What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
The Real Economy

Georgia voters prep for primary, focus on economy

David Gura Mar 5, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Voters in 10 states will have their say tomorrow in the Republican presidential race. Among them: Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia. Marketplace’s David Gura has been talking to voters in Georgia — the home state of Newt Gingrich — for our election coverage of the Real Economy: what matters most to voters this election year.

David joins us now from Atlanta. Good morning.

David Gura: Morning Jeremy.

Hobson: David, you’ve been reporting from there; speaking with the people in Georgia. Is the economy a bigger factor there than it has been in some of the other primary states so far?

Gura: I think that here in Georgia we’re seeing a lot of the big economic issues play out that are playing out in states across the country. Maybe a few of them are in finer focus.

Georgia is a state that’s experienced a lot of growth over the last few decades. It’s been very active trying to get companies to move to Georgia. I’ve been driving around Atlanta, and you see these giant warehouses. Some big companies are based here, or they’ve got big facilities here. Keeping those businesses in Atlanta — in Georgia — and attracting more businesses like those, that’s pretty important to voters here.

There are a couple of other big economic issues here. Number one is housing: we were in North Georgia yesterday, in neighborhoods that sprouted up before the housing bubble burst. And there were foreclosure signs, and “For Sale” signs on every street we drove down.

I’d say the second issue’s unemployment, Jeremy. It’s still hovering just below 10 percent here.

Hobson: So housing and unemployment are big issues — is that what voters have on their minds as they head to the polls tomorrow?

Gura: You know, I was talking about those “For Sale” signs a second ago — you don’t have to go too far away from downtown Atlanta before you see campaign signs. I’ve spotted Gingrich signs, Santorum signs.

I was talking to Suellen Daniels in Forsyth county, and she said that with all these candidates, there’s a fundamental disconnect when it comes to the economy.

Suellen Daniels: You can take a tour and you can drive down their street, shake their hands. Those two or three minutes aren’t going to make any difference. You’re really not walking in their shoes; you’re not living in their neighborhood; you’re not watching them struggle day to day.

She told me that when she’s just trying to get by, Jeremy, it’s really hard for her to focus on politics. She says it can be pretty destructive.

Hobson: Marketplace’s David Gura in Atlanta, where Kai Ryssdal will be there with David; they’ll be broadcasting Marketplace later today. Thanks David.

Gura: Thanks Jeremy.

News and information you need, from a source you trust.

In a world where it’s easier to find disinformation than real information, trustworthy journalism is critical to our democracy and our everyday lives. And you rely on Marketplace to be that objective, credible source, each and every day.

This vital work isn’t possible without you. Marketplace is sustained by our community of Investors—listeners, readers, and donors like you who believe that a free press is essential – and worth supporting.

Stand up for independent news—become a Marketplace Investor today with a donation in any amount.