Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 7, 2014

Dyson

Dyson is a young male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, Ga.

Watson

Watson is a young male German Shepherd Dog & American Bulldog Mix described as shy, good natured and ready to learn; he is available for adoption from Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, Ga.

Brin

Brinn is a young female Jack Russell Terrier & Dachshund Mix wearing a striking Brindle coat who is available for adoption from Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, GA.

Icy

Icy is a young female young female Jack Russell Terrier & Dachshund Mix who is best friends with Brinn. I wonder if they’re sisters? Icy is available for adoption from Glynn County Animals Services in Brunswick, Ga.

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.

 

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 6, 2014

GSP1

DJ is a beautiful, 7-year old German Shorthaired Pointer, approximately 65 pounds and almost certainly a trained bird dog. He has a great temperament, friendly and social, and was found stray. He is available for adoption from Walton County Animal Control in Monroe, Georgia beginning Friday. He is in good health with some minor issues. If we had room in the GaPundit household, I’d be driving out to Monroe to pick this guy up tomorrow.

GSP2

Autumn

Autumn is a pretty and friendly little Chocolate Lab mix puppy, approximately 5 months old and 20 pounds, who was found stray at a church. She’s fully vaccinated, comes with a certificate for a free spaying, and will be available for adoption beginning Saturday from the Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, Ga.

 

Lucky

Lucky is a Miniature Pinscher female, about 4 years old and 18 pounds,who is hearworm positive and will need to be spayed as well. She is sweet and good with people and was surrendered by her owner. Lucky is currently available for adoption from Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, Ga.

Experts try to make sense of gap between polls and vote in… | www.myajc.com

“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.”

Across the nation, some polls underestimated Republican groundswell on Tuesday. But in Georgia the results were among the most heavily skewed. 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.

The state attracted national attention as pundits speculated that the outcome in Georgia could decide whether Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate.

Instead, Deal and Perdue won election Tuesday with 53 percent of the vote, a full 8 percentage points ahead of their Democratic opponents.

A morning-after analysis by polling guru Nate Silver listed Georgia as one of the states with polling that was the most heavily biased toward Democrats — off by 6.4 percentage points in the race for the U.S. Senate and 4.6 points in the governor’s contest.

Buoyed by demographic changes and waves of newly registered voters, out-of-power Democrats were hopeful for a resurgence. Republicans have dominated state politics even since underdog Sonny Perdue in 2002 was elected the first Republican governor since Reconstruction.

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.”

 

via Experts try to make sense of gap between polls and vote in… | www.myajc.com.

Mark Rountree responds to AJC story on polling accuracy

I’ll be dealing with this in tomorrow’s morning email, and quite possibly beyond that. But for now, Mark Rountree of Landmark Communications, the pollster for WSB-TV responds to this AJC article.

 

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.

I want to make sure my friends Kerwin Swint and Paul Bennecke have this information. Both of you do great work, and I want you to have these results, as well.

Little-known candidate comes out on top in DeKalb | www.myajc.com

A funny thing happened in the five-way race to determine who will represent north DeKalb on the county commission: An unknown 86-year-old retiree, who had never before sought public office, received the most votes.

So how did Holmes Pyles, who didn’t raise a penny for his campaign, end up as the top vote-getter in the race to replace former DeKalb Commissioner Elaine Boyer, who pleaded guilty to bilking taxpayers out of some $93,000?

Perhaps Pyles benefited from being the only independent candidate as Republican voters split their support among his four Republican opponents, said several political observers. Or maybe voters wanted to elect someone they weren’t familiar with who could bring a unique perspective.

Pyles, who doesn’t use email and didn’t put up yard signs, lends toward the latter explanation for why he won 26 percent of the vote.

“People are tired of what’s been going on in DeKalb,” Pyles said during an interview Wednesday at his home near Stone Mountain. “Politicians are using taxpayers’ money for manipulation.”

Pyles will face the runner-up in the race, former DeKalb Board of Education member Nancy Jester, in a Dec. 2 runoff to represent more than 140,000 residents in Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville, Dunwoody and Tucker.

via Little-known candidate comes out on top in DeKalb | www.myajc.com.

Why Georgia didn’t turn purple | www.myajc.com

“There was no energy among Democratic voters,” Republican consultant Chip Lake said. “The advantage they gained over time by demographic changes were offset by the lack of intensity and energy.”

Democrats were licking their wounds and pointing fingers late Tuesday and Wednesday.

State Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, said the atmosphere in southwest Atlanta was “funereal.”

“I’ve never seen so little street activity on Election Day in my life,” he said. “Some of my biggest, hottest precincts, there was no activity, no street corner activity, no poll activity. They were running an Obama-style campaign without Obama. It’s like doing ‘Othello’ without Othello.”

Others worried that the party could be relegated to an afterthought if it ignores its once-fervent white base.

“We are struggling with people who look like me,” said state Rep. Scott Holcomb, a white Democrat who survived his own tight race. “Republicans know they have to expand their base to include minority voters. And we need to do a better job expanding ours to include white voters.”

via Why Georgia didn’t turn purple | www.myajc.com.

Joel McElhannon – 7 Key Takeaways From Last Night’s Elections in Georgia

Joel McElhannon of Parlay Political served as the primary political consultant to the Georgia Republican Party’s Victory 2014 Program. Joel wrote this on his own after seeing the results of this year’s elections. Whether you love him or hate him, Joel McElhannon possesses one of the best political minds in the state and you should pay attention when he writes on the topic.

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.

Yes, Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn bellyflopped yesterday. But that does not mean Georgia’s population is not changing. It does not mean the Democrats will discontinue their ground game efforts. It does not mean radical liberal groups will not continue their vicious and possibly illegal tactics on election days to cause chaos and confusion for voters and lay the foundation for more frivolous lawsuits.

Despite a warm day in the sun, there are dark clouds on the horizon, and Republicans in Georgia should prepare now.

For the future, there are two key numbers to remember – 11% and $2.6 million. (more…)

Dunwoody Talk Blog

In a surprise to nearly everyone, the unknown candidate Homer Pyles has claimed a spot in the two-person runoff for DeKalb Commissioner District 1. His opponent is Dunwoody’s Nancy Jester. Many are asking, ‘how did this happen’? Wendy Butler ran a good campaign in Brookhaven and had the support of local media. Larry Danese was backed by SaveDunwoody and had signs all over Dunwoody and came in last place.

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.

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. Jester owned the high-turnout, Conservative precincts of Austin, Dunwoody library, and Mount Vernon East. The fact that Brookhaven had two candidates and Dunwoody had one played a major role in this election.

via Dunwoody Talk Blog.