Gov. Nathan Deal: Volunteer on 26 April

Your Georgia Desk:

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From Nathan Deal Governor:

Join us this Saturday, April 26, from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm to get out the vote and re-elect Governor Deal. Sign up here to volunteer.

WHAT: Volunteer at Deal for Governor

WHERE: 225 Corey Center SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

WHEN: Saturday, April 26, from 8:30 AM-1:00 PM

Breakfast will be provided. Please drop by and stay for as long as you can!

Gov. Nathan Deal: Support HB 60 – Sign The Petition

Your Georgia Desk

From Nathan Deal Governor:

Deal signs bill underscoring Second Amendment rights

Governor: Legislation will protect rights of licensed concealed carry permit holders

Gov. Nathan Deal today signed into law House Bill 60, legislation that protects law-abiding, licensed Georgia citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

“For decades now I have staunchly defended our Second Amendment rights as both a legislator and as governor,” said Deal. “This legislation will protect the constitutional rights of Georgians who have gone through a background check to legally obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License. Roughly 500,000 Georgia citizens have a permit of this kind, which is approximately 5 percent of our population. Continue reading

Gov. Nathan Deal: Signs Bill Underscoring Second Amendment Rights

Your Georgia Desk:

Deal flag

From Governor Nathan Deal:

Deal signs bill underscoring Second Amendment rights

Governor: Legislation will protect rights of licensed concealed carry permit holders

Gov. Nathan Deal today signed into law House Bill 60, legislation that protects law-abiding, licensed Georgia citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

“For decades now I have staunchly defended our Second Amendment rights as both a legislator and as governor,” said Deal. “This legislation will protect the constitutional rights of Georgians who have gone through a background check to legally obtain a Georgia Weapons Carry License. Roughly 500,000 Georgia citizens have a permit of this kind, which is approximately 5 percent of our population. Continue reading

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 23, 2014


Jasper was adopted from a kill-shelter and went home to a new family with three small children who love him. But when his initial vetting turned up heartworms, the young family was put in a bind – they can’t afford the treatment, but don’t want to return him to the shelter where he’s almost certain to be euthanized.

They received bad news after his vetting, he is heartworm positive. Like most of us, this family does not have the extra money to pay for his treatment. They considered bringing him back to the shelter but had already fallen in love with him.

Jasper’s new mom says he is the perfect dog for them, good with their three small children, housebroken and loves to snuggle. They don’t want to give up on him and neither do I. The quote given by the vet is $681.

Donations would be greatly appreciated, no matter how small! They can be called in to Shannon Vet Services

765 Storey Ln
Jefferson, GA, 30549
(706) 367-1198

The account is under “Jasper Sweat”.

I hope you’ll join me in making a contribution to not only save this dog’s life, but to help three children grow up with a loving family dog. If you can call in or mail a credit card donation to the veterinarian, that will help. If you prefer to donate online, click the button below. You’ll actually be paying me directly, and then I’ll phone in a contribution to the vet covering anything you donate, plus my own $25. I’ll even cover the PayPal processing fee.



Peeter is a loving and beautiful Golden Retriever mix who needs a temporary foster home for about a week. If you’d like to help Peeter, visit Angels Among Us rescue and fill out a foster home application and let them know you’d like to foster Peeter.


My name is Bianca which means white in Italian. I’m about 1.5 years old. I’m a good girl, quiet and love to run around the back yard and play with my buddies. I’m crate and housetrained, walk well on a leash, and will sit for a treat. I love to run so mom thinks I would make a great jogging companion for someone but it will take a little more time for me to get used to being a city girl. I love to play with other dogs so a doggie companion would be great. Bianca is available for adoption through the K-9 Rescue League in Lawrenceville, Ga.
TitusTitus is a sweet 9 month old Labrador mix. He has a beautiful sable colored coat and is very handsome. He gets along well with other dogs and will make a great addition to any family. Titus is Dekalb County Animal Services Decatur, GA.
RomeoLittle Romeo is a two-year old, 20-pound Springer Spaniel, just the right size for snuggling, and he is more than happy to share the love with adults, children, other dogs and yes, even cats. He is looking for an active family who will provide plenty of playtime and plenty of toys. This energetic guy might also be a good candidate for agility.Romeo is new to the perks of family life and is catching on quickly to housetraining. His favorite place to sleep is in bed with the foster family’€™s teenaged boy and is a great cuddler. He now comes when called, knows the meaning of No and walks quite nicely on his leash. He is quiet and rarely barks. Given the chance, he will snatch the occasional sock and slipper, and he may jump for joy now and then.
Please read the Adoption FAQ and get an Adoption Application approved before inquiring about Romeo. Romeo is available for adoption through English Springer Rescue America in Atlanta, GA.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 23, 2014

William Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564 and died April 23, 1616.

