Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 19, 2014


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 19, 2014

USS Constitution earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” in battle against the British ship Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia on August 19, 1812. Launched in 1797, Constitution is today the oldest commissioned vessel in the United States Navy. Live oak from St. Simons Island were cut and milled for timber used in the constructions of Constitution. From a 1977 New York Times article:

The Constitution won her way into Americans’ hearts in 1812, when she defeated the British Guerriere off Nova Scotia in an exchange of broadsides. The spirit of the Constitution crew was noted by the Guerriere’s commander, James Dacres, who boarded the Constitution to present his sword in surrender.

”I will not take your sword, Sir,” the captain of the Constitution, Isaac Hull, replied. ”But I will trouble you for your hat.”

In the battle, a sailor — whether British or American is disputed by historians — is said to have cried out, ”Huzzah, her sides are made of iron!” as he watched an English cannonball bounce off the side of the Constitution. It was the birth of her nickname.

Part of the ship’s secret lay in the wood used in the design by Joshua Humphreys. He picked live oak, from St. Simons Island, Ga. The wood has proved so strong and resistant to rot that the original hull is intact, said Anne Grimes Rand, curator of the Constitution Museum in Charlestown, Mass.

The Georgia Department of Insurance was created on August 19, 1912 when Governor Joseph Brown signed legislation regulating companies selling policies in the states.

Governor Nathaniel Harris signed the first state law requiring school attendance for children 8-14 years of age on August 19, 1916; on the same day, Harris also signed legislation authorizing women to practice law in Georgia.

“Georgia” was designated the official state song on August 19, 1922 with Gov. Thomas Hardwick’s signature on a joint resolution passed by the General Assembly; in 1979, “Georgia On My Mind,” replaced it.

Adolf Hitler became President of Germany on August 19, 1934.

The United States Central Intelligence Agency supported a coup in Iran that restored the Shah of Iran on August 19, 1953.

On August 19, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford was nominated for President by the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Ford received 1,157 (52.6%) delegates to 1,087 for Ronald Reagan (47.4%). Georgia’s 48 delegates voted for Reagan on the first ballot.

Dr. Betty Siegel became the first female President of a state college or university in Georgia when she was named President of Kennesaw College on August 19, 1981; under her leadership, it became Kennesaw State University in 1996. Siegel served until 2006. Kennesaw State was recently named the 4th best college for food in the nation.

On August 19, 1984, President Ronald Reagan was nominated for reelection by the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas.

Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

I’ve been speaking to groups lately with a presentation called, “Seven things we learned from the 2014 Georgia Primary Elections,” and last night I added item number eight. The 2014 United States Senate election in Georgia is not about Michelle Nunn or even about control of the United States Senate: it’s about Hillary Clinton. On September 14, 2014, Hillary and Bill Clinton will return to Iowa for the annual Steak Fry, her first trip to the Hawkeye State since her 2008 campaign.

Georgia’s importance for 2016 is twofold. In 2008, Obama’s ability to shut her out of the Deep South Democratic Primary elections that were dominated by African-American voters was a key to his winning the nomination. I’d be willing to bet we’ll see her in Georgia this year in support of Michelle Nunn, unless Nunn’s political consultants tell her it would be a political liability.


Second, putting Georgia into play in Presidential elections makes an already daunting Electoral College challenge even worst for Republicans.

Swing states Virginia, Ohio and Florida all going for President Obama in 2008 and 2012 provided most of President Obama’s margin of victory – a Peach State in play makes it more difficult to win the Presidency for Republicans.

Georgia 2014

11Alive has released new polls on the Gubernatorial and Senate races:

When asked, “If the election were held today, who would you vote for?” 48% of likely voters said current Republican Governor Nathan Deal, 39% said Democrat Jason Deal, and 4% said Libertarian Andrew Hunt. Eight-percent remain undecided.

Deal holds 83% of the Republican base. Carter holds 82% of the Democratic base. Independents break sharply Republican. Moderates provide some support for Carter, but at the current rate, it’s not enough to catch Deal. Libertarian Hunt takes more votes from the Republican Deal than he does from the Democrat Carter.

In the race to fill Saxby Chambliss’s seat, Republican David Perdue defeats Democrat Michelle Nunn 50% to 41%. Libertarian Amanda Swafford takes 3% of the vote. According to the poll, Perdue’s lead comes entirely from men, where he leads by 19 points.

While Atlanta votes Democrat, Northwest GA votes 2:1 Republican. South and East GA votes 5:4 Republican. The Senate seat has national ramifications; Republicans need to hold the seat to have a chance to capture control of the U.S. Senate in the next Congress.

Lieutenant Governor:
Casey Cagle (R)(i) 52%
Connie Stokes (D) 35%
Undecided 12%

Secretary of State:
Brain Kemp (R)(i) 53%
Doreen Carter (D) 36%
Undecided 11%

Attorney General:
Sam Olens(i) 49%
Greg Hecht 36%
Undecided 15%

State School Superintendent:
Richard Woods (R) 51%
Valarie Wilson (D) 39%
Undecided 10%

The polling firm is Survey USA, sample was 560 Likely Voters. Mixed mode with automated phone calls to landlines and computer surveys of those who were unreachable by landline.

