Political Insider blog 

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

At Young Harris College, a tale of three Democratic women

  • 9:00 am Saturday, October 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Contradictions abounded in one particular north Georgia valley last Thursday.

Ostensibly, the gathering on the leafy campus of Young Harris College was strictly non-political – the dedication of a new $41 million building and, within it, the Zell and Shirley Miller Library.

But the audience was stocked with multiple generations of Georgians who live and breathe electoral politics. Three of every five in the crowd could tell you the point spreads in the latest polls for U.S. Senate and governor. Four of five could tell you why the polls are wrong.

The top draws for the afternoon were both [More]

At campaign event, Nathan Deal previews jobs annoucement

  • 12:01 am Saturday, October 25th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

The Georgia GOP kicked off the separate statewide bus tours for Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Senate hopeful David Perdue Friday night at the Cobb GOP headquarters in Marietta with a packed house and an all-star cast.

Deal mounted an extended defense of his economic team took the opportunity to tout a timely Monday announcement of 650 new jobs, which by his count would make 1,800 new Georgia jobs in two weeks.

“All of that doesn’t just happen,” Deal said. “It means we have to have people who are working together.”

Approached after the event, Deal offered no further details about the economic [More]

GOP pollster: Early voting among African-Americans outpacing 2010

  • 8:19 pm Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Mark Rountree, the Republican-oriented pollster behind Landmark Communications, sends word this evening that early voting among African-Americans in Georgia is outpacing 2010, a legitimate reason for GOP worry.

According to Rountree, who was behind today’s poll released by Channel 2 Action News, noted that, of the 307,703 voters who have cast early ballots, 30 percent are African-American. Sixty-six percent are white.

In 2010, at the same time – when the early voting period was significantly larger – 26 percent of the 253,999 who had voted were African-American. Seventy-two percent were white.

Take a look at his calculations here.

Rountree says that Secretary [More]

Jack Kingston backs David Perdue in $1.3 million Super PAC ad campaign

  • 2:46 pm Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Ending Spending Action Fund has thrown down $1.3 million for a closing television ad campaign featuring Republican David Perdue’s vanquished runoff foe, Rep. Jack Kingston.

Kingston speaks direct to camera touting Perdue’s qualities and once again tying Democrat Michelle Nunn to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Alas, there is no sighting of Kingston’s Roadmaster.

Ending Spending’s Brian Baker said the ad will run statewide, with a heavy emphasis on Kingston’s South Georgia territory — including the Tallahassee and Jacksonville markets. The investment means Ending Spending will spend more than $5 million on Georgia’s Senate race this year.

Here’s [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]

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]

Obama’s Ebola czar was a Michelle Nunn campaign adviser

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Ron Klain starts work tomorrow as President Barack Obama’s Ebola “czar,” or point person to coordinate various agencies involved in containing the outbreak.

That means the longtime Democratic hand no longer has time to help out Michelle Nunn’s U.S. Senate bid. Klain, a former chief of staff to vice presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden and frequent debate prepper, was to lead Nunn’s preparation for her debates against Republican David Perdue, according to the infamous internal campaign memo.

We’re told that Klain did advise the campaign for a while but has more pressing matters to deal with now.

The announcement last [More]

A ‘misinformed’ Nathan Deal on an Ebola strike force

  • 10:37 am Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Officially, last night’s Atlanta Press Club gubernatorial debate was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Nathan Deal couldn’t wait. At 5:39 p.m., his office sent out a press release announcing that the Republican governor would sign an executive order announcing the creation of an “Ebola response team.”

Call it the incumbent’s advantage. In doing so, the governor guaranteed himself a first question that turned the proceedings into something like a press conference.

“I believe that we do have the resources that are available, and if we need additional resources, we will try to make sure that those are available,” a well-prepped Deal said.

Only [More]

October’s surprise: Georgia is Ground Zero in Ebola debate

  • 9:00 am Saturday, October 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Every election season has an October surprise. Sneaky Democrats or cagey Republicans are the usual culprits.

But this time, the surprise has come out of west Africa – a left field if ever there was one.

The sudden appearance of the Ebola virus has sent members of Georgia’s political class stumbling to the right and left, struggling to wrap their tongues around the phrase “hemorrhagic fever.”

It would be easy enough to dismiss public concern as the result of cable-news generated hype, but with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control based in Atlanta, and with Emory University Hospital now treating its fourth victim [More]

Michelle Nunn shifts to back Ebola travel ban as President Obama resists

  • 10:19 am Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The following came in last night from the campaign of Democrat Michelle Nunn, on the subject of Ebola:

“As we continue to gain new information about this horrible disease, our public health officials should take every precaution to make sure that it doesn’t spread. I support a temporary travel ban to affected countries in West Africa with an exception for military and health workers. Scientists and public health experts at the CDC are in the best position to guide our response to this crisis, but our leaders in Washington must provide clear, bipartisan and strong leadership as well as the resources [More]