“Whoever wins Midtown will win the city,” said Richard Morton at last night’s Midtown Republican Club meeting. “Midtown is the swing district in Memphis,” continued the Grassroots chairman for the Shelby GOP. “A Republican needs to be competitive in Midtown to win.”
“No Democrat can win without Shelby County,” Morton added. “Shelby County has more votes than any other county. One sixth of the state’s population is in Shelby and Midtown is uniquely placed in that equation.” In recent elections Kemp Conrad and Paul Boyd carried Midtown and that made all the difference, according to Morton.
And Republican clubs play an important role in winning, he said. “The way we grow the party organization in the community is through the clubs. It’s easier for a voter to go somewhere where there is his community.”
Commenting that Tennessee has a lot of Republican clubs, Morton advises that looking at membership numbers is not the most important factor. “They fluctuate,” he said. For example, “in a presidential year it’s the World Cup. Everyone gets involved, even those who weren’t earlier. It’s like Church at Christmas, you see a lot more people.”
What is important, he says, is having a core group. From there you need “consistency, that is to speak in one voice; involvement, that is a presence in campaigns and a link to the demographic, that is to be made up of people who live there.”
Morton noted that redistricting will effect Memphis. “I want our party to have more representation in Memphis in the redistricting. There are 65,000 Republican voters in Memphis and they need a voice in Nashville. I’m optimistic that that will change.”
Next year will be a big one, with the 2012 campaign.