Alan Powell on Democrats’ chances and his future

State Rep. Alan Powell (D-Hartwell) recently gave a candid interview to Blake Aued of the Athens Banner-Herald:

“If Roy Barnes doesn’t win it in November, you can probably stick a fork in the Democratic movement, because we will not be able to come back for a generation or more,” Powell said in a phone conversation today.
If Barnes loses, Powell said he would “seriously consider” switching parties because Democrats would not only have no influence, but no hope regaining power. He also said he thinks he could halt the Republicans’ drift to the right and bring it back toward the middle.
Barnes has a good shot at winning, Powell said, but he ought to be talking about the economy and the state budget more. The legislature has cut spending from more than $20 billion to less than $17 billion in the past two years, in addition to filling gaps with bond debt and federal stimulus money. Powell predicted an additional $2 billion to $3 billion hole next year.
Barnes is “going to have to branch out,” Powell said. “He can’t just talk about education.”

Barnes is going to have a fight on his hands, even though Georgia’s race for governor is listed as a toss-up. He should heed Powell’s warning.