Lucius D. Clay was born on April 23, 1898, the son of Georgia U.S. Senator Alexander Stephens Clay, who served in the Senate from 1896 until his death in 1910. Clay graduated West Point in 1915 and eventually rose to serve as Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Deputy for Military Government. During the Berlin Airlift, Clay helped keep Allied-occupied West Berlin supplied with food for almost a year after Soviet forces blockaded all land routes into the city.

Hank Aaron his his first home run in major league baseball on April 23, 1954, playing for the Milwaukee Braves against the St. Louis Cardinals.

New Coke was announced on April 23, 1985.

Lawrenceville’s Mountain View High School held a second prom to allow a student who was in the hospital for the original prom to attend.

A dual enrollment student, Abbie Williamson was on her way to afternoon classes at Georgia Gwinnett College, but instead was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

The collision left Williamson with a broken pelvis in two places, which has since healed, and a diffuse axonal injury, a type of traumatic brain injury. In the beginning, her prognosis was questionable. When she walked for the first time in six weeks, her mother, Mary Beth, called it a joyous day and a time to celebrate.

The next time to celebrate was Friday when about 80 people from the Mountain View community, Williamson family friends and Shepherd staff attended a prom specifically for Williamson to make up for the prom she missed.

“I thought it was a great idea because Abbie’s missed so much of the activites at school and she’s been so involved,” Mary Beth said. “This would be a nice way to re-introduce her back to her friends, because she’s doing so well and we’re so grateful to the whole Mountain View – Lawrenceville community. The prom is just a part of what the whole community has done in standing behind us and supporting Abbie.”

Eight weeks after her family didn’t know if she’d be able to talk, walk or laugh, she participated in a daddy-daughter dance at the prom. An Atlanta disc jockey, “Johnny D,” donated his services, and a tapas bar restaurant provided catered food for the event.

Georgia Politics

A new poll was released yesterday, not on a political race, but the “State of the State” Poll by Georgia College and State University’s Department of Government and Sociology in Milledgeville. It’s kind of a Rorschach test for readers of surveys.

The Savannah Morning News story on the poll highlighted support for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

The majority of Georgians, according to the poll, support the deepening of the Savannah Port (56 percent) and oppose public funding for professional stadiums (76 percent).

“Key highlights from respondents include that Georgians are optimistic about the direction of the state,” said Costas Spirou, Georgia College professor and chair of the Department of Government and Sociology. “We also found that jobs, education and health care are the three most important issues facing the state.”

Other sources mentioned opposition to Obamacare and support for education spending.

Most Georgians would be willing to pay higher taxes to improve education, but don’t want to spend public money on a new stadium for a pro sports team.

The Peach State generally opposes President Obama’s health-care law — although most blacks and Hispanics support “Obamacare” and most whites oppose it.

And nearly 60 percent of Georgians disagree with the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid under the health care law.

Cameron McWhirter, writing for the Wall Street Journal noted this from the Political section of the survey results:

The GOP dominates Georgia politics, but a new poll may give its leaders reason to worry.

When asked which party they trusted most to lead the state in the next four years, 40.2% chose the Democratic Party while 36.9% chose the GOP. More than 15% chose other parties and 7.6% didn’t give an answer.

“You could read that as a response to a party that has been dominating and maybe we are getting close to shifting,” said Costas Spirou, who is chairman of the college’s Department of Government and Sociology.

About 51% of whites polled said they trusted the Republican Party, and only 24.6% of whites trusted the Democratic Party. But 77.9% of blacks supported the Democrats, and only 9.3% of blacks backed the GOP. Hispanic voters, a fast-growing part of the Georgia electorate, were split, with 30.4% backing the GOP and 29.9% backing the Democratic Party. Almost 40% of Hispanics polled supported third parties.

