Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns

Ted Cruz on Democratic ticket: It’s like ‘That ’70s Show’

  • 10:50 am Saturday, October 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

More GOP cavalry arrived in Georgia today as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stumped with David Perdue and Gov. Nathan Deal in Canton, invoking memories of long gas lines and stagflation as he attacked their Democratic rivals.

“Here in Georgia, we’ve got on the ballot Jimmy Carter and Sam Nunn,” he said. “It’s like ‘That 70’s Show.’”

The Texas firebrand echoed Perdue’s talking points by saying that an election of Michelle Nunn, the Democratic nominee, equals a stamp of approval for President Barack Obama’s agenda. Republicans need a net gain of six Senate seats to take control of the chamber, and Cruz urged [More]

Exclusive AJC poll: Nathan Deal opens small lead, Senate race in virtual tie

  • 11:35 am Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll shows Gov. Nathan Deal opening up a small lead over Democrat Jason Carter , while fellow Republican David Perdue has an advantage within the margin of error over Democrat Michelle Nunn in the U.S. Senate race.

The poll, conducted by Abt SRBI of New York of 1,170 Georgians from Oct. 16-23, shows no candidate in Georgia’s top two races approaching 50 percent of likely voters. With Libertarian candidates pulling away a small but significant chunk of voters, runoffs loom for both races. The toplines:

For governor:

– Deal, 46 percent;

– Carter, 41 percent;

– Libertarian Andrew Hunt, 5 percent;

For U.S. Senate:

[More]

Trio of Nathan Deal aides arrives in London

  • 12:36 pm Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A trio of Gov. Nathan Deal’s top aides has landed in London with less than two weeks until the election.

Deal’s spokesman Brian Robinson, his executive council Ryan Teague and his chief operating officer Bart Gobeil arrived across the pond on Thursday and are set to return next week, in time for the Nov. 4 election. Of the three, only Robinson is on the campaign payroll.

Robinson, who said he’ll be back in the office Monday, said the three paid their own way and that they plan economic development meetings with local executives and Georgia business leaders who are also in town. They [More]

In search of black voters: Democrats point to Ferguson, GOP emphasizes lower prison rate

  • 8:36 am Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

We now have a pretty clear picture of the messages Republicans and Democrats are sending to African-American voters in the last few days leading up to Nov. 4.

Playing this morning on The stark images have upset many Republicans:

“It’s despicable,” said Gov. Nathan Deal.

“It is really regrettable that anyone would resort to scare tactics to try to get people to vote. Georgia is not Missouri. Georgia has elected more African-American leaders — mayors, county commissioners, et cetera — than any other state in the country. We have a long history of good race relations, and I cannot understand why the [More]

Nathan Deal on facing a candidate with ‘no substance’

  • 6:00 am Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

There’s a reason that the governor’s race seems like an increasingly bitter affair.

As November nears, it seems like Gov. Nathan Deal’s frustration with Democrat Jason Carter grows. The governor, a 72-year-old with four decades of public experience, is locked in a tight contest with the Atlanta state senator, and both campaigns are quietly bracing for a possible December runoff.

The governor explained why it seems like Carter, a two-term senator, gets under his skin more than, say, Roy Barnes did in the gubernatorial election four years ago.

Said Deal:

“It is hard to debate against a ghost. He has no substance. He’s been in [More]

Surprise: A faith forum for the governor’s race turns political

  • 7:08 pm Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Jason Carter opened a faith forum Wednesday by joking that mixing religion and politics is like combining manure and ice cream: It doesn’t hurt the manure, but ruins the ice cream.

You could say a new dessert flavor emerged tonight.

Clergy members pressed Carter, a Democratic state senator, and Gov. Nathan Deal with questions on Georgia’s gun rights expansion, the state’s illegal immigration crackdown and healthcare policy. It was a risky venue for the candidates with the election less than two weeks away, and both largely stuck to safe talking points.

Still, the clergy members took particular interest in their support for the [More]

John Barrow pulls out his granddaddy’s anti-lynchin’ pistol again

  • 10:21 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Rep. John Barrow’s Barrow mourns how “Washington Democrats look down on people for carrying firearms.”

The kicker: “Like my daddy used to say, you never really need a gun unless you need it bad.”

The second new spot from Barrow today swings to attack Republican Rick Allen from the right on immigration.

The main critique of Allen is that We told you on Tuesday that the state Democratic party had sent out an early-voting turnout mailer aimed at African-Americans, using images from Ferguson, Mo.

The images were stark. Here’s the explanation from Michael Smith, the Democratic spokesman:

“The fight for the right to vote [More]

Campaign tip sheet: Jason Carter, Nathan Deal talk about faith and morals

  • 8:15 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent governor, will speak at the state Board of Education meeting in Atlanta this morning. Other events:

– 10 a.m.: Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, will address a gathering of the Georgia School Superintendents Association in Athens.

– 2:45 p.m.: Andrew Hunt, the Libertarian candidate for governor, will speak before the same group.

– 4:30 p.m.: Deal is scheduled to convene a first meeting of his Ebola virus task force.

– 5-7 p.m. Deal and Carter make separate appearances at the Georgia Faith Forum, sponsored by Faith in Public Life, to be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in [More]

Kasim Reed steps up for John Barrow

  • 1:06 pm Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has absorbed some criticism over – that one fundraiser aside – his lack of engagement in Jason Carter’s Democratic campaign for governor.

But Reed appears to be well connected to the Democratic effort to save U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, one more time. A fundraising letter over the name of the Atlanta mayor includes these lines:

Friend, I know people ask a lot of you, but we’re pulling out all the stops for John. Georgia needs him in Congress. He comes through for us over and over again. Now he needs us to come through for him.

You might [More]

Georgia had the nation’s highest jobless rate in September

  • 10:02 am Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Georgia’s 7.9 percent unemployment rate for the month of September was again ranked highest in the nation, according to a federal report released this morning.

The state’s jobless rate has been thrust into the center of Gov. Nathan Deal’s re-election campaign, and his opponents were eagerly awaiting the latest numbers. Democrat Jason Carter contends the metric is a sign that Deal’s jobs plan isn’t working, while the governor calls the statistic an “outlier” that doesn’t accurately gauge the state’s economic health.

“Unemployment rates are only good for political advertising as a general rule,” Deal said at Sunday’s debate. “Economists don’t [More]