Gov. Nathan Deal: Ebola Response Team Will Examine State Preparedness

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From Governor Nathan Deal

Deal: Ebola response team will examine state preparedness

Governor taps team of experts to ensure that Georgia stands prepared should the need arise

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that he will sign an executive order to create an Ebola response team, which will assess current state health and emergency management procedures and produce necessary recommendations to minimize any potential impact of the disease in Georgia.

“Rest assured, Georgia is taking the threat of the Ebola virus seriously,” Deal said. “The creation of this team is an additional step in the state’s response to this disease and will further our efforts to ensure the safety and quality of life for our citizens. By combining the expertise of the health and research communities with our state agencies, Georgia will be uniquely positioned to combat the risks of Ebola should the need arise. Those that have been chosen to serve on the panel are leaders in their respective fields – specifically Emory University Hospital, which has remained at the forefront of our nation’s response to this infectious disease. (more…)

Statewide poll shows gubernatorial, senate races neck-and-neck | Latest News | Columbus Ledger Enquirer

A statewide poll shows the races for governor and the U.S. Senate in Georgia to be dead heats less than three weeks before election day.

A poll of 1,543 Georgia voters showed incumbent Republican Gov. Nathan Deal with 44.33 percent compared to Democratic challenger Jason Carter with 44.26. Libertarian Andrew Hunt with about 6 percent and just over 5 percent undecided.

The race to replace the retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is almost as close. Democrat Michelle Nunn leads Republican David Perdue by a 45.49 percent to 44.72 percent, less than a percentage point. Libertarian Amanda Swafford had 6.03 percent and 3.56 percent are undecided.

The poll, which was conducted earlier this week by Sand Mountain Communications and GaPundit.com, has a margin of error of 2.49 percent.

Todd Rehm, editor of GaPundit.com, said there is nothing surprising in the poll, considering a poll last month showed very similar numbers.

“Six months ago, I would have said close races would be surprising,” Rehm said. “We’ve been seeing a number of polls that show they are closer than they have been in years. There has not been a dramatic ‘Aha’ in this. Nothing has changed since the last one (a similar poll conducted a month ago).”

Rehm said, barring some dramatic occurrence, he doesn’t see a significant shift before the Nov. 4 General Election.

“Unless something dramatic happens in the real world, something happens to a candidate, they misspeak or something in their background comes out, you don’t expect anything dramatic at this point,” Rehm said.

via Statewide poll shows gubernatorial, senate races neck-and-neck | Latest News | Columbus Ledger Enquirer.

Georgia’s on Their Mind in Battle for Senate – US News

Three public polls taken over the past two weeks show Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn locked in a statistical dead heat. Portman, in an interview with U.S. News, acknowledges that Georgia – a reliably red state for more than a decade – is not quite in the bag yet for the GOP.

Nunn’s success will largely be determined by whether she can mobilize African-American voters, to the point that they make up nearly 30 percent of the electorate. In 2008, blacks made up 28 percent of the vote and the Democratic Senate candidate, Jim Martin, carried 93 percent of them – but in that year, Obama became the first black presidential nominee of a major political party, triggering a surge of African-American voters to the polls.

To win, Nunn needs heavy African-American turnout and improvement on Martin’s performance among white voters. In the 2008 race, Martin took 26 percent of the white vote, but trailed incumbent Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss by three points before losing the runoff. In the latest SurveyUSA poll, Nunn attracts 28 percent of the white vote and 87 percent of the black vote, hovering around the threshold she needs to convert a victory. Activists on the left have been busy registering black voters and are fighting with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office over its alleged failure to process tens of thousands of new minority voter applicants.

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., whom Perdue defeated in the July primary runoff, says the Perdue campaign feels confident about getting to 51 percent on election day to skirt the runoff. But he admits Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns energized black voters and spawned a formidable Democratic get-out-the-vote organization.

“It’s message versus a machine and the Dems have a good machine, they have a historic machine,” he says. “Sunday voting and early voting is a factor and the Democrats know how to do it better than Republicans. I just don’t think you can take anything for granted this year.”

via Georgia’s on Their Mind in Battle for Senate – US News.