Even though the Democratic Party polled well, individual Democratic candidates still have hurdles, according to the poll. The poll did not ask about individual political races but it did ask about perceptions of some leading politicians. For example, 8.2% of those polled listed gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter as the most trusted Democrat, while 16.7% declared Gov. Nathan Deal, the incumbent, the most trusted Republican.

The survey of 500 adults between Feb. 5 and Feb. 18 has a 4.4 percentage point margin of error.

We’ll be discussing the poll and its results at length in coming days. But for now, here’s your glimmer of hope for Republicans, if only we don’t squander it.

Glimmer of hope

While the GOP is likely to hang onto to everything this year on the strength of white voting in a non-Presidential year, here’s a glimpse at the reality going forward, courtesy of the Washington Post.

The math isn’t complicated.  Winning 27 percent of the Hispanic vote and six percent of the African American vote -- as Romney did in 2012 — makes it hard to win a majority of the overall vote when those groups represent 10 percent and 13 percent of the electorate, respectively. If Hispanics grow to 20 percent of the electorate by 2024 or 2028 and the Republican presidential nominee performs roughly equivalent to Romney’s 2012 showing, it will be impossible — or damn close to impossible — for that GOP nominee to win a national majority.

The concentration of young minority population in the Southwest and South means that states like Texas and Arizona as well as Georgia and South Carolina — all of which have been conservative redoubts at the presidential level for decades could be in real jeopardy for the party in the medium and long term.

Republicans have a demographic problem. And it is going to get way, way worse unless they find a way to improve their numbers among Hispanics.

The problem, in my opinion, with GOP outreach to Hispanic voters is that we tend to treat them the way we treat touring Europe – to make ourselves understood, we simply speak more loudly. Perhaps we should begin listening more, talking less.

Georgia Senate 2014 really about 2016

This morning, I wrote at that a Michelle Nunn win this year has a far greater impact than one Senate seat or even partisan control of the United States Senate. It could show a path for Hilary Clinton as the Democratic nominee and eventual winner of the Presidency in 2016. Read it and panic.  If you’re not an InsiderAdvantage subscriber, I’ll be posting the entire article on in a day or two.

But consider this also in the light of what I just wrote: Atlanta has been asked by the Democratic National Committee to prepare a bid for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. If Georgia’s in play for the next Presidential election, our electoral math gets tougher. We’ll watch that process as sort of a canary in the coal mine.

That said, the New York Times prognistication machines predicts a 73% chance of Georgia electing a Republican to the Senate this year.

Sean Sullivan, writing in the Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog calls the Georgia Senate race a “SuperPAC arms race.” As what could be considered a political campaign arms merchant, I like the sound of that.

The Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Georgia has caught the attention of super PACs — but not the usual heavy hitters that typically muscle into primaries with tea party-vs.-establishment battle lines. Instead, obscurer cousins like Ending Spending Action Fund and Citizens for a Working America have populated the air space. In a crowded race most watchers predict will head to a top-two runoff on May 20, that dynamic is mostly good news for Republicans hoping to nominate an electable contender. It’s especially good news for businessman David Perdue, who has not taken any blows on the air from a third-party group yet.

If the election were held today, most observers feel that Perdue and Kingston would be best-positioned to make an all-but-certain runoff. If no candidate receives a majority of the May 20 vote — and no candidate is polling anywhere near 50 percent right now — the top two would face off in July.

If the runoff ends up being Kingston vs. Perdue, Republicans with an eye on the majority will be breathing a little easier.

Campaigns on Facebook


What do you do when you send me a campaign photo and I don’t include it in the morning news email? Stephanie Coop from Valdosta got it right: rather than criticizing what was an honest oversight, she addressed it with a sense of humor and a photo of the world’s largest Chihuahua with a yardsign.

Personally, I support Governor Nathan Deal and intend to vote for him as many times as I can. But, I also support Georgians who care enough about our government to get off the couch and go get involved in the political process.


Jason Lovett Campaign

And the most interesting campaign photo award for today goes to Jason Lovett, a Republican candidate for State House District 130, currently held by incumbent Republican David Knight. That’s a funny looking dog.

