Category: Georgia Polling Report

7
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 7, 2014

Georgia and American History

Georgia Governor Joseph Brown addressed the Georgia legislature calling on them to consider Georgia’s future on November 7, 1860, the day after Abraham Lincoln’s election as President.

Jeanette Rankin was elected to Congress, the first female Member, on November 7, 1916 from Montana. After leaving Congress, Rankin moved to Watkinsville, Georgia in 1925. The Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Foundation, based in Athens, Georgia provides college scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a record fourth term on November 7, 1944.

Democrat Sam Nunn was reelected to the United States Senate on November 7, 1978.

On November 7, 1989, David Dinkins was elected the first African-American Mayor of New York and Douglas Wilder was elected the first African-American Governor of Virginia.

On November 7, 2006, Georgia reelected its first Republican Governor since Reconstruction, Sonny Perdue, and elected its first GOP Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle.

Georgia Politics – Seven Things You Should Know

1. Welcome to the 2016 and 2018 election cycles. Several months ago, when I first started saying that the 2014 Georgia elections were partly about jockeying for position in the 2016 Presidential race, it was a novel idea. But after campaign visits by Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie (2x), and Rand Paul, it is clear that Georgia will play an important role in the Presidential election.Continue Reading..

6
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 6, 2012

Georgia and American History

Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States and the first Republican to hold the office on November 6, 1860. By his inauguration in March, seven states had seceded.

On November 6, 1861, one year after Lincoln’s election, Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens of Georgia were elected President and Vice President of the Confederate States of America.

President Teddy Roosevelt left for a 17-day trip to Panama on November 6, 1906 to inspect work on the Panama Canal; he was the first President to take an official tour outside the continental United States.

A dam on the campus of Toccoa Falls Bible College burst on November 6, 1977 under pressure from heavy rains, killing 39 students and faculty.

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA) resigned his office and his Congressional seat on November 6, 1998, effective in January 1999, despite having been reelected three days earlier.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The DunwoodyTalk blog has as good an explanation as I’ve read for how Holmes E. Pyles came in first in the DeKalb County Commission District 1 race.

A simple word was placed under each candidate’s name on the ballot.  Four of the five had ‘Republican’ listed and one had ‘Independent’ listed. Only Holmes E. Pyles was not listed as a Republican.

The runoff of Jester and Pyles will take place next month and will be the only item on the ballot.  The Dems won’t be back as the Republican vote is much bigger.  Jester will not have three opponents competing for the Republican votes.  We all know now that it is possible for a Democrat to make the runoff in District 1, but the chances of a Democrat winning the spot is low.  Jester will need a strong turnout for the runoff.

The blog notes that even in the only Republican-majority district in DeKalb, Michelle Nunn took a majority in 20 of 37 precincts. [Disclaimer: I am a consultant for Nancy Jester's campaign.]

Joel McElhannon, who served as the lead political consultant to the Georgia Republican Party’s Victory 2014 effort has penned “Seven takeaways from the 2014 Elections,” which we were happy to publish. It’s well worth reading the thoughts and conclusions one of Georgia’s top political minds who was instrumental to the best effort I’ve ever seen the GAGOP put forth. Here’s an excerpt:

1. Georgia Republicans Need A Competitiveness Assessment.

Last night was a huge win for Republicans nationally and in the state of Georgia. The GAGOP Victory Program, led by Chairman John Padgett and staffed by countless volunteers and sharp field directors, executed an unprecedented ground game in the Peach State. Over 350,000 doors knocked. Over 1.2 million volunteer phone calls – including 87,000 on Monday alone. Millions of pieces of mail dropped. It provided the rock solid foundation of success for our entire statewide ticket.

But Georgia Republicans should not be lured into complacency by this one night of success. We must also see clearly the political environment and the national wave the swept the country last night.

President Obama’s failed leadership is as popular as Ebola right now.

But he won’t be on the ballot again.

2. It’s Time For Georgia Republicans To Get Real.

Georgia is diversifying. In comparative demographic terms, Georgia is now the state of Virginia (metro Atlanta) dropped down in the middle of Alabama (the rest of our state). Our rural areas may continue to be part of the “old south” but the metro Atlanta region is a vibrant and diverse international community. Bluntly speaking, Georgia Republicans can no longer rely on simply appealing to white voters. We must diversify our approaches and speak to this new Georgia with a bold message about economic opportunity and effective governing.