The sample comprises 52% male respondents, a slight skewing of the gender mix. The youngest voter group, 18-34 is significantly overrepresented in the sample. At 26% of the electorate, African-American voters are under-sampled.

So what do you do with this poll? I told the groups I spoke to last night that television polls are nothing to pay attention to or lose sleep over. TV stations are in the entertainment business, not the information or forecasting business.

Also relevant to politics, 11Alive asked about whether respondents support or oppose Common Core:

Support Oppose
All Likely Voters 24% 34%
Republicans 18% 46%
Democrats 33% 16%
Independents 21% 42%

Senate SuperPAC race

The fellows over at AJC Political Insider have tallied SuperPAC spending and found that outside groups supporting David Perdue have outspent those supporting Michelle Obama Nunn by a 5:1 ratio.

Liberals scared of Zell Miller

I was asked last night about the effect of former Gov. Zell Miller’s endorsement of Michelle Nunn. At the time, I didn’t consider its effect on her fundraising from liberal across the nation. If you want a good laugh, head on over to Huffington Post and check out the comments on the story about Miller endorsing Nunn. Here’s a small sampling:

Frank Barton · Georgia sounds like a real effed up place

Bonnie Jones · Would she be just another “blue dog” Dem, liberal on social issues and mostly voting like a Republican on fiscal matters in the traditional sense, e.g. like Mary Landrieu who said “these things happen” when Gulf Horizon exploded, killing (murder) 11 men and gushing millions of barrels with a huge oil slick that 2 1/2 months!! (bec of Administration’s ineptitude) to float into shore and destroy precious one of a kind marshes and estuaries, the incubator of sea life and livelihood?

Tiffany Miller · sadly the man endorsing her is not a democrat. You cannot be a democrat and endorse the retardican presidential nominee.

Scott Rogers · Gad. Even the dems in Georgia are basically Republican. Zell is certifiable.

Anthony Placebo · Nice to see good old cronyism bridges the gap of divisive partisan politics.

Ebola leading polls

In addition to their polls on Georgia political races, 11Alive asked, “do you agree or disagree with the decision to treat two Ebola patients at Emory University Hospital?” Sixty-six percent of respondents said they would vote for Ebola over any candidates on the ballot agree with the decision to treat the patients here.

National Public Radio has a feature story that takes us into the isolation wards at Emory, where the Ebola patients are being treated.

How is this unit different from an ordinary U.S. medical isolation facility — what is the equipment and infrastructure that makes it unique?

The four Patient Biocontainment Units in the United States have a combination of factors to control the spread of infectious pathogens that are not found together in any other units around the country. The air pressure is negative so that air flows from the hallway to the anteroom to the patient room. The room is designed as an ICU so that patients with any degree of illness can be safely cared for. The rooms have large anterooms and a biosafety cabinet for specimen processing.

The rooms have 20 air changes per hour so that all infectious particles are rapidly removed. Air flow is laminar in nature, which means it flows from the supply vent to the return with little potential for mixing. Air is HEPA [high efficiency particulate air] filtered before being exhausted.

What is the significance of a negative air pressure system for medical isolation — in other words, why is the special air filtration so important?

Negative air pressure means that air moves from the hallway to the anteroom to the patient room, and not in the reverse direction. Since Ebola virus is not spread through the air, this feature is not important for the treatment of patients with Ebola virus infection. However, for diseases that are spread via the air, negative air pressure ensures that air carrying infectious particles does not spread to the hallway or other parts of the hospital, thus preventing spread of infection to visitors, patients or health care workers.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, three Americans who had contact with Ebola patients in Liberia were put into quarantine when they returned to the States.

Health officials in Charlotte, N.C., are taking no chances with three missionaries who returned to the U.S. earlier this week from Liberia. All had contact with patients sick with Ebola. So even though they are healthy, the three have been quarantined on the campus of the religious organization for which they work.

Quarantining people who were exposed to Ebola but don’t have symptoms is unusual. But their employer and the public health department say they want to go the extra mile. “We want to be overly cautious,” said Stephen Keener, medical director of the Mecklenburg County Health Department, which issued a quarantine order for the missionaries.

The measure was taken “so the public can be reassured of how we’re handling this,” said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, the organization for which the missionaries work. The three—two doctors and the husband of one of the infected Americans evacuated earlier to the U.S.—have been quarantined for 21 days from their most recent exposure, the maximum incubation period for the virus.

The three are staying in recreational vehicles on a 90-acre campus with other missionaries and children who also were in Liberia but not exposed to Ebola, he said.

Here’s my new t-shirt design in honor of my alma mater, Emory University, taking the lead on treating Ebola in the United States:

Ebola Shirt

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