Brookhaven gets more interesting

Last night, City Council member Jim Eyre resigned his seat effective immediately during a meeting of the Brookhaven City Council.

Open seat! Special Election!

On news that Brookhaven’s 30319 is the fastest-growing zip code in Metro Atlanta, the City Council becomes more important as it is clear that the planning and zoning horizon is getting closer. While the diversity (especially among restaurants) of the Buford Highway corridor is a great asset to the City, dilapidated apartments lining the roadside are likely candidates for upgrade or redevelopment as inspections begin actually happening. How much the Brookhaven of 2024 will look like the Brookhaven of 2014 will likely be determined in planning meetings and city council.

State of the state: Majority of Georgians support harbor deepening |

The Georgia College Department of Government and Sociology has released the first edition of Georgia’s State of the State Poll.

Conducted during February, the results focus on key issues facing the state and information about political leaders.

The majority of Georgians, according to the poll, support the deepening of the Savannah Port (56 percent) and oppose public funding for professional stadiums (76 percent).

“Key highlights from respondents include that Georgians are optimistic about the direction of the state,” said Costas Spirou, Georgia College professor and chair of the Department of Government and Sociology. “We also found that jobs, education and health care are the three most important issues facing the state.”

via State of the state: Majority of Georgians support harbor deepening |

John McCallum Congress: Endorsed By Senator Bob Dole

Your Washington – GA 1 – Desk:

McCallum Congress Logo 1

From John McCallum Congress:


Former Senate Majority Leader and Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole today announced his endorsement of conservative businessman John McCallum, a Republican candidate for the United States Congress in Georgia’s First Congressional District.

“Nearly twenty years ago, Elizabeth and I met a young couple on the campaign trail named John and Heather McCallum,” said Senator Dole.  “Their support was instrumental throughout my presidential campaign, and we have been friends ever since.

“Every family, wage earner, and small business in America can do better – if only we have the right people and policies in Washington, D.C.  John is committed to restoring freedom and opportunity in America, and replacing government reliance with individual responsibility.  Continue reading

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On April 22, 1891, Asa Cander bought the recipe for Coca-Cola for $2300 and eventually turned its marketing from a “brain tonic” into a plain old tasty beverage.

Adolf Hitler admitted defeat in World War II on April 22, 1945.

The Atlanta Braves won their first home game in Atlanta Stadium on April 22, 1966. The Braves beat the New York Mets 8-4. It’s interesting to look back at how the Braves landed in Atlanta.

During his 1961 campaign for mayor of Atlanta, Ivan Allen, Jr. promised to build a sports facility to attract a Major League Baseball team. After winning office, Allen chose a 47-acre plot in the Washington–Rawson neighborhood for the building site, citing its proximity to the Georgia State Capitol, downtown businesses and major highways. Allen, along with Atlanta Journal sports editor Furman Bisher, attempted to persuade Charlie Finley, owner of the Kansas City Athletics, to move his team to Atlanta. Finley was receptive and began discussing stadium design plans with Allen. The deal, however, ended in July 1963 when the American League did not approve the move.

In 1964, Mayor Allen announced that an unidentified team had given him a verbal commitment to move to Atlanta, provided a stadium was in place by 1966. Soon afterward, the prospective team was revealed to be the Milwaukee Braves, who announced in October that they intended to move to Atlanta for the 1965 season. However, court battles kept the Braves in Milwaukee for one last season.

A verbal commitment by an unnamed team brought the Braves here.

The Blues Brothers made their worldwide debut on Saturday Night Live on April 22, 1978. Two prominent Georgia musicians, Ray Charles (born Albany) and James Brown (died Atlanta) would co-star in The Blues Brothers movie.

[Language warning for this last clip.]

Former President Richard Nixon died on April 22, 1994.

Yesterday, Meb Keflezighi, a naturalized American citizen, became the first American to win the Boston Marathon since 1983 to win the race, at 39. Meb’s personal story of how he and his family came to the United States is moving and uniquely American.

Born in 1975, Mebrahtom (his full name means “let there be light”) grew up in an Eritrean village with no electricity and no running water. Besides poverty, Meb’s parents, Russom and Awetash, feared for their family’s safety because of Russom’s involvement with the Eritrean Liberation Movement and because of the ongoing war with Ethiopia. Meb’s father decided to flee. “He walked all the way”—60 miles—to Sudan, Meb says. Russom eventually made his way to Milan, Italy, where he worked to raise the money to bring his family out of East Africa.