3. Public Polling In Georgia This Cycle Was A National Embarrassment.

In the recent article “Are Bad Pollsters Copying Good Pollsters” on the highly respected Five Thirty Eight Blog, Harry Enten details how “polling” by non professional polling groups in states where a “Gold Standard” polling program does not exist are wildly inaccurate and tend to copy the results of legitimate pollsters as election day nears. In 2014, Georgia is the new case study for this assessment. As a highly respected political consultant friend told me recently, if these supposed pollsters for media outlets had been employed by campaigns and had been so wrong so frequently, they would have been laughed out of the business.

It’s worth reading in its entirety if you’re interested in the business and process of winning elections, even if I don’t agree with everything he writes.

Polling and Predictions

Speaking of polling, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is living in a glass house when it criticizes the public polling in Georgia, but they continue anyway.

Some of those predicting runoffs didn’t take into account caveats, like margins of error and undecided voters, that swung the numbers.

Meanwhile, some earlier surveys were simply imprecise. They relied on automated calling and Internet surveys, cheaper methods scorned by more established pollsters.

“We have major polling problems (in Georgia),” said Kerwin Swint, chairman of the political science department at Kennesaw State University.

“No one here knows how to model turnout based on voting patterns, population, and issues.”

Survey after survey suggested that Republicans Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Senator-elect David Perdue might not surpass the 50 percent benchmarks needed to avoid long, costly and unpredictable runoffs.

Landmark Communications, based in Alpharetta, surveyed Georgia voters in the final days before the election and placed both Deal and Perdue with  leads.

“We identified the Republican surge that took place in the closing days,” Landmark president Mark Rountree said.

“And in the end Georgia had the same surge for Republicans that the rest of the country saw, so the GOP candidates scored a few more percentage points than our, or anyone’s, poll reflected.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution commissioned New York-based Abt SRBI Inc. That survey, which used a mix of live calls to land lines and cellphones, took place Oct. 16-23. It showed the governor’s race in a dead heat and Perdue holding a slim lead in the Senate race. In it, the Libertarian candidates had 6 and 5 percent of the vote respectively. Ultimately that support was pegged at just 2 percent Tuesday night.

SRBI founder and chief research officer Mark Schulman said there were signs of a Republican wave in Georgia and elsewhere but the size of it “has befuddled the pollsters.”

Experts say the technique used by pollsters is significant. Live calling to homes and cell phones is considered the gold standard. Most of the public polls are done through automated calls to homes that under federal law cannot be made to cell phones. About 30 percent or more of registered voters only have cell phones so they are excluded.

First of all, to call the AJC’s polling the “gold standard” is laughable. Not only were they not any more accurate than most of the others, they were flat unable to poll the Republican and Democratic Primary elections earlier this year. In May, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a major “gold standard” poll that tested all the possible November head-to-head combinations for Governor and Senate, but then they wrote this,

The AJC did not poll the Republican or Democratic primary races because low turnout and primaries not confined to party registrants would have made the polling results, in its view, too unreliable.

Gold standard my tailfeathers. Not only were they unable or unwilling to poll the primary elections, they also didn’t poll the last twelve days – nearly two weeks – of the election. There are strengths to live agent phoning to random-digit phone numbers, but getting in-and-out of the field quickly is not one of them.

The question of whether to use IVR “robopolls” or the much-more expensive live-agent polling is best answered, “yes.” That is, use both. Live agent polling is often better in the early stages of the election for message testing when you’re using a long survey instrument, and as occasional benchmarks to fine-tune your sampling frame and the model that predicts the composition of the electorate. IVR is stronger when you need results fast and often. I often run IVR surveys every night the last two-to-three weeks of an election, with sample sizes of 1000-1500 every night. This allows you to be in the field every night affordably. The continuous nature of this style of tracking allows you to pick up trends earlier and more accurately track how voters are converting from undecided to decided. IVR is also very strong with a homogenous electorate, such as within a Republican Congressional District or a Metro Atlanta county Primary, less so in a more diverse electorate.

The difference between the two forms of polling is like the difference between a Ford that you can buy at the dealership and the cars that carry the blue oval in NASCAR races and on drag strips. They both carry the same name, but the difference in specific use, cost, and convenience will often determine which you use. If you’ve got millions of dollars and want to win a race more than anything else on earth, you buy a racecar. If you want to go to the grocery store and pickup the kids from school, you buy a Taurus. If you’re running a second-tier statewide race and don’t have millions of dollars, you might be able to run a live-agent poll one time – at the beginning or the end – but it won’t be of any use and you’d be better using Robopolling or spending the money on advertising.

