All day the majority increased with every fresh report. A few thousand men, 12,000 by four in the afternoon, 18,000 by nightfall. Plainly, the people of Georgia wanted James Carmichael as their next governor, to replace Ellis Arnall who by law could not succeed himself. One hundred thousand Negroes, voting in a Democratic primary for the first time in their lives, were solidly behind him. The kids enfranchised last year by the new state constitution, the women whom poll taxes had until this election prevented from voting, Editor Ralph MeGill's great Atlanta Constitution and 88 percent of the newspapers of the state, all wanted him. But by a tragic quirk of an archaic elective system, Eugene Talmadge, not James Carmichael, yesterday captured the Democratic nomination for governor of the State of Georgia.
A tired, bitter man, racked with illness that will not leave him, "red gallus" Talmadge stumped the rural counties of Georgia, the "cracker country," hoarsely shouting his paean of white supremacy and fanning the flames of race hatred. He stuck to the back country, because it has always been Talmadge territory, and because he knew that in Georgia it's country units, not popular votes, that win elections. By last night, Talmadge had 249 units in his pocket, with only 206 necessary for election.
For Georgia, this is a major calamity. In the past five years Georgia has come a long way from the Tobacco Road and Chain Gang state the country had long way from the Tobacco Road and Chain Gang state the country had long considered it. Spearheaded by such people as Ellis Arnall, Lillian Smith, and perhaps the most progressive press of any state in the Union, Georgia has become the inspiration for all those who work and dream of a forward-looking, democratic, South. The nomination of Talmadge, which is tantamount to election, puts in jeopardy all the advances made since 1941. If the dream of a new South is not to end in nightmare, then the people of Georgia must quietly resolve to defend with all their strength the social legislation of the past five years-and to destroy the antiquated unit-country system at their first opportunity.