On Oct. 21, 1987, a date that rolls off Meb’s tongue, the family immigrated to San Diego as refugees with the help of the Red Cross and the sponsorship of Meb’s half-sister, Ruth. “Dad used to wake up at 4 a.m. so we could learn English,” Meb says. “He worked as a taxi driver and worked in restaurants to be able to feed the family.”

Meb adds, “You start on the bottom, work hard, and your dreams will come true—and that’s what happened. We have a very successful family because my parents always emphasized using the opportunity you have to the maximum: ‘There are a lot of people that don’t have this opportunity, so make sure you use it.’ That stuck in our head.”

At 12, he ran his first mile. He clocked in at five minutes and 20 seconds—with no training. Dick Lord, the PE teacher at Roosevelt Junior High, called up the high school coach on the spot: “Hey, we got an Olympian here.”

If Meb sounds old school, that’s because he is. His message for young people is simple: “Life is precious. Do something that is optimistic—that is good for society. Don’t sit on the couch.” His heroes, other than the list of American long-distance runners he rattles off (Jim Ryun, Steve Prefontaine, Steve Scott, Eamonn Coghlan, Paul Tergat), are Jackie Robinson and his parents. About himself, he says: “My God-given talent was discovering when I could run 5:20. Not everyone can run 5:20 . . . I was definitely gifted, but I have to work hard.”

Also finishing the race, for the last time ever after 30 Boston marathons, was the father-son Team Hoyt.

Dick Hoyt pushed his son, Rick, who has cerebral palsy, in a wheelchair for their first race in 1977. It was a five-miler, but soon the duo went on to compete in 1,100 athletic events, including more than 30 Boston Marathons. But now that Dick Hoyt is 74 and Rick is 52, they believe it’s time to slow down.

“When Rick was born, they said, ‘Forget him. Put him away. Put him in an institution. He’s going to be nothing but a vegetable for the rest of his life,’” Dick Hoyt told ABC News. “And here he is. He’s 52 years old and we haven’t figured out what kind of vegetable he is yet.”

Rick Hoyt graduated from high school and college, and Team Hoyt has inspired people all over the world, Dick Hoyt said.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Delvis Dutton’s campaign for Congress from the 12th District, currently held by Democratic incumbent John Barrow, wins special mention for this beautiful photo tweeted from the campaign trail yesterday.

My normal guidelines for good campaign photos from the trail include including people, as that’s the number one correlate to re-tweeting, but a close second is that the candidate’s name should appear, usually in the form of a bumper sticker, t-shirt on a volunteer, or yardsign in the frame.

But the beautiful saturated colors, the prominent yardsign, and the local color from South Georgia make this a sure winner. Bonus points are awarded for the farm equipment being Case IH. My grandfather spent his entire career with International Harvester and when my father was young, he was made to avert his eyes when they saw other manufacturers’ blue or green equipment in the fields.

As of yesterday, it is now Vidalia onion packing season under Georgia state agriculture regulations. The state regulation is not without its challenges, as Georgia onion farmers have sued the state Commissioner of Agriculture over the rules.

The judge denied a request by farmer Delbert Bland to stop the commissioner from enforcing a new rule prohibiting Vidalia onions from being packed for shipping before April 21. The rule was struck down last month, but Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black says it’s still in effect while state attorneys file an appeal.

Vidalia onions are a sweet variety of onion that is a source of local pride and $150 million a year in sales. Only certified onions grown in a specific 20-county area of Georgia can use the name Vidalia.

Here is a list of places you can buy Vidalia onions, though I’m sure they’ll be in supermarkets everywhere soon. Although I’m pretty sure they’re even sweeter when bought from a roadside stand or directly from a farmer. If you’re in Gwinnett County, I highly suggest getting a big sack of Vidalia onions from the Lawrenceville Lions Club in their annual fundraiser.

The 2014 Vidalia Onion Festival opens Thursday and runs through Sunday.

And if you need recipes for your Vidalia onions, here are a couple ideas, from, of all places, The New York Times.