Media polls are not designed to provide the level of information that campaigns rely on and no sane campaign strategist will pay attention to make his or her decisions on the basis of what public pollsters say. Media polls are designed to provide inexpensive fodder for “horse race” stories, and while the respective media outlets take their accuracy seriously, it’s simply not the same as strapping on a race car.

Non-professionals following public polls closely also may have unrealistic expectations when it comes to polls – polls taken weeks out do not by themselves predict the results of elections.

When I predicted last Friday that Nathan Deal and David Perdue would win without runoffs, it wasn’t simply because I checked the most recent polls. I looked at the RealClearPolitics average and saw that Deal was in the exact same position – 48.0% – that he was in 2010 when he walked away with a victory over Roy Barnes. I considered the strength of the GAGOP voter contact program that at the time had made more than 1.5 million direct voter contacts. I considered what appeared to be a trend nationally of Democratic candidates cratering and undecideds breaking for the Republican party. Finally, I applied “Kentucky windage,” or my estimate of which way the wind was blowing based on my own personal experiences.

Professional strategists running multimillion dollar campaigns will have all these tools, plus their own internal polling, probably that of their respective state party and national organizations, and other analytics, like the results of Voter Indentification calls.

Mark Rountree of Landmark Communications, who did the polling for WSB-TV this cycle, also responded to the AJC’s article, via Facebook:

An AJC article is out tonight saying that polls were off in Georgia. Actually, no, and this premise is not correct.

Here are the actual election results. Our poll results are on our website at LandmarkCommunications.net (#1 and #2 below copied from AJC article)

#1. GOVERNOR’S RACE POLLING:

Election Results: Nathan Deal-R 53 percent; Jason Carter-D 45 percent

Landmark Communications Poll: Deal 51 percent; Carter 45 percent

SRBI Inc-AJC: Deal 43 percent: Carter 42 percent

Survey USA: Deal 47 percent; Carter 42 percent

#2. U.S. SENATE RACE:

Election Results: David Perdue-R 53 percent; Michelle Nunn-D 45 percent

Landmark Communications Poll: Perdue 50 percent; Nunn 46 percent

SRBI Inc-AJC: Perdue 45 percent; Nunn 41 percent

Survey USA: Perdue 47 percent; Nunn 44 percent

• Landmark correctly nailed in Georgia the GOP surge that surprised many other pollsters across the country.

• Landmark nailed the Democratic candidates’ numbers essentially on the head (actual was 45% for both, we had them with 45% and 46% respectively).

• Landmark quite accurately nailed the Libertarian numbers (2% & 3%).

• Landmark also reported the GOP candidate numbers very close to the mark — it’s pretty hard to get much closer than what we released in our final poll.

• Landmark also had undecideds lower than anyone and ran with the call.

Remember also, I wrote earlier this week and again today, that the RealClearPolitics average showed Gov. Deal at 48.0 just before election day, the exact same as he was at that time in 2010. Deal won 52.8% Tuesday night and in 2010 he took 52.9% against Democrat Roy Barnes. Consistency of results and repeatability are also important criteria for judging polling, and the aggregate of public polling was both consistent and repeated its performance.

Remember also that a single poll shows a snapshot of a moment in time for an electorate in flux and under the influence of millions of dollars of advertising. You can’t make a good prediction from one poll – looking at polling holistically, not only did the public polls show consistently both Deal and Perdue ahead, they also showed both Republican candidates on upward trajectories as undecided converted in favor of the GOP. If you got the wrong answer from this year’s polling, you weren’t looking at the whole situation.

Exit Polls

Georgia was the subject of National Election Pool exit polling this year for the first time since 2008. We’ll be diving into both the exit polls and the Secretary of State’s data on voter turnout over the coming days, weeks, and months, but here are a few snapshots from the early analysis, here from the New York Times.

NYT Exit Polls Race Ethnicity NYT Exit Polls Race Gender

These graphics show that the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, David Perdue, appears to have doubled the GOP’s share among African-American voters and increased it among both men and women. Interesting. I suspect Governor Deal carried more of the votes of African-Americans. We’ll see.

 

5
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 5, 2014

Peter Early was sworn in as Governor of Georgia on November 5, 1813 after being elected by the Georgia General Assembly.

John Clark was sworn in to the first of two two-year terms on November 5, 1819, again after election by the legislature.

Howell Cobb, who previously served as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was sworn in as Governor of Georgia on November 5, 1852, having been elected by popular vote.

Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who spent part of his youth in Augusta, Georgia and married Ellen Louise Axson, whom he met in Rome, Georgia, was elected President in a landslide victory on November 5, 1912.

Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to his unprecedented third term as President of the United States on November 5, 1940.

Richard M. Nixon was elected President of the United States by a plurality vote on November 5, 1968.

On November 5, 2002, Sonny Perdue was elected the first Republican Governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, beginning the modern era of Republican dominance of Georgia state politics.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

First things first. In DeKalb County, we have a December 2 runoff election for County Commission District 2 between Nancy Jester and Holmes Pyles.

The Brookhaven Redevelopment Powers referendum was defeated.

60.07% of voters said ‘No’, while only 39.93% said ‘Yes’.

There was strong opposition to granting the City Redevelopment Powers.

Some citizens said one of their difficulties with the referendum was that it put too much decision making power in the hands of the current City Leadership and Council.

Others said the city “needs to slow down”, “get great at the basics” and then, perhaps, when those things are accomplished, look at Redevelopment Powers at some point on the future.

Just because you know the clowns doesn’t mean you want to spend all your money on circus tickets.Continue Reading..

30
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 30, 2014

King Henry VII of England was crowned on October 30, 1485.

King Charles I of England granted a charter for a new colony called Carolana that included much of present-day Georgia, along with the current states of North and South Carolina, on October 30, 1629.

Stephen Douglas of Illinois campaigned in Atlanta for President of the United States on October 30, 1860. Douglas had defeated Abraham Lincoln for United States Senate in 1858, giving rise to the Lincoln-Douglas style of debate.

On October 30, 1871, Republican Benjamin Conley became acting Governor of Georgia after Republican Governor Rufus Bullock resigned; Conley served as President of the state Senate before taking office as Governor.

Conley took the oath of office on Oct. 30, 1871. Two days later, the new General Assembly convened and elected a new Democratic president of the Senate, but Conley refused to give up the office. The General Assembly then passed a law over Conley’s veto to hold a special election for governor on the third Tuesday in December. In that election, Democratic House speaker James M. Smith defeated Conley and assumed office Jan. 12, 1872.

On October 30, 1938, a science fiction drama called War of the Worlds was broadcast nationwide in the form of a series of simulated radio broadcasts.

Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers on October 30, 1945, becoming the first African-American professional baseball player in the major leagues.

On October 30, 1970, a fastball from Nolan Ryan was timed at 100.9 miles per hour, putting him in the record books. On the same day, Jim Morrison of the Doors was sentenced to six months in prison and a $500 fine for allegedly exposing himself during a Miami concert. Morrision died before the case was heard on appeal.

Polls and Turnout

This is the time of year when you can play campaign strategist like you play fantasy football. Simply pick the poll you like and then figure out what your candidate needs to make it happen. I’m over public polling for the rest of the election and will instead be watching turnout figures.

That said, here’s my ten-cent analysis.Continue Reading..

23
Oct

Nunn leads Senate race; Deal and Carter tied | The Augusta Chronicle

The Augusta Chronicle story has changed and now reads:

Pollsters weighted the responses to reflect an anticipated turnout in which 30 percent of the voters are black and 55 percent are female.

Assuming that 37% of voters in November will be African-American is either delusional, or the results were weighted to put the Senate and Governor’s races smack in the middle of what everyone else’s says. This is what FiveThirtyEight refers to as “herding.” Why would they do this?

Herding is the tendency of some polling firms to be influenced by others when issuing poll results. A pollster might want to avoid publishing a poll if it perceives that poll to be an outlier. Or it might have a poor methodology and make ad hoc adjustments so that its poll is more in line with a stronger one.

There’s a reason the polling firm here is among the very lowest-rated by Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.

The closer the election gets, the harder it is to tell who is going to win, according to a poll released today showing the races for governor and the Senate effectively tied.

Democrat Michelle Nunn’s 47 percent gives her a slight lead in the Senate race over Republican David Perdue’s 45 percent, but the survey’s 4 percent margin of error means they’re statistically in a dead heat less than two weeks before Election Day. Libertarian Amanda Swafford’s 4 percent could trigger a January runoff by preventing Nunn from getting a majority. Another 4 percent haven’t made up their minds yet.

In the contest for governor, Republican Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter each command 44 percent while Libertarian Andrew Hunt is taking 5 percent. Eight percent of those surveyed were still mulling over the choices.

