Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 28, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 28, 2014

The British Parliament enacted The Coercive Acts on March 28, 1774.

The Coercive Acts were a series of four acts established by the British government. The aim of the legislation was to restore order in Massachusetts and punish Bostonians for their Tea Party, in which members of the revolutionary-minded Sons of Liberty boarded three British tea ships in Boston Harbor and dumped 342 crates of tea—nearly $1 million worth in today’s money—into the water to protest the Tea Act.

Passed in response to the Americans’ disobedience, the Coercive Acts included:

The Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston until damages from the Boston Tea Party were paid.

The Massachusetts Government Act, which restricted Massachusetts; democratic town meetings and turned the governor’s council into an appointed body.

The Administration of Justice Act, which made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in Massachusetts.

The Quartering Act, which required colonists to house and quarter British troops on demand, including in their private homes as a last resort.

The Appomattox campaign began on March 29, 1865, when Union troops under General Ulysses S. Grant attacked Confederate trenches near Petersburg, Virginia.

On March 30, 1870, Robert E. Lee, then President of Washington College in Lexington, arrived in Augusta, Georgia,

Staying at Augusta’s Planters Hotel for two nights, the general had hundreds of visitors call on him the next day – including several of his former generals. In the afternoon, Lee was driven through the streets to cheering crowds. The next morning, before boarding the train to continue his trip, Lee addressed a large crowd expressing his appreciation for their hospitality. Working his way through the crowd to stand close to the Confederate icon was the 13-year-old son of the minister of Augusta’s First Presbyterian Church. That boy was future U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.

On March 29, 1937, Governor Eugene Talmadge signed legislation levying a tax on alcohol and distilled spirits for the first time in Georgia history.

Governor Ernest Vandiver signed legislation authorizing the construction of monuments to Georgians killed in battle at the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefields on March 28, 1961.

Identical 15 1/2-foot-tall monuments of Georgia blue granite were sculpted by Harry Sellers of Marietta Memorials. At the top of the shaft is the word “GEORGIA” over the state seal. Lower on the shaft is the inscription, “Georgia Confederate Soldiers, We sleep here in obedience; When duty called, we came; When Countdry called, we died.”

Georgia’s first “Sunshine Law” requiring open meetings of most state boards and commissions, was signed by Governor Jimmy Carter on March 28, 1972.

A nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania overheated on March 28, 1979 and within days radiation levels had risen in a four county area. It was the most serious accident in commercial nuclear history in the United States.

On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley, Jr. fired six shots at President Ronald Reagan, striking Reagan, Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney.

The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, ”Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.

The next day, the president resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. On April 11, he returned to the White House. Reagan’s popularity soared after the assassination attempt, and at the end of April he was given a hero’s welcome by Congress.

Georgia ratified the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prevents Congressional pay raises from going into effect until after the next Congressional elections have taken place, on March 28, 1988.

On March 30, 1989, Governor Joe Frank Harris signed legislation recognizing the Gopher Tortoise as the official state reptile of Georgia. This year, the Georgia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 322 by Senator Tyler Harper (R-Ocilla), which prohibits the use of gas to drive snakes out of burrows. The measure is meant to protect the Gopher Tortoise, which is nearing endangered status, because rattlesnakes often share burrows with Gopher Tortoises.

Polling Report

Yesterday, InsiderAdvantage published what they’re calling a “SuperPoll” that blends a traditional telephone survey with an online survey. They released separate results for the phone and online surveys along with a blended “SuperPoll” breakdown of the race for United States Senate.

The telephone survey of 434 likely voters indicates that if the primary election were held today respondents would vote as follows:

David Perdue: 19%
Paul Broun: 14%
Jack Kingston: 12%
Karen Handel: 11%
Phil Gingrey: 8%
Others: 5%
Undecided: 31%

Phone survey of random statewide sample; IVR technology; weighted for demographics; margin of error +/- 4.6%

The InsiderAdvantage Online survey of 459 likely voters indicates that if the primary election were held today respondents would vote as follows:

David Perdue: 14%
Jack Kingston: 11%
Phil Gingrey: 7%
Paul Broun: 7%
Karen Handel: 3%
Others: 1%
Undecided: 57%

Online survey of random statewide sample; weighted demographics; margin of error +/- 4.5%

The InsiderAdvantage “SuperPoll” of telephone and online likely voters; random samples selected from phone and online surveys; equally weighted to demographics; margin of error +/- 3.26%

David Perdue: 17%
Jack Kingston: 15%
Paul Broun: 10%
Phil Gingrey: 8%
Karen Handel: 5%
Other: 1%
Undecided: 44%

My thoughts on this are complex, because the idea of combining surveys done in different media raises methodological questions. I’ll be writing more on this topic as I think through the implications, but for today, we’ll address the phone survey only.

 11Alive/SurveyUSA 3/16-18WSB TV 3/23-24InsiderAdvantage 3/23-24
Sample Size508600434
TOTAL %9698.595

Introducing the GaPundit Polling Index

The latest phone survey gives us three data points covering roughly a week. I’d say that meets my standard for finding that a trend appears to emerge from the data: David Perdue has moved into first place, with Congressman Jack Kingston in second place.

But let’s take it a step further and really geek out with the numbers.

In 2012, I wrote about how to compare different polls and figure out what’s going on in the electorate. It’s good advice to return to:

[H]ere’s my recommendation for public consumers of polling data. Take the Olympic scoring approach, where you toss out the highest and lowest numbers, and average the rest based on the sample size. In statistical terms, you’re removing the outliers, and broadening the sample size. That’s not precisely correct, but it’s a pretty good back-of-the-envelope method that might help you make some sense out of competing polls.

The problem with looking at state and local races is that we won’t often have the depth of data required for this approach, especially the part about tossing out the highest and lowest numbers. In this case, we’d end up basing our analysis on a single poll because it happens to be in the middle of the range.

Instead, we’ll use a weighted average. This is what that looks like:

 11Alive/SurveyUSA 3/16-18WSB TV 3/23-24IA 3/23-24GaPundit Average
Sample Size5086004341542

I would say that this approach is inspired by Nate Silver’s model, simplified for the fact that we don’t yet have the depth of data that it takes to really make use of his model. We’ll likely be refining it as time goes along, and applying it to the Governor’s race, as well as any others that present us enough polling data to make this useful. Don’t expect to see this applied to the recently-released polls in the 11th Congressional District, because of the GIGO principle.

This is also a defensible method because it doesn’t involve picking and choosing which polls to believe, or manipulating polls in the way that Unskewed polls attempted to do.

Stay tuned for Monday’s release of the first iteration of the GaPundit Polling Index in the Governor’s race.

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