Cut a cone from the top of a whole, peeled onion and fill the little cavity with butter. Add some salt and pepper, wrap it in foil and roast it at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. People get fancy and tuck in a bouillon cube or add a few drops of Worcestershire to create something that tastes like a distant cousin to French onion soup. Others wrap a couple of pieces of bacon around the buttered onion and cook it on a grill, a twist that developed a fan base after the country singer Trisha Yearwood put it in a cookbook in 2008.

Columbus held a Mayoral debate last night between Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and challenger Colin Martin. You can click here to watch online. It was televised! What a novel idea, televising a debate! Alternatively, you can check out Senator Josh McKoon’s play-by-play on Facebook or on Twitter.

The Walter Jones effect

Walter Jones, writing for Morris News, suggested that a high number of undecided voters in current polling might suggest lower turnout in the 2014 Primary Election on May 20th.

Morris News and Fox5 of Atlanta released a poll Thursday conducted by InsiderAdvantage on April 13-15.

The poll’s relatively high number of undecided voters 10 days before the start of early voting — 33 percent — reflects low voter intensity. If there were a populist revolt brewing, people would have already fallen in line behind the candidate leading it.

The high undecided figure in the governor’s race, 28 percent, also shows little interest in overthrowing the establishment incumbent Deal, who commands 61 percent in the survey.

The undecided numbers from the two races combine to burst another early prediction about turnout. When a federal judge ordered the primary moved earlier in the year to allow time for overseas military ballots to be counted in runoffs, most political operatives expected a May election date would result in greater turnout than the traditional July date when school holidays left many voters on vacation.

If one of the two races had a much lower undecided rate than now, it would mean voters would show up for that race and then make a last-minute decision on the other one, which usually benefits an outsider. With high undecided numbers in both, the folks who are noncommittal usually just stay home, leaving the decision to the older, establishment diehards.

The first question is whether 33 percent undecided in the Senate race and 28 percent undecided in the Governor’s race represents a higher than usual number of undecided voters.

Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage (where I work occasionally writing for the website, but have nothing to do with the polling) told WABE that IA polls typically have a higher undecided rate than other pollsters.

Luckily, the closest historical comparison is another InsiderAdvantage poll, from the 2010 Governor’s race conducted July 1, about three weeks out. The current IA poll is four weeks out, but it’s a pretty good comparison.

In July 2010, during a heavily contested race for Governor on the Republican Primary, IA showed 34% of poll respondents undecided on that race. So the closest apples-to-apples comparison we have show a 2010 multi-candidate GOP Primary statewide with a one-point higher undecided than this year’s poll by the same pollster. And while IA was clearly an outlier at that time, with a higher undecided than most other contemporary polls, that probably shows a “house effect” related to the polling firm more than anything. But we can’t conclude on the basis of this poll that the undecided is higher this year.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at comparing other polls to see if this holds true.

Eleventh District Poll released

While we’re discussing polling, here’s another video shot with Tharon Johnson and Eric Tanenblatt. I hope this will become a regular feature. In this short video, the two national-level stragegists talk about what they first thing they look at in a new poll is. It may surprise you.

Yesterday, Landmark Communications and RosettaStone Communications released a joint poll in the 11th District Republican Primary election. The firms released the following numbers:

Loudermilk ……25%
Barr ……………..23%
Pridemore …….11%
Lindsey …………8%

It’s worth noting that about three weeks ago, we were treated to the same-day release of two different sets of purported polling numbers in this same race.

Here’s what I wrote in the March 27th Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections morning email:

First in my mailbox was an email breathlessly announcing, “Poll Shows Loudermilk Tied for Lead in CD-11”. In a 600 sample survey fielded March 20-24, the ballot question in the Loudermilk poll looked like this:

Loudermilk   12.3
Lindsey  2.7
Barr  12.2
Pridemore 3.7
Mrozinski .3
Levene .3
Unsure 65.5
Refused 3

Fast forward a couple of hours and another email containing poll results landed in my inbox, this time from Ed Lindsey. The subject line read “Poll: Ed Lindsey Leap Frogs Competition, Momentum Building” and the poll was conducted March 10-11.