The poll of 704 general-election voters was conducted by automated questionnaires via cellphone and landline Tuesday and Wednesday by InsiderAdvantage and Opinion Savvy on behalf of Morris News Service and Fox5. Pollsters weighted the responses to reflect an anticipated turnout where 37 percent of the voters are black and 55 percent are female.

via Nunn leads Senate race; Deal and Carter tied | The Augusta Chronicle.

15
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 15, 2014

Friday, October 15, 1582 marked the beginning of the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar – the previous day was Thursday, October 4th.

George Washington left New York, the nation’s capitol, on October 15, 1789, embarking upon the first Presidential tour to New England.

The world’s first combat submarine, CSS Hunley, sunk during testing in Charleston Harbor on October 15, 1863.

The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution too effect October 15, 1933, changing the Presidential term of office to begin and end on January 20th following each quadrennial election and Senate and Congress to January 3d following biennial elections, both from March 4th.

Billy Graham launched his national ministry on October 15, 1949 in Los Angeles, California.

On October 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation creating the United States Department of Transportation. May God have mercy upon his soul.

Interstate 285 around Atlanta was completed on October 15, 1969.

The Omni opened in Atlanta on  October 15, 1972, as the Hawks beat the New York Knicks by a score of 109-101.

Former Secretary General of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1990

Georgia-born Clarence Thomas was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 15, 1991.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Political Rewind Tonight

Last week, I spoke to the Georgia Municipal Association’s Legislative Policy Committee at their quarterly meeting with Tharon Johnson, a Democratic strategist, in what we jokingly called the “Political Rewind” road show.

lpc_meeting_2014_10_edna

From GMA’s writeup:

The key to victory for the gubernatorial and senate candidates will be women, said political strategists Tharon Johnson and Todd Rehm. At the GMA’s Legislative Policy Council (LPC) meeting this week, Johnson and Rehm discussed the upcoming elections for governor and Georgia’s next U.S. senator.

“Independents, especially women, are going to be the key for election for both the governor’s race and the senate,” said Rehm, a Republican political consultant and blogger.

Johnson, a Democrat political consultant, said he’d advise Senate candidate Michelle Nunn to run commercials featuring her father, former Senator Sam Nunn. “Knowing that [David] Perdue is going to get more old white guys, put your dad on TV to get the older voters who remember and liked him.”
Continue Reading..

13
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 13, 2014

Former Confederate President Alexander Stephens was released from federal prison on October 12, 1865 and returned to Georgia.

On October 13, 1870, Governor Rufus Bullock signed legislation creating the Georgia State Board of Education.

On October 13, 1885, Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation authorizing the creation of a state school of technology as a branch of the University of Georgia; the school would open in Atlanta in October 1888, and in 1948 was renamed the Georgia Institute of Technology.

On October 13, 1918, the ban on public gatherings in Atlanta to prevent spread of the Spanish flu, was extended an additional week.

1929 UGA vs Yale Tix

The first game in Sanford Stadium was played on October 12, 1929, with the University of Georgia Bulldogs beating the Yale Bulldogs. Here is the first ten minutes of the game.

1929_Georgia_vs_Yale

On October 12, 1958, The Temple was bombed after a phone call to WSB warned that Black churches and Jewish temples would be blown up.

Democrat Jimmy Carter received a post-debate bump against President Gerald Ford, with polls showing Carter at 50%-40% over the incumbent, up from 47%-45% before the debate.

Former President Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 11, 2002, becoming the second native Georgian to win the award, with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., having won in 1964.

DeKalb Jurors fight like politicians

The latest political soap opera in DeKalb County is not the behavior of politicians, but of voters. Specifically the dozen or so who were chosen to serve on the jury in the trial of suspended CEO Burrell Ellis.Continue Reading..

9
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 9, 2014

Georgia and American History

Today is Leif Erikson Day, celebrating the Norse explorer being the first European to visit North America. From Mental Floss:

While the actual date of Leif Erikson Day doesn’t have anything personally to do with Leif, it was picked for the holiday because it’s the anniversary of the day that the ship Restauration arrived in New York from Stavanger, Norway, back in 1825. The arrival of the Restauration marked the beginning of organized immigration from Scandinavia to the USA. The holiday was first recognized by Wisconsin in 1930, eventually becoming a nationally observed holiday in 1964.

On October 9, 1963, the Board of Regents approved a new junior college in Cobb County that is today Kennesaw State University. The next year, Cobb County voters approved a bond referendum to fund construction.

