Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 11, 2014

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 11, 2014

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I was in my car that morning, on the way to my job when I heard on the radio of the first plane hitting. The announcers thought at first that it must be a small plane and likely an accident. Seventeen minutes later all doubt vanished as the second hit. Over the next hour, a third plane hit the Pentagon and a fourth went down in a field in Pennsylvania. We watched on television as the towers burned, then collapsed.

Shortly afterwards, the Family Room opened in a nearby tower to provide a place for loved ones to grieve out of the public eye.

The Family Room opened in April 2002 in space donated by Brookfield Office Properties, the owners of 1 Liberty Plaza, across Church Street from the trade center site. By presenting what was known as a medical examiner’s family identification card, victims’ relatives were admitted during regular workdays and at night, on weekends and on holidays.

On the 20th floor, behind a door marked “The Family Room,” relatives could settle into ample leather couches or stand at windows 15 and 20 feet wide. The room was intended for “quiet contemplation,” said a 2002 notice from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which created and maintained the space, just a few doors down from its own headquarters and those of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation.

When the Family Room at 1 Liberty Plaza was replaced this summer by a new private gathering space in the National September 11 Memorial Museum pavilion, the [New York] State Museum and the memorial museum painstakingly documented the older room, and the State Museum acquired what contents family members themselves did not choose to reclaim.

There are materials in the Family Room collection related to about 1,000 victims, Mr. Schaming said, or roughly one-third of all casualties that day. “It is the most singular collection of the faces of people who were killed on 9/11,” he said.

One day after Perry’s victory in the Battle of Lake Erie, American Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough led American forces in the Battle of Plattsburg at Lake Champlain, New York on September 11, 1813.

The Union Army began evacuating civilians from Atlanta via Lovejoy’s Station on September 11, 1864.

Georgia-born Ty Cobb took his last at-bat on September 11, 1928.

After a week-long Presidential campaign swing through ten states, former Governor Jimmy Carter returned to Plains on September 11, 1976. At the time Republicans said he was too liberal; today they say that about his grandson, Democrat Jason Carter.

On September 11, 1985, Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s career hit record, notching number 4,192 against the San Diego Padres.

A New Show on GPB

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Last night, I was honored to appear in the inaugural episode of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s new TV show called Political Rewind with BIll Nigut, Jim Galloway of the AJC and Georgia State House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams.

We’ll post a link to video if they get it online soon, but you can put it on your weekly schedule for 7 PM Wednesday evenings on your local GPB station.

New Poll from 11Alive Deceptive

Yesterday, 11Alive released a new poll in a story that is sloppy at best, deceptive at worst.

ATLANTA — A new exclusive scientific poll shows the race for Georgia’s governor is statistically tied. The poll was commissioned by 11Alive and conducted by Survey USA.

Over the past three weeks, since an identical poll was conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of 11Alive, incumbent Republican Nathan Deal has watched a 9-point lead evaporate.

Forty-five percent of registered likely voters plan to vote for Jason Carter, 44% for Nathan Deal. The margin of error is +/- 4.2%, so they are statistically tied.

The part I want to discuss is where 11Alive says the polls were “identical.” That simply isn’t true. I’ve discussed at length the importance of weighting, and specifically the assumption about what percentage of voters will be African-American.

I’m predicting 30%, which is about what most pollsters in Georgia are assuming, while national pollsters have been using values around 25-26%.

The latest 11Alive poll assumes that African-Americans will constitute 29% of the November electorate, while their earlier “identical” poll assumed 26% turnout. This change is an important methodological change and means the two polls are not identical.

Here’s some evidence of how much of the change is attributable to changes in 11Alive’s turnout model. In the “identical” poll three weeks ago, the partisan split of voters was 40% Republican to 38% Democratic. Now, with the demographic manipulation, it has reversed to 37% Republican to 40% Democratic.

If we hadn’t dug into the demographic crosstabs, it would appear from this survey that Georgia’s electorate has become more Democratic and less Republican. But with roughly 80-82% of African-American respondents voting for the Democratic candidates for Senate and Governor, it is very likely that boosting the percentage from 26% to 29% would have resulted in a net apparent gain of about 2.4 points in self-identified Democrats. This is what makes the reporting of 11Alive’s poll deceptive.

It is fine, and probably a best practice for a pollster to adjust their weighting assumptions as an election cycle develops, and to incorporate new information. It is not okay to make a dramatic change in the weighting and claim that two polls with different weighting are “identical.”

What makes that practice deceptive is that it makes it appear that changes in the head-to-head ballot that are probably at least partially attributable to changes in the weighting represent movement in the electorate that doesn’t exist.

Since we published our analysis yesterday, 11Alive has changed the text on their website from saying “identical poll[s]” to “The 08/18/14 poll and today’s 09/09/14 poll were conducted identically.” It’s a small change, but I think that they’re saying is that the data was collected the same way – same sampling frame, same method for reaching respondents, while leaving open the possibility – here, a reality – that the analysis of the resulting data was conducted differently.

It is worth noting that 26% of the respondents in the 11Alive poll by SurveyUSA were surveyed via internet, and 74% were reached via landline telephone.

So, this, along with the New York Times poll that (a) was an online poll; and (b) assumed 25% African-American turnout are both better ignored.

The other takeaway from this poll is that national pollsters are beginning to note the trend among in-state pollsters of estimating African-American turnout in the range of 29-30% of the electorate. This is consistent with in-state pollsters and analysts have both a better understanding of the underlying dynamics in their state, and the locals being able to see what’s happening on the ground in the way a polling firm based in New York or New Jersey cannot.

Five Qualify for DeKalb Commission

In the special election to replace Elaine Boyer, four Republicans qualified and one Independent qualified for the November 4 ballot.

Nancy Jester, a Republican who previously served on the DeKalb County Board of Education and ran for State School Superintendent in this year’s GOP Primary was first to qualify.

Larry Danese ran as a Republican against Elaine Boyer in 2012 in the Primary; after losing, he ran for Mayor of Brookhaven, losing that race as well. Danese had also previously run for office as a Democrat.

Wendy Butler, running as a Republican, previously served on the State Road and Tollway Authority when it voted in 2010 to extend the toll on GA-400 through 2020.

Tom Owens of Doraville will run as a Republican.

Finally, Holmes E. Pyles, an Independent from Stone Mountain, will inevitable be referred to at least once publicly as Gomer Pyle.

Sabato confident Georgia stays red

University of Virginia Political Scientist Larry Sabato has refreshed his predictions for the November election, and expects Republicans to gain a net five to eight seats in the chamber.

In his analysis, Sabato writes:

We remain confident of GOP holds in Georgia and Kentucky

New allegations of Democratic Party Voter Fraud?

The Voter Participation Center claims to be a nonpartisan organization that claims to have mailed more than 12 million voter registration forms. It is clearly a “progressive” group whose staffer in charge of the voter registration program has a long resume in partisan Democratic politics. Their address in Georgia is a UPS Store in midtown Atlanta.

Voter registration drives are well and fine. The problem was that this voter registration form was sent by The Voter Participation Center to the 14-year old daughter of a GaPundit reader.

The Voter Participation Project even went so far as to fill out the name and address of the 14-year old in an attempt to get a minor to register to vote. I’ve removed the minor’s identifying information from the scans that follow, but would be happy to direct the Secretary of State’s office to the parents.

Voter Registration for a Minor OutsideVoter Registration Form 14 year oldMinor Voter Registration Voter Registration 14 year old back

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