Undecided 41
Barr 25
Lindsey 15
Loudermilk 13
Pridemore 4
Other 2

Clearly it is impossible to believe both polls. Further, I would say that I find it hard to believe that more than 65% of the electorate is undecided for the May 20 Primary. What is clear from both polls, is that Bob Barr is almost certainly headed into a runoff. The other name on the runoff ballot, coincidentally, is the name of the candidate who sponsored the poll. More than that I cannot say.

Two things are clear to me: first, neither of the March polls is consistent with the one released today. I cannot believe that the Undecided vote went from 65.5 (Loudermilk poll) to 33 or less in three weeks in the absence of serious spending by any of the campaigns. To my knowledge, no one in the 11th District is up on television. Going from 41 (Lindsey poll) to 33 is possible but I doubt the Lindsey numbers in the candidate’s own poll.

Second, I’d say that I think the current Landmark/RosettaStone polls paints the same picture as the others: Bob Barr is clearly one of the top two candidates, in fact, the only one to show in first or second in every publicly released poll.

Mark Rountree, one of the pollsters and for eight years my boss, was kind enough to email me the crosstabs, reproduced below:

Cong 11 Poll Crosstabs

Two things I would note, both of them in the County crosstabs, the second table.

First is that the number of respondents for both Bartow and Fulton Counties are low, in accordance with their relative proportion in the district. But a county sample size of 64 in Bartow means a +/- 12 point margin of error when you’re looking only at that county’s numbers. Thirty-six respondents in Fulton gives you a +/- 16 point margin of error when looking only at Fulton County.

In any case, I find it difficult to believe that Barry Loudermilk is taking 58% in Bartow County, which would mean he is outperforming Governor Nathan Deal.

Secondly, I would mention that Mark told me that they weighted by County, and that could mean that the actual number of respondents in Bartow or Fulton could be even lower, though I don’t know that for a fact.

I don’t raise these criticisms specifically toward this poll or the polling firms that produced it, but to illustrate one issue that arises in polling – when you break the sample into smaller segments, the margin of error in any group less than the entire sample is higher, sometimes, when you have a particularly low sample size – such as 64 respondents in Bartow County and 36 in Fulton, weighting can magnify the already sizable sampling error.

So, in the end, my take on this poll is that it’s fundamentally sound, and I think it accurately represents the big picture, though when you get into details, especially crosstabs, the small number of some segments raises the error rate to the point where I would say that the county-specific numbers for Bartow and Fulton are meaningless. Again, this is no reflection on the pollsters, but on the realities of sample size and margin of error.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for April 22, 2014

Rick Flair

Rick Flair is an adult male Jack Russell Terrier & Corgi Mix, and is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Forsyth County in Cumming, GA.


Hoyt is an American Bulldog mix, medium-size at about 52 pounds and estimated to be three years old. He is a super sweet dog and knows sit and stay. He uses the bathroom outside whenever possible. He has a lot of love and affection to give and would just love to be on the receiving end too. He adores children and is very gentle with them and that is kids of all ages!

Hoyt is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter, where he is currently in run 805.. If you’re inquiring about him, please use his ID # 563621.

Female English Setter

This beautiful female English Setter is in need of a new home – please don’t let her end up in a shelter or worse. She’s in the Columbus, Georgia area. From the post on Facebook:

I have a call into Paws Humane for surrendering her, but haven’t received a call back. If anyone would be interested in her, she’s free. She’s housebroken and great with kids. She does well with other dogs and doesn’t bother cats. She can be hyper but mainly only when first meeting strangers. She’s good at alerting you when someone is at the door or in the driveway. She does need a very good grooming/light shave and bath. You MUST have a fenced in backyard!! She must not be only an outside dog. Text me 706-358-2413 or message me on facebook.


Sweet Senior

Finally, this sweet senior female lab is on death row at Floyd County Animal Shelter in Rome, Georgia. Can you spare a soft bed, a warm place to lie by your feet and some daily kibble for this sweet old soul? Let me know if you’re willing to adopt her but need help with logistics.

Sweet Senior FaceColin Martin Mayor Facebook

Five bonus points are awarded to the Colin Martin campaign for Mayor of Columbus, two for the photo above gracing a local rescue’s Facebook page. Three points are awarded for committing at last night’s Mayoral debate to work toward making Columbus a no-kill city.