife of Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney
  • President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney
  • Federal Election Commission figures for presidential fundraising in Georgia

ATLANTA, Ga. -- If you wanted to see Ann Romney in metro Atlanta on Thursday afternoon, you had to pony up at least $1,000 for the privilege.

That was the lowest entry fee to a pair of closed fundraising events at Sugarloaf Country Club in Duluth and the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek.

If you want to see Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney when he comes to Atlanta for a luncheon next Wednesday, it'll cost you at least another grand.

We saw President Obama get off Air Force One when he visited Atlanta in June, but that was it.

His fundraisers were also private.

Both candidates and their wives may be campaigning publicly in other states, but you won't see much of that in Georgia.

That's because there's no reason to fight over Georgia's electoral votes.

Since Georgia is firmly a red state, Barack Obama didn't win here in 2008 and he's not expected to beat Romney here this time around.

"Historically for the last twenty years, Georgia has been a solidly Republican state and there's nothing to suggest that it's going to change," Emory University political science professor Andra Gillespie told 11 Alive.

So why do the presidential candidates come here then?

It's because Georgia, especially metro Atlanta, is a cash cow.

It's a great place for both sides to raise donations and spend them elsewhere.

"This is definitely a place where they can raise money and then funnel those resources to other battle ground states such as Virginia or Florida or North Carolina," said Emory's Gillespie.

According to the Federal Election Commission, Romney has already raised $4.6-million in Georgia to Obama's $4.4-million.

The gap is even greater for the political parties here.

Georgia Republicans have raised $7.6-million to only $4.4-million taken in by Democrats.

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