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Greg BluesteinTamar Hallerman
Jim Galloway

Michael Bloomberg had his eye on a Georgia win in presidential bid

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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg reacts to a joke at his expense during the 69th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity gala organized by the Archdiocese of New York, at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a charity gala. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

One of the most fascinating tidbits to surface from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision not to run for president were the electoral maps showing his potential path to victory. And Georgia was right at the heart of his plan.

Bloomberg’s advisers conceded he would lose Georgia if he entered the race against Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. But they saw an opening if Bernie Sanders won the Democratic nomination. Here’s how they saw the nation lining up in that scenario:

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That’s right. Georgia would be among a handful of Southern states in Bloomberg’s win column.

Here’s more from the New York Times:

Mr. Trump is widely seen as a weak general election candidate, and surveys conducted for Mr. Bloomberg bolstered that perception. Mr. Bloomberg’s veteran pollster, Douglas E. Schoen, gauged his prospects in polls in February and March, testing Mr. Bloomberg as a candidate nationally and in 22 crucial states.

At the outset, about two-fifths of the country had no familiarity with Mr. Bloomberg, who may be best known nationally for his support of expanded gun control legislation. But Mr. Schoen’s February polling found that after voters heard mostly favorable descriptions of Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders, Mr. Bloomberg collected 35 percent of the vote and a solid lead in the Electoral College. In a race against Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, however, Mr. Bloomberg faced far tougher odds.

Ultimately, Bloomberg wrote, he decided against running because “there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience.”

Read more via Bloomberg View.

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As the Georgia Senate debates a bill that will allow students older than 21 and also visitors to carry concealed guns on college campuses, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution took at look at how safe the school grounds are. logo-HB

See the results for yourself here.

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On his Facebook page, state Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, posted this comment:

This is a powerful article. Every lover of democracy and our republic needs to read this. To me, it explains so much of what is happening politically in America.

What article was he referencing? This one, on the rise of Donald Trump:

Last September, a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst named Matthew MacWilliams realized that his dissertation research might hold the answer to not just one but all three of these mysteries.

MacWilliams studies authoritarianism — not actual dictators, but rather a psychological profile of individual voters that is characterized by a desire for order and a fear of outsiders. People who score high in authoritarianism, when they feel threatened, look for strong leaders who promise to take whatever action necessary to protect them from outsiders and prevent the changes they fear.

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By now, you probably have realized that the turmoil in American journalism has an impact on politics in the United States. In Georgia, too.

Word is spreading around the Capitol that this is the last legislative session for Walter Jones, Atlanta bureau chief for the Augusta Chronicle, Athens Banner-Herald, Savannah Morning News and the Georgia Times-Union – a chain of newspapers that deliver political news to much of Georgia.

Jones has been covering the statehouse for 18 years, and also serves as the director of the Morris News Service, the in-house wire service for the Augusta-based Morris Publishing Group that owns those newspapers and a handful of others in Kansas, Texas, Florida and Alaska.

The company has apparently decided to fold its news service, issuing layoffs to Jones and its other MNS statehouse reporters as well as a motorsports reporter based in Jacksonville. Some were offered transfers, and Jones is going to be writing about Plant Vogtle, Fort Gordon and the Savannah River Site from Atlanta –unless someone seeks to tap his contacts and experience by offering him a job.

Here’s a title that would burnish any resume – or at least it would have, in years past: Jones is the most recent past president of the Atlanta Press Club. He just handed off his gavel in January.

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A new Monmouth University poll finds Donald Trump is running 8 percentage points in front of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the Sunshine State.

That’s good news and bad news for Florida’s native son. He’s closed some of the gap with Trump – an earlier poll from Quinnipiac University last month had him 16 percentage points behind the New York billionaire. But it’s also still a ways to go for him to snatch the winner-take-all state from Trump.

Rubio has staked his campaign on winning his home state. If he doesn’t take the cake on March 15 he’ll be pressured to drop out of the race.

Read more from USA Today here.

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A new survey of congressional lawmakers labels David Perdue as one of the top 10 most partisan members of the Senate.

The Bipartisan Index, released Monday by the Luger Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, examines how often lawmakers work with members of the opposite party via the bills they sponsor and co-sponsor. (As opposed to their voting decisions on the House or Senate floors, etc.)

Their examination of 2015 puts Perdue in the bottom 10 of the most bipartisan members of the Senate. Johnny Isakson, meanwhile, broke into the top 40, achieving a score the index says qualifies the two-term senator as a “bipartisan legislator.”

Here’s more about the group’s methodology:

“We gravitated toward bill sponsorships and co-sponsorships for two reasons.  First, they allowed us to construct a highly objective measure of partisan and bipartisan behavior.  Second, sponsorship and co-sponsorship behavior is especially revealing of partisan tendencies.  Members’ voting decisions are often contextual and can be influenced by parliamentary circumstances. Sponsorships and co-sponsorships, in contrast, exist as very carefully considered declarations of where a legislator stands on an issue.”

The two least bipartisan senators are, perhaps unsurprisingly, running for president. Ted Cruz of Texas is the lowest-scoring Republican, while Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders is the most partisan of all.

The index also ranks House members. Democrats David Scott of Atlanta and Sanford Bishop of Albany placed within the top 15 most bipartisan members of the House. Meanwhile, Republicans Barry Loudermilk of Cassville, Rick Allen of Evans and Tom Graves of Ranger fell within the 20 least bipartisan.