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Greg Bluestein

First poll since ethics case revival gives Jason Carter edge over Nathan Deal

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State Sen. Jason Carter at a press conference near the state Capitol on Tuesday, reacting to allegations by the head of the state ethics commission that she was threatened to "make the complaints" against the governor "go away, " according to a memo she wrote. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

State Sen. Jason Carter at a press conference near the state Capitol on Tuesday, reacting to allegations by the head of the state ethics commission that she was threatened to “make the complaints” against the governor “go away, ” according to a memo she wrote. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com

Our corporate cousins over at WSB-TV released a poll that gives Democrat Jason Carter the edge over Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.

The poll by Landmark Communications, a Republican-oriented firm, put Carter at 49 percent and Deal at 41 percent. Libertarian Andrew Hunt received 4 percent. The poll, conducted Tuesday, was the first survey since the release of a 2-year-old memo that raises new questions about the involvement of the governor’s staff in a campaign finance case.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogPoll crosstabs give Deal a nine-point advantage with male voters, but find women support Carter by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Carter also has the edge among black voters and those under 40. Interestingly, independents – who tend to lean to the right – are split between the two.

There’s a high possibility that Carter is benefiting from a media bubble, given the timing of the survey. But we’re sure he’ll take it.

***

An InsiderAdvantage survey conducted for Morris News Service, WAGA-TV in Atlanta and the Marietta Daily Journal has Jack Kingston up over David Perdue in the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate, 46 to 41 percent.

On the methodology:

The “SuperPoll”, which includes both telephone and online surveys of 696 likely voters in the Georgia GOP primary runoff to be held next Tuesday, is weighted for age, race, and gender. It has a margin of error of 3.7% with a confidence level of 95%.

***

One question has led to another to another about the timeline that led Gov. Nathan Deal’s aides to contact ethics chief Holly LaBerge about his pending campaign complaints. (We had to update one post with new details so many times yesterday our head is still spinning.)

Deal’s aides sat down for a few hours the other night to nail down the two-year-old details. What resulted is this timeline that Deal’s office posted to its website last night.

Fair warning for politicos: It also offers a dose of campaign rhetoric, such as the claim that the “issue is being used as a political hammer because Democrats can’t run against Deal on the issues or the record.”

Find the entire timeline right here.

***

The governor also couldn’t resist taking a shot at his Democratic challenger in the hourlong interview with Erick Erickson on the ethics fallout. Gov. Nathan Deal took a shot at Democrat Jason Carter’s Chicago upbringing.

Said Deal:

“Don’t try to convince all of us that you’re one of us. He’s been one of us for a very short period of time. He’s trying to make a step here, and he’s calling in all of the bigwigs from the national Democratic Party, and all of the friends of his grandfather.”

***

Bobby Cagle, the new director of the troubled state Division of Family and Children’s Services, was on WABE (90.1FM) with Denis O’Hayer on Thursday, talking about the 100 new caseworkers announced by Gov. Nathan Deal.

In the midst of the interview, to which you can listen here, Cagle indicated that he’s not a likely fan of the privatization movement that was pushed – and largely beaten back – by some state lawmakers this spring. Still, the state has initiated a few pilot programs. Said the DFACS chief:

“I think we’re trying this out at the behest of the governor, at the foster-care end of the system, to see what privatization might do for us. What I would tell you is that much of the system currently is run by contract with private entities.

“We’re also very aware of the experiences of other states. It has been a mixed bag. But we have also seen that it is consistently more expensive than state administered systems.”

***

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston has already snapped up much of the establishment support in Georgia. Now he’s starting to get support from across the state line.

This morning, we got word that Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican who’s made a name for himself with biting questions at Congressional hearings, is backing Kingston’s Senate bid.

Said Gowdy:

“We can take back the Senate this fall, but not if we don’t win in Georgia. We need a strong conservative in the race and that’s Jack Kingston.”

***

Conservative activist Brent Bozell’s ForAmerica is putting another $100,000 into digital ads attacking David Perdue, according to a new FEC filing. The group is now up to $200,000 in spending on online ads.

Also, in the coastal First District Congressional runoff, a pro-Buddy Carter Super PAC called Prescription for America’s Future bought mobile billboards and sent out mailers, for a total of about $35,000. The group has spent $71,000 backing Carter this year in his race against Bob Johnson.

***

Amid all the televised mud-throwing in the Republican runoff, a Republican Super PAC wants to make sure you know Democrat Michelle Nunn has some bad points, too.

Ending Spending, the group that attacked both Nunn and Rep. Phil Gingrey (presumably because he would not have been a good general election candidate) back during the primary, is back up on the air this week.

FCC filings show the group is spending $102,000 on Atlanta broadcast TV, $15,000 in Savannah, $12,200 in Columbus, $5,400 in Albany, and at least $7,800 in Macon.

***

The top of the Washington Post story said it all: “We could have a U.S. senator who once appeared in a Miley Cyrus movie.”

Yep, Rep. Jack Kingston was an extra in “The Last Song,” with Cyrus, a role which earned him a whopping $8 an hour.

Click to see the blink-and-you-miss-it image.

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