Senate Update: A January Runoff In Georgia Is Getting More Likely | FiveThirtyEight

But the more intriguing scenario involves Georgia, which would hold a runoff Jan. 6. That’s right. Georgia’s runoff would occur after Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3.

What’s the chance of a runoff there? It seems to be higher by the day. A SurveyUSA poll out Wednesday gives Republican David Perdue just a 46 percent to 45 percent lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn. The FiveThirtyEight forecast is a bit more optimistic for Perdue, projecting him to lead the November vote by 3.2 percentage points. You’ll note I’m hesitant to say “win.” The reason is that the Libertarian candidate, Amanda Swafford, has averaged 5 percent in the past five polls to include her as a choice. The SurveyUSA poll put her at 4 percent. It’s impossible for Perdue to beat Nunn by 3 percentage points in November and get over 50 percent if Swafford earns 4 percent of the vote.

In other words, if Nunn and Perdue are close, and Swafford does decently, Georgia is headed for a runoff.

FiveThirtyEight’s model has Swafford winning just 2.5 percent of the vote in November and Perdue barely topping 50 percent. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for Perdue; he could easily fall below 50 percent in later projections and force a January runoff, in which he would be favored, yet not guaranteed, to win.

via Senate Update: A January Runoff In Georgia Is Getting More Likely | FiveThirtyEight.

Christie campaigns for Deal, makes connections for possible presidential run | Online Athens

Christie, the governor of New Jersey and chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, followed the association’s money trail to Georgia. The association has spent $2.6 million on Deal’s re-election, and its previous chairman, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made a campaign appearance here earlier this fall.

Like Christie, Jindal is also frequently mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. Their prospects improve the more political debts they gather by campaigning for fellow Republicans around the country.

Christie told a crowd gathered at the Roswell City Hall that he Deal’s own term as chairman of the association impressed governors with his leadership. That’s why he said he would come back before the Nov. 4 elections to campaign for Deal again.

“The choice that’s in front of you is whether or not you’re going to go back to policies of the past, policies of higher taxes and greater spending, greater dependence on Washington, D.C., or,” he said gesturing toward Deal, “to a state government with lower taxes, less spending, smaller government and more of the people of Georgia free to pursue their hopes and dreams in an entrepreneurial spirit without government telling them what to do. That’s what Gov. Deal stands for, and he needs you to stand for him Nov. 4.”

via Christie campaigns for Deal, makes connections for possible presidential run | Online Athens.

Georgia runoff looks more likely | Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Money the DSCC might have spent in Kentucky now appears to be going to Georgia, which is good news for Michelle Nunn (D) in her challenging battle against David Perdue (R). Perdue has led most public polls by about three to four points — though Nunn led by three in a new SurveyUSA poll Wednesday — but Perdue needs to get to 50% to avoid a runoff. Right now, he’s stuck between 46-47% in the poll averages. Perdue also apparently has been hurt by comments from several years ago about outsourcing jobs.

Democrats and Republicans still seem to be holding out hope that they can get their respective candidate over 50% on Election Day (Perdue still has the better shot). But we’re not so sure either will make it. So we’re giving this race the same designation we have in Louisiana: Toss-up/Leans Runoff.

Our projection remains a five-to-eight seat Republican gain in the Senate, and with less than three weeks to go we would much rather be holding the cards Republicans have been dealt versus the ones dealt to the Democrats as both sides play for a Senate majority. Despite the likelihood of two runoffs, it’s not impossible to imagine the GOP having a good enough night that they get to 51 seats without Georgia or Louisiana: That would mean holding all of their present seats (minus Georgia, at least on Election Day) and capturing (in order of least to most GOP difficulty) Montana, West Virginia, South Dakota, Arkansas, Alaska, Iowa, and Colorado. That would represent a great night for the GOP, and they have at least a decent chance in all seven races (North Carolina could be the eighth).

That said, a month ago the Republican position looked much stronger in Georgia and Kansas (states they already hold), as well as South Dakota (a seat that until recently looked like an easy pick-up). Republicans could and probably should win all three, even if it takes them until January to do so in the Peach State. But 2014 has been a crazy enough election that one of these seats could possibly slip through the GOP’s fingers.

via Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball.