Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 13, 2013


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for January 13, 2013

Today at 10 AM, the 2014 Session of the Georgia General Assembly will be gaveled into what passes for order.

On January 13, 1733, the ship Ann (sometimes spelled “Anne”) sailed into Charles Town harbor and was met by South Carolina Governor Robert Johnson and the Speaker of the Commons House of Assembly. Aboard the ship were James Oglethorpe and the first 114 colonists of what would become Georgia. Later that year they would land at a high bluff on the Savannah River and found the city of Savannah.

On January 13, 1959, Ernest Vandiver was inaugurated as Governor of Georgia.

On January 13, 1982, Hank Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

This day in 1987 saw the inauguration of Governor Joe Frank Harris to his second term in office.

On January 13, 1998, Governor Zell Miller presented his $12.5 billion FY1999 budget to the Georgia General Assembly, including $105,000 to provide CDs of classical music for every baby born in the state. According to the New York Times,

“No one questions that listening to music at a very early age affects the spatial, temporal reasoning that underlies math and engineering and even chess,” the Governor said[]. “Having that infant listen to soothing music helps those trillions of brain connections to develop.”

Mr. Miller said he became intrigued by the connection between music and child development at a series of recent seminars sponsored by the Education Commission of the States. As a great-grandfather and the author of “They Hear Georgia Singing” (Mercer University Press, 1983), an encyclopedia of the state’s musical history, Mr. Miller said his fascination came naturally.

He said that he had a stack of research on the subject, but also that his experiences growing up in the mountains of north Georgia had proved convincing.

“Musicians were folks that not only could play a fiddle but they also were good mechanics,” he said. “They could fix your car.”

Legislators, as is their wont, have ideas of their own.

“I asked about the possibility of some Charlie Daniels or something like that,” said Representative Homer M. (Buddy) DeLoach, a Republican from Hinesville, “but they said they thought the classical music has a greater positive impact.”

“Having never studied those impacts too much,” Mr. DeLoach added, “I guess I’ll just have to take their word for that at the moment.”

In 2003, on January 13 at the Georgia Dome, Sonny Perdue took the oath of office as Georgia’s second Republican Governor, the first since Reconstruction.

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

There’s a lot of data that has been released in the AJC poll, and I’m working on a poll of my own right now, so I haven’t had time to dive into the AJC’s results in depth yet, so I’ll just offer a few tidbits here. The AJC poll released on the Governor’s race shows the following:

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll of 802 registered voters showed Deal with 47 percent support in a head-to-head matchup against 38 percent for state Sen. Jason Carter, his likely Democratic opponent.

But for sophisticated analysts, here’s the money quote:

Among respondents, 44 percent identified themselves as a Democrat or Democratic-leaning, while 43 percent identified as Republican or Republican-leaning.

That, my friends, is simply inconceivable. I believe that there currently exists a +10 point Republican advantage in the electorate. How did this happen? Let’s look at the raw data, which to their credit, the AJC released.

AJC Poll Detail

The first line of numbers represents the “raw” or “unweighted” results. Weighting was then added to bring the sample in line with the expected demographics of the electorate. The second line depicts the results after applying weighting. One thing stands out clearly in the totals under PARTY. The original sample, before weighting, showed an advantage in Party Identification for Republicans by 240 to 212. After weighting this becomes a 224-196 advantage for Democrats.

We’ve discussed previously how weighting for partisanship or correlated factors can effect the outcome of a ballot question in a poll. An chief among the correlated factors that can effect the outcome of a ballot question are race. Looking again at the table above, it appears that weighting was applied to the race of the poll respondents to bring it more in line with the pollster’s expectations. The question is whether the assumptions underlying the model are realistic. We shall discuss that later.

The difference here is enough to shift the electorate from a Republican-advantage to a Democratic advantage, and that will have the effect of lowering Governor Deal’s numbers and raising Jason Carters through the magic of mathematics.

Last week, another poll was released by, for whom I work. I will note that I did not conduct this poll, nor did I have anything to do with the analysis or writeup of it. That poll showed Governor Deal with a 44-22 advantage over Jason Carter and it was weighted by partisan identification, which I don’t believe in doing. I’ll see if I can get the raw data for that poll and present an in-depth analysis of the two polls side-by-side. Stay tuned.

2014 Session of the General Assembly

Today at 10 AM, the 2014 Session of the General Assembly will open at 10 AM. The legislature is aiming to adjourn Sine Die on or about March 16, 2014.

Instead of the traditional week off for Appropriations meetings, there will be substituted a single meeting on January 15th from 1:00 to 6:00 PM.

The General Assembly will meet in session on Monday through Friday of this week. After taking Monday, January 20, 2014 off for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, session will resume on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 through Friday January 24, 2014. Each day’s session is projected to start at 10 AM, and we will update this as the week progresses.

General Assembly Meetings on January 13, 2014
Convening of Georgia General Assembly
Starts: 10:00 AM
Ends: January 13, 2014 11:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: Georgia Capitol, Washington Street Southwest, Atlanta, GA


Senate HHS Committee
Starts: 1:30 PM
Ends: January 13, 2014 2:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: 450 CAP


Adoption of Rules
SB 141 (Beach-21st) “Patient Injury Act”; create an alternative medical malpractice litigation.

Senate Ethics Committee
Starts: 2:30 PM
Ends: January 13, 2014 3:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: 125 CAP

General Assembly Meetings on January 14, 2014
Session (Projected)
Starts: 10:00 AM
Ends: January 14, 2014 12:00 PM – 12:00 PM


Lieutenant Governor’s Foster Care Reform Initiative Working Group
Starts: 1:30 PM
Ends: January 14, 2014 3:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: 307 CLOB


House Insurance Committee
Starts: 2:00 PM
Ends: January 14, 2014 4:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: 606 CLOB

General Assembly Meetings on January 15, 2014 12:00 AM


Georgia Chamber: Eggs & Issues Breakfast
Starts: 7:30 AM
Ends: January 15, 2014 9:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Location: Georgia World Congress Center, Andrew Young International Boulevard Northwest, Atlanta, GA, United States


Session (Projected)
Starts: 10:00 AM
Ends: January 15, 2014 12:00 PM – 12:00 PM


State of the State Address
Starts: 12:00 Noon
Ends: January 15, 2014 1:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Location: Georgia Capitol, Washington Street Southwest, Atlanta, GA


Starts: 1:00 PM
Ends: January 15, 2014 6:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: 341 CA

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