Democrat Jimmy Carter challenged President Gerald Ford to make his income tax returns public on October 9, 1976.

United States Senator Sam Nunn announced on October 9, 1995 that he would not run for reelection. From CNN’s contemporary story:

“I know in my heart it is time to follow a new course,” Nunn told reporters gathered in the Georgia State Capitol. He said his decision followed “a lot of thought and prayer” and he expressed enthusiasm about meaningful days ahead in the private sector.

“Today I look forward to more freedom, to more flexibility,” he said, adding he planned to spend time with his family, to write, and “devote a substantial amount of time” to public policy and public service. He said he has no immediate plans for a presidential bid.

Nunn hailed America as “the greatest country in the world,” but cited problems that need attention, including education concerns, illegitimate children, and widespread violence and drugs. He expressed optimism on such items as the strong military and entitlement reform.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said of Sam Nunn’s retirement,

“For those who listened carefully, it is clear that the Democratic Party is not the vehicle for the values outlined by Sen. Nunn.”

Nolan Waters of Knight-Ridder wrote of the announcement,

Nunn’s departure is a watershed.

“Nunn is the last of the great moderate Southern Democrats. This creates a huge hole for the party,” said Merle Black, a specialist on Southern politics at Emory University in Atlanta.

Nunn, like President Clinton, helped organize a group of moderate Democrats, the Democratic Leadership Council, in an attempt to move the party rightward after the 1984 landslide re-election of President Reagan.

“He has been fighting the liberal wing of his party for over two decades,” Black said. “It’s been a losing battle.”

In place of Nunn, the state’s most prominent politician is becoming House Speaker Newt Gingrich – whose futuristic, activist style of conservatism seems radical along-side Nunn’s traditionalism.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Earlier this week, longtime journalist George Chidi wrote about the disturbing history of Tom Owens, who is running as a Republican in the November 4 Special Election for DeKalb County Commission. Here’s a short excerpt:

The 62-year-old Vietnam veteran and anti-immigration activist [Tom Owens] has a years-long history of legal trouble tied to harassment of political figures, acquaintances and romantic targets. He pleaded no contest to a stalking charge in Forsyth County, with a note in the documentation tying his behavior to mental health issues. At least three people have obtained restraining orders against him in the last eight years, the most recent of which expired this year.

Meanwhile, the head of a Christian religious charity found herself filing a police report less than five months ago, complaining that Owens had come to her to her thrift shop to berate her for her insufficient hate toward African Muslims … spitting on the shop doors while he was at it.

Then at a debate hosted by the Dunwoody Homeowners’ Association, this happened:

[Tom] Owens and a friend, Joe Newton of Gwinnett County, got into a shouting match with George Chidi, a blogger for Peach Pundit.

Chidi has published a blog post investigation of Owens’ background, discovering stalking charges, restraining orders, harassment of candidates and a lingering feud with the imam of a mosque behind his home. Owens didn’t appear to like it.

Tom Owens then ran to DeKalb County and took out a Temporary Protective Order against George Chidi, vaulting this into the national media and becoming an embarrassment to the Republican Party. From the Associated Press story:

A Georgia politician got a temporary restraining order earlier this week against a journalist blogger he accuses of threatening and harassing him.

The writer, George Chidi, denied threatening the politician and said the move is a way for the candidate to avoid answering questions about his past ahead of an upcoming election.

Chidi said he’s writing a book on civic engagement in Georgia and wanted to interview DeKalb County Commission District 1 candidate Tom Owens about the public’s perception of him.

“I hadn’t approached him until he became a public figure,” Chidi said. “He’s running for a seat that’s open because the incumbent has resigned and is going to jail for corruption charges.”

“The principle of this is severely damaging to the civil process and to journalism,” Chidi said. “If a candidate for public office can shut off unfavorable coverage by abusing the temporary protective order process without penalty, that is going to happen to everybody. It is a standard practice to say that questions that you don’t like are harassment,” Chidi said.

Even more damaging is the assertion that a journalist can violate a TPO from his laptop.

On Wednesday, Chidi told HuffPost that he had also been served with a notice that he had violated the order by “contacting third parties via social media.”

Chidi said that he’s worried his case could set a dangerous precedent for journalists who write unfavorably about politicians.

“Imagine a politician who can shut off a journalist covering him in the month before an election when everybody is paying attention to politics,” he told HuffPost. “It is chilling. It makes it much more fraught to report on issues of public importance, particularly around politics.”

“It’s dangerous to the public to have a court tell a journalist to stay away from public figures and political candidates,” Chidi added.

“His assertion that I said I was out to ‘destroy’ Tom Owens is an error at best, and a fabrication at worst. I didn’t say it,” Chidi responded via email. “The commission race has almost nothing to do with my very small town and absolutely nothing to do with my personal politics. I make no effort to conceal those — I’m a card-carrying progressive Democrat — but there’s no Democrat even running for the seat.”

Witter sent HuffPost a video that he claimed showed Chidi harassing Owens at a candidate forum on Sunday. In the video, Chidi can clearly be heard telling Owens that he is a reporter. When Owens declines to answer his questions, Chidi begins shouting them.

Though we are polar opposites, I consider George Chidi a friend and will donate to his defense fund. You can join in the defense of the First Amendment against politicians who prefer not to answer legitimate questions about their history by donating today.

On Polling

Via Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy, and Jim Galloway, we note that Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight has ranked public pollsters and several Georgia-based firms make the cut.

Survey USA received an ‘A’. The firm used by the AJC, Abt SRBI, was given a ‘B+’. Public Policy Polling of North Carolina was graded at ‘B-‘. Landmark Communications got a ‘C+,’ and InsiderAdvantage was given a ‘D.’

One Georgia firm took the win in worst performance over the time surveyed.

Here’s the bigger point, I think, from Silver,

[T]he differences in poll accuracy aren’t that large. We estimate that the very best pollsters might be about 1 percentage point more accurate than the average pollster over the long run. However, the average poll in our database missed the final election outcome by 5.3 percentage points. That means even the best poll would still be off by 4.3 points. It’s almost always better to take an average of polls rather than hoping for any one of them to “hit a bullet with a bullet.”

Nate Cohn, writing in The New York Times, tackled an issue about which we have written extensively – the effect of African-American turnout and weighting of polls in Georgia.

No other plausibly competitive state has seen a more favorable shift for Democrats in the racial composition of eligible voters over the last decade. The pace of demographic change is so fast that Michelle Nunn, a Democrat, is locked in a tight race against the Republican David Perdue for an open Senate seat — even with an off-year electorate that is favorable for the G.O.P.

The pace of demographic change might even be fast enough to outpace the polls.

Polls show Mr. Perdue leading Ms. Nunn by about three percentage points. The various Senate models, including The Upshot’s, give Ms. Nunn about as good a shot — roughly 20 percent — of winning as Democratic incumbents in Louisiana, Arkansas and Alaska. But there’s reason to wonder whether her chances are better still: Recent polls are most likely underestimating the share of voters who are black, along with Ms. Nunn’s share of the vote.

According to data from the Georgia secretary of state, the 2010 electorate was 66.3 percent white and 28.2 percent black. Since then, the white share of registered voters has fallen, to 58 percent from 62.6 percent. White voters turn out at somewhat higher rates than other voters in midterm election, so we should expect the white share of the actual vote to be a little higher. Combining the data on registered voters with census data on the voter-eligible population, I expect the 2014 electorate to be about 64.2 percent white and 28.8 percent black. (Ms. Nunn is expected to win at least 90 percent of the black vote.)

Yet the last four nonpartisan polls that released demographic data showed an electorate that’s 65.7 percent white and 25.7 percent black. Those polls show Mr. Perdue ahead by 3.3 points, but they would show something closer to a dead heat if the likely electorate matched my estimates.

During this cycle, we have been estimating African-American turnout as constituting roughly 30% of the November electorate. But there’s a complicating factor. It’s name is “unknown.” In 2012 statistics from the Secretary of State, more than 200,000 voters from the General Election were recorded as having “unknown” race or gender. That’s roughly 5.5% of votes cast that year, and that complicates calculations of race and gender for weighting purposes. We’ve dealt with that and with the very low numbers of self-identified Asian, Hispanic, and Other race voters by combing them with “unknown” under the heading of “other”.

When pollsters are arguing about 2-3 points of African-American participation and the results on poll results, having 5.5% of voters as “unknown” could affect the accuracy of polling that uses weighting for race as part of the methodology.

I also want to note briefly that Erick Erickson and I agree on our general approach to polls and polling from public sources. The other day, he discussed the issue on his radio show, saying:

“Pay attention to the polling trends, don’t pay attention to the polls.

I think what you’re seeing in Georgia is that the number of registered white voters has gone up but the percentage of registered minority voters has gone up higher.

