The Senate midterms: Why the Democrats will probably lose | The Economist

Not all the major polling models give Republicans a clear edge to capture the Senate this autumn, but most do. The New York Times’ “The Upshot” puts the chances at 65%, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight most recently called it “in the neighborhood of 60-40” and the Washington Post’s “Election Lab” gives the GOP a 51% shot. Sam Wang of the Princeton Election Consortium is the outlier, giving the Democrats a 70% chance of holding the majority. The obvious reasons for the GOP’s advantage are technical, as we wrote earlier this month. More vulnerable Democrats are up for re-election this year than vulnerable Republicans. The GOP needs to take away six seats from the Democrats, and is already nearly assured of winning three; of the six or seven competitive races (depending on who’s counting), Republicans must win just three to gain a majority. Add in Barack Obama’s low approval ratings and the fact that the out-of-power party generally does better in midterm elections, and you have a nice bloodless political-science description of the Republican advantage.

Yet the technical factors don’t quite explain why Democrats feel so listless this autumn. Democratic spin doctors trying to get upbeat media coverage are resorting to state-by-state descriptions of specifics that play in their favour. It is true that things look better for Democrats at a granular level, which is why Mr Wang thinks they will hold the Senate. And the Democrats’ technology-driven ground game, which added a percentage point or so to Barack Obama’s vote total in 2012, may do so again this year. But when Democratic flacks promote these sorts of inside-baseball stories, it only highlights their lack of a persuasive overarching political narrative. This autumn, it is simply not clear what the Democrats want, or what they are promising to do for the people they want to vote for them.

via The Senate midterms: Why the Democrats will probably lose | The Economist.

Michelle Nunn holds narrow lead in Georgia Senate race: poll – Washington Times

The race for a Senate seat out of Georgia remains a tight one, according to a new poll that puts Democratic Michelle Nunn about 2 points ahead of her Republican opponent, businessman David Perdue.

Republicans need to gain six seats to retake the majority of the Senate, so red-state Georgia should be an easy pickup.

But Ms. Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, is polling well with women, which could be enough to explain her 45-43 percent lead in the poll commissioned by WRBL News 3 television, The Ledger-Enquirer newspaper and PMD Broadcasting radio and executed by GaPundit.com.

“Her campaign is designed to do better among women,” GaPundit.com Editor Todd Rehm told WRBL News 3 Tuesday. “She was chosen and promoted partly to do better among women.”

via Michelle Nunn holds narrow lead in Georgia Senate race: poll – Washington Times.

Tesla Fight Erupts in Georgia as Dealers Seek Sales Ban – Bloomberg

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), which has fought U.S. dealers over its direct sales of electric cars, faces a new challenge in Georgia where auto retailers want the Peach State to bar distribution of sedans from the company’s store.

Tesla [allegedly] sells vehicles in violation of the state’s rules limiting the annual volume of cars it can sell directly to the public, the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association said in a petition filed with the Georgia Department of Revenue.

The group, which represents 500 dealerships, asked that Tesla’s license be revoked and the agency block sales of Tesla’s Model S sedan at its shop in Marietta, near Atlanta.

The carmaker’s license in Georgia allows it only to sell vehicles made “in accordance with custom design specifications of the customer” and retail fewer than 150 a year, the group said in the petition. Tesla sold 173 sedans at its suburban Atlanta outlet, its only store in the state, from October to June, according to the petition, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News from the revenue department.

via Tesla Fight Erupts in Georgia as Dealers Seek Sales Ban – Bloomberg.

Will Tailwind Carry Republicans to Senate Majority? – Bloomberg View

Republicans have the advantages of a friendly turf, the history of this political cycle — which favors the party that doesn’t hold the White House — and the waning popularity of President Barack Obama, who sometimes seems indifferent.

Democrats hope to minimize losses as stronger candidates face a few gaffe-prone opponents, and by benefiting from a superior ground game or voter turnout machine and the waning popularity of the Republican brand.

As the nine-week home stretch starts, Republicans have a tailwind. They are solid favorites to capture three seats of retiring Democrats: Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia. Then, of the eight races both sides agree are very competitive, Democrats are defending six. A half-dozen states — Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina — were carried by Mitt Romney two years ago; Colorado and Iowa went Democratic then. There are only two Republican-held seats subject to serious challenge, Georgia and Kentucky, where the party’s Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, is almost as unpopular as Obama.

 

Democratic strategists [] believe that in a number of states their candidate will outperform polls by a point or two because of a superior voter targeting and turnout apparatus, building on Obama’s campaign infrastructure. Unlike the last midterm elections, in 2010, when Republicans dominated, they predict respectable turnouts from black voters, Hispanics and unmarried women.

