Political Insider blog 

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

Jason Carter’s closing argument: ‘Georgia will be leading the way again’

  • 7:26 pm Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Jason Carter is plastering the airwaves with an optimistic closing TV ad that contrasts with the negative spots that he’s used to bruise Gov. Nathan Deal in the final leg of the race for governor.

The ad shows the smiling 39-year-old Atlanta state senator greeting voters and vowing to bring a new direction to Georgia. “Georgia will be leading the way again,” it says.

It came as he brought his campaign to the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where pastor Raphael Warnock called him his “brother from another mother.” The AJC’s Jeremy Redmon was there as Carter told dozens of mostly [More]

A ‘gift year’ for Democrats creates a state in play

  • 5:47 pm Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

No doubt, you want to know who will win next Tuesday. And because you are such a good and faithful reader, just this once I’ll bend the bylaws of the Grand Order of Media Conspirators and clue you in:

Your winners will be Johnny Isakson, Hillary Clinton, and maybe Kasim Reed.

Now, if you’re as sharp as I think you are, you’ll notice that none of these three are on the Nov. 4 ballot. That requires some explanation.

A few days ago at the state Capitol, I ran into a prominent Democratic state lawmaker and inquired about the state of things. She offered [More]

Jason Carter casts early ballot, Nathan Deal treks through rural Georgia

  • 3:12 pm Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democrat Jason Carter cast an early ballot for himself at a south DeKalb mall while Gov. Nathan Deal stumped for votes in rural south Georgia.

“It is an important moment for me, without a doubt,” the grandson of the former president told our AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon after voting. “There is a sense of it coming down to reality. And I have this sense of calm about it but I’m also excited.”

At the same time, the governor embarked on a grueling stretch that brought him to Sylvester, Tifton, Moultrie and Valdosta before lunchtime. At each stop, he mocked his opponent’s vow [More]

New poll shows David Perdue, Nathan Deal opening up leads

  • 12:58 pm Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Monmouth University is out with a live-caller poll today that shows Republicans Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Senate hopeful David Perdue opening up leads in their respective races and nearing the 50 percent mark to avoid a runoff — though they aren’t there yet.

Here’s the full memo. The toplines:

For Senate

David Perdue — 49 percent

Michelle Nunn — 41 percent

Amanda Swafford — 3 percent

For governor:

Nathan Deal — 48 percent

Jason Carter — 42 percent

Andrew Hunt — 5 percent

The sample is 55 percent female. There is no racial breakdown in the polling memo, but the pollster reports on Twitter that the African-American [More]

The push to #FreeGurley on Georgia’s campaign trail

  • 12:39 pm Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Tifton – Expect to hear a lot of outrage from Georgia politicians today about the NCAA’s decision to suspend Georgia star tailback Todd Gurley for two more games as punishment for accepting money from memorabilia dealers.

“I’m disappointed in the NCAA. That’s a little bit long in terms of suspending him. But at least he’ll be back for the Auburn game,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in an interview after a campaign stop in Tifton. “I’m not aware of anything we can do about it, except to do as I have done: Express our disappointment with the way we have handled [More]

The Jason Carter campaign’s secret weapon

  • 12:13 pm Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A dispatch from our AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon, embedded this week on the Carter campaign trail:

Athens – Former President Jimmy Carter gets plenty of publicity every time he campaigns for grandson Jason Carter. But it’s former First Lady Rosalynn Carter who is the campaign’s secret weapon.

At 87, she is a tour de force on the campaign trail, shaking hands, posing for pictures and urging voters to show up next week for her grandson’s bid to oust Gov. Nathan Deal.

She campaigned with him through Atlanta, Columbus, LaGrange, Fort Valley and Macon Monday before joining him in Augusta and Athens Tuesday. When Jason [More]

Coke bottling CEO aims to take the fizz out of Michelle Nunn

  • 10:23 am Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises is spending $100,000 to try and knock out Democrat Michelle Nunn. “Pre-general election reports paint a partial figure of where Georgia One is getting its funding. The group had raised $125,000 as of Oct. 15—$100,000 of which came from John Brock, Chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises. It’s only other donor was a private equity firm Phoenix Financial Holdings Inc., which specializes in leveraged buyouts and secondary direct investments.”

Our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin points out that Brock makes a good six-figure foil for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gave $350,000 [More]

Why Jason Carter’s license plate revs up the GOP

  • 7:00 am Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Republicans were more than a little revved up when an eagle-eyed supporter of Gov. Nathan Deal spotted a Florida license plate on Democrat Jason Carter’s tour bus.

You can imagine where the jokes went from there.

The Democrat’s campaign has taken to covering the license plate at tour stops, which is set to include a journey to Jacksonville to tailgate with UGA fans ahead of the Georgia-Florida game. Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas chalked the Republican swipes as a case of “tour bus envy.”

“For the record, our bus is owned and operated by a Georgia company. And we thought the governor believed in [More]

Jason Carter stumps in Nathan Deal’s backyard, governor heads to Dem territory

  • 6:02 pm Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gainesville – Democrat Jason Carter and his famous grandfather made incursions into Gov. Nathan Deal’s backyard, signaling they wouldn’t concede any part of Georgia in the race to lead the state. The governor, meanwhile, trekked deep into Democratic territory to mine for votes with a message that the economy was on the rebound.

Former President Jimmy Carter campaigned for his grandson in Sandersville, the middle Georgia town where Deal grew up. After mentioning that he won Washington County when he ran for governor and president, the elder Carter said Georgia is failing to realize its “tremendous potential” under Republican leadership.

“We are [More]

Why a Libertarian candidate supports Medicaid expansion

  • 2:41 pm Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The national Libertarian party has put its opposition to the Affordable Care Act at the center of its platform for more limited government. Andrew Hunt, the party’s local candidate for governor, takes a different tack.

Hunt has raised eyebrows by joining Democrat Jason Carter in advocating for Medicaid expansion, a position that strikes a contrast with the national party’s platform.

That support has become a point of contention between Hunt and Gov. Nathan Deal, who questions how he can reconcile his stance with the party’s views. On Tuesday, Hunt explained his stance on Medicaid expansion to AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos.

“Georgia is [More]