I think we put too much stock in polling as an easy way to generate news… I don’t think we should…. I pay attention to the polling averages.”

I disagree with a lot of the other stuff that Erickson says on that particular show, but on this I agree. Today, Huffington Pollster has Governor Deal at 47.3% to Democrat Jason Carter with 41.8% while RealClearPolitics has Deal at 47.3% and liberal Jason Carter at 43.8%.

Huffington Pollster shows Republican David Perdue at 45.9% to Democrat Michelle Nunn with 41.7% and RealClearPolitics has Perdue at 46.8 to 43.6% for liberal Democrat Michelle Nunn.

Mr. Hill Goes to Washington

Judson Newt Et Al

State Senator Judson Hill (R) led a trip to Washington, DC, with his incoming Republican colleagues, Michael Williams (R-27), Greg Kirk (R-13), John F. Kennedy (R-18), and P.K. Martin (R-9).


Coweta County Candidate Forum – GA Senate District 28 & Ga House District 132

October 9 @ 6:00 PM8:30 PM
Central Education Center, 160 MLK Dr, Newnan, GA 30263

The Coweta Republican Party is proud to join with the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of C…

Find out more »


Oglethorpe County GOP: Meeting with AG Sam Olens & Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens

October 9 @ 7:00 PM8:00 PM
Oglethorpe County GOP HQ, 1816 Athens Rd, Crawford, 30630

Oglethorpe GOP Meeting Speakers: Sam Olens, Georgia Attorney General and Ralph H…

Find out more »


Brooks County GOP: Meeting

October 9 @ 7:30 PM8:30 PM
AG Building, 400 E Courtland Ave, Quitman, GA 31643

Brooks County GOP Meeting  Come and and meet our Republican candidates for Count…

Find out more »


Peach County GOP: Meeting

October 10

Georgiabob’s Cane River Vineyard, 144 Cane River Dr, Byron, GA 31008

 

+ Google Map

Peach GOP Meeting

Find out more »


Fulton County GOP BuckSprings Breakfast: With AG Sam Olens & Leo Smith

October 11 @ 8:30 AM9:30 AM

Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, 85 Mount Vernon Hwy, Sandy Springs , GA 30328

 

+ Google Map

FULTON GOP October Breakfast “BuckSprings Edition” Our LAST breakfas…

Find out more »


Chatham County GOP and Savannah Area Republican Women’s Yard Sale

October 11 @ 8:30 AM12:00 PM
11 East 73rd Street , Savannah, GA 31405

Giant Yard Sale. If you want it, we probably have it. Designer clothes; Ralph La…

Find out more »


Coweta County GOP: Breakfast with GA GOP Chair John Padgett

October 11 @ 9:00 AM10:00 AM
Golden Corral, 605 Bullsboro Drive, Newnan, 30263

Guest Speaker John Padgett – Ga GOP Chair

Find out more »


Rockdale County GOP: Meeting with Rep. Tom Kirby

October 11 @ 9:00 AM10:00 AM
Whistle Post Tavern, 935 Railroad St NW, Conyers, GA 30012

Rockdale GOP October Meeting  Representative Tom Kirby will be our guest speaker…

Find out more »


Gov. Nathan Deal: Columbia County Fall Festival

October 11 @ 9:00 AM11:00 AM
Evans Town Center Park, Evans, GA 30809

GOVERNOR DEAL TO VISIT COLUMBIA COUNTY FOR FALL FESTIVAL The Columbia County Rep…

Find out more »


Push for Perdue BBQ with David Perdue

October 11 @ 11:30 AM1:00 PM
Exchange Club Fairgrounds, 101 Emory Dawson Parkway, Brunswick, GA 31520
Find out more »

16
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 16, 2014

The Mayflower left Plymouth, England, for the New World on September 16, 1620. Thirty-five of 102 passengers were members of the English Separatist Church seeking religious freedom from the Church of England. Originally aiming to reach Virginia, Mayflower eventually landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

A single pistol shot on September 16, 1920 opened former Cherokee land in Oklahoma to white settlers in a “land run” to claim property.

The original stimulus act was announced to bring $70 million in federal money to Georgia to build roads and public buildings on September 16, 1933.

On September 16, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Service and Training Act requiring males 26-35 years of age to register for the draft.

R.E.M. and Gregg Allman were among the inductees into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 16, 2006.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive in Atlanta at 1:55 PM today. Here’s his schedule:Continue Reading..

13
Sep

WSB-TV reviews the polls in #GaSen, Governor’s race