Republicans counter that their voters are more enthusiastic and thus more likely to turn out. They acknowledge that the party’s brand name is worse than it was two or four years ago, though they argue that this midterm contest is overshadowed by the president’s negatives.

via Will Tailwind Carry Republicans to Senate Majority? – Bloomberg View.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for September 3, 2014

Rainbow

Rainbow is an American Staffordshire Terrier mix who is a volunteer favorite at Cobb County Animal Shelter. She is available for adoption today and very urgent.

She is posted as an Amer. Staff Terrier but we think she may have more Australian Shepherd in her rather than Amer. Staff. She is an AWESOME, SWEET GIRL and she is GOOD WITH OTHER DOGS. She seems like she has known love in her short life so we don’t understand why her owners would not have come to look for her. Rainbow was picked up as a stray on July 14th. She has been taught sit, stay, lay down and roll over and she is leash trained. Rainbow is about 1 yr old and weighs 41 lbs. She is current on vaccines and will be spayed, micro chipped and heartworm tested upon adoption. Her ID is 567621 and she is in run 824. Please come and meet this beauty!!!

Tobias

Marley, also called Tobias, a Chocolate Lab mix,  is an ADORABLE and REALLY SWEET BOY. He is QUIET IN HIS RUN and PLAYFUL OUTSIDE. Marley walks well on a leash, will sit when told as well as lie down. He is about 3 yrs old and weighs 55 lbs. Marley was picked up as a stray on July 22nd. He is current on vaccines, neutered , micro chipped and will be heartworm tested upon adoption. His ID is 567833 and he is in run 826.

Because the shelter is very crowded all dogs, including the volunteers’ favorite are urgent.

Dixie

Dixie, a female Hound mix, has a huge smile and a loving soul. Dixie is a REALLY SWEET, PRETTY GIRL. She was an owner turn in on July 8th and the family said she is POTTY TRAINED. It seems she snapped at their kids so we suggest no young children, even though it could have been a stress situation. Not only is she REALLY SWEET, she sits when told. Dixie is current on vaccines, spayed and tested negative for heartworms. She will be micro chipped upon adoption. Her ID Is 567433 and she is in run 29.

Dixie is available for adoption today from Cobb County Animal Shelter.

Britt0903

Britt is a female Boxer mix whom the volunteers describe as their precious girl. She is SO CUTE with her ONE EAR UP AND ONE DOWN. She is an INCREDIBLY SWEET LITTLE GIRL with a HEART OF GOLD. She’s no stranger to the streets as it appears she’s been on her own for a while. She arrived on July 7th as a stray, but it’s obvious she has been a family pet because she is VERY WELL TRAINED and WELL MANNERED. Britt will sit, stay and lay down on command. She also walks easy on a leash. She is about 4 years old and weighs a mere 34 lbs at the moment. She could definitely stand to get some meat on her bones. Britt is going to make such a fabulous addition to a lucky family and we are so excited for her future. She is current on her vaccines, spayed, tested negative for heartworms and is micro chipped. Britt’s ID # is 567400 and she can be found in cage 804.

TatumSept3

Tatum is a Chocolate Lab mix girl. She is SO VERY CUTE and VERY SWEET TOO. In person, she looks more Labby than in her pics. She’s true to her heritage, and is a SMART GIRL who knows sit and stay and walks well on leash. Tatum arrived at the shelter as a stray on Aug 24th and no one ever came to find her. She is up to date on shots, spayed, heartworm tested negative and will be micro chipped when adopted. Her ID is 568808, she is in run 26. Tatum is about 3 years old and weighs 41 lbs. Come on over and meet this PRETTY GIRL!

Huey

Huey is an Australian Shepherd mix. He is a SWEET, HAPPY and PLAYFUL BOY. He appears to know sit and walks nicely on a leash. Huey was picked up as a stray on July 9th. He is about 2 yrs old and weighs 44 lbs. He is current on vaccines and will be neutered, micro chipped and heartworm tested upon adoption. His ID is 567485 and he is in run 83. Come and meet this CUTIE!!!!

Fulton Animal Services Free

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 3, 2014

The Stars and Stripes first flew in battle on September 3, 1776 at Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware.

A fleet of 22 French ships arrived off the coast of Savannah on September 3, 1779 to help wrest control of the city from the British.

On September 3, 1862, the writ of habeas corpus was suspended in Atlanta and within five miles of its border by the Confederate government. Two years later, September 3, 1864, General William T. Sherman would occupy Atlanta.

The Georgia General Assembly expelled 25 of 29 African-American members from the State House on September 3, 1868, arguing that Georgia’s constitution did not allow them to hold office.

