Successful political campaigns require an almost magical mix of attention to demographics, complex social factors and mind-bending marketing tactics. Rarely do they succeed or fail on the shoulders of a dog. But when future generations study the recent Georgia race for the U.S. Senate—in which the state flipped from red to blue (or at least, purple)—they may want to consider the impact of a Beagle named Alvin in changing the Democratic Party’s fortunes in this long-time Republican stronghold.

Democratic candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock began his race to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate with a number of factors to overcome, first among them, being an African American male running against a white female incumbent. The suburban vote was key to winning, and Kelly Loeffler, the Republican incumbent, certainly looked like someone with whom these voters would be comfortable. She…

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