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Sorry to release another diary so soon but I just had to share this good news with you all.  With Senator Saxby "Chicken Hawk" Chambliss (R. GA) out of the running, PPP's latest poll shows that the Georgia Senate race is now pretty competitive for Georgia Democrats:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/...

PPP looked at match ups involving 5 Republicans (Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Karen Handel, Jack Kingston and Tom Price) and 3 Democrats (John Barrow, Jason Carter, and Max Cleland). Cleland is the only person in the whole bunch who has more than 50% statewide name recognition, with 48% of voters rating him favorably to 29% with an unfavorable view.

If Cleland could be coaxed into the race he would start out  with a lead over every Republican we tested him against. He's up 1 against Price, 3 against Kingston, 5 against Gingrey, and 7 against Broun and Handel.

Democratic prospects for winning the seat might not hinge on what could be an unlikely Cleland candidacy though. John Barrow trails by an average of only 4/10ths of a point against the Republicans we tested- leading Gingrey and Handel by 1, tying Broun, trailing Price by 1, and trailing Kingston by 3. Carter trails the quintet of Republicans we tested by an average of 3.8 points- he's down 2 to Broun and Gingrey, 4 to Handel, 5 to Price, and 6 to Kingston.
Obviously it's been 13 years since Democrats won a major election in Georgia, but the closeness of these early numbers suggest that if they nominate a strong candidate and Republicans end up going with someone too far to the right there's at least some chance that they could pull off an upset. In an election cycle with few opportunities for offense it's one of the better ones the Democrats have. - PPP, 2/19/13
PPP's poll also shows that there is no real clear favorite it what could be a crowded GOP primary.  Former Georgia Secretary of State and Komen Foundation V.P., Karen Handel ties with Congressman Jack Kingston (R. GA-1) at 15%.  Lt. Governor Casey Cagle gets 13%, Congressman Phil Gingrey (R. GA-11) gets 12%, Congressman Paul Broun (R. GA-10) gets 11%, Congressman Tom Price (R. GA-6) gets 10% and Congressman Tom Graves (R. GA-14) gets 3%.  20% remains undecided.  PPP notes that many of these GOP candidates lack name recognition right now.  Broun is the only announced candidate in the race but once the other candidates decide to jump in the primary, there might be more of a clear choice.  Either way, this is great news and I hope a big name Georgia Democrat comes forward soon.  

I would love to see Cleland return to the Senate but I'm happy to see Carter polled in this race and showing some good numbers.  Blue Dog