Anne Frank, age 15, and seven other Jews who were hiding together in Amsterdam were the last Dutch prisoners transported to Auschwitz on September 3, 1944.

Having received the Democratic nomination for President, Jimmy Carter began the General Election with an address from his front porch in Plains, Georgia on September 3, 1976.

Lunch today?

Today, I’ll be speaking to the North Metro Republican Women’s lunch at 11:30 AM, at Heritage Sandy Springs, 6110 Blue Stone Road, NE, Sandy Springs, GA 30328. The cost for lunch is $18.oo and will be provided by Royal Affair. I’ll be discussing “Lessons from the 2014 Georgia Senate Primary” and maybe we’ll dig into a poll that was released yesterday. I hope to see you there.

Georgia Politics

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Tesla Fight Erupts in Georgia as Dealers Seek Sales Ban – Bloomberg

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), which has fought U.S. dealers over its direct sales of electric cars, faces a new challenge in Georgia where auto retailers want the Peach State to bar distribution of sedans from the company’s store.

Tesla sells vehicles in violation of the state’s rules limiting the annual volume of cars it can sell directly to the public, the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association said in a petition filed with the Georgia Department of Revenue.

The group, which represents 500 dealerships, asked that Tesla’s license be revoked and the agency block sales of Tesla’s Model S sedan at its shop in Marietta, near Atlanta.

The new dispute follows similar spats this year with dealers in Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Elon Musk, Tesla’s co-founder and chief executive officer, has said the unique nature of the Model S, priced from $71,000, and electric cars generally, are best sold through the company’s stores and staff.

The carmaker’s license in Georgia allows it only to sell vehicles made “in accordance with custom design specifications of the customer” and retail fewer than 150 a year, the group said in the petition. Tesla sold 173 sedans at its suburban Atlanta outlet, its only store in the state, from October to June, according to the petition, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News from the revenue department.

via Tesla Fight Erupts in Georgia as Dealers Seek Sales Ban – Bloomberg.

Social messaging in Maine’s political campaigns has become downright anti-social — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

LEWISTON, Maine — In the battle to message voters, political campaigns and their supporters in Maine are increasingly turning to social media — including Twitter and Facebook — to promote candidates and causes. But, the ever-evolving and instant medium also pre

sents pitfalls and problems that may cause more trouble than they are worth.

And, some experts say, the anti-social messaging may even be ruining the young political operatives responsible for the social media bloom.

“Social media has become the hot commodity for campaigns and, like the snake oil salesman of the past, people are saying it will cure every political ill,” Mark Harris, a co-founder and partner of Cold Spark Media said in a recent column published by Campaigns & Elections. “But in the rush to rightfully develop a strong social media presence, too many young campaign operatives have lost sight of what actually moves persuadable voters.”

Harris goes on to point out that the most dependable voters, usually older and not always dissuaded or distracted by social media, are seldom influenced by a Facebook post, let alone a tweet.

“Many voters, especially older voters who are your most reliable voting demographic, don’t use it. Some have no idea what Twitter is,” Harris said.

via Social messaging in Maine’s political campaigns has become downright anti-social — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine.

Why Democrats Now Have a Shot in Georgia – NYTimes.com

In 2005 and 2006, two moderate Democratic candidates, Jim Webb and Tim Kaine, won in Virginia with large margins in the Washington suburbs. Their victories demonstrated that there was a new path to victory for Democrats, one that did not depend on winning Southern conservative Democrats, the way Mark Warner did in 2001.

Georgia might well be moving down the same road as Virginia. No other plausibly competitive state — not Nevada or Virginia, not Colorado or North Carolina — has had a change in the racial composition of the electorate that’s as favorable for Democrats. That’s giving Georgia Democrats hope that they might win a race that they almost certainly would have viewed as a lost cause only a few years ago.

Since 2000, the white share of registered voters in Georgia has fallen to 59 percent, from 72 percent. That’s mainly because of demographic change — the white share of eligible voters has fallen to 60 percent from 68 percent over the same period.

What makes this decline particularly helpful for Democrats is that 48 percent of the newly eligible nonwhite voters are black. (Hispanics make up a larger share of newly eligible nonwhite voters elsewhere in the country, and blacks typically vote Democratic in larger proportion.) Over the past decade, Georgia’s pool of eligible black voters grew by nearly 600,000, compared with about 375,000 newly eligible white voters. Some of this is because of generational change, but many new black voters have moved from expensive northeastern cities to growing middle-class suburban communities on the south side of Atlanta.

President Obama lost Georgia by 8 points in 2012. The reason was simple: He posted the worst showing among Georgia’s white voters (he won 18 to 21 percent of them) by a Democrat since George McGovern in 1972.

via Why Democrats Now Have a Shot in Georgia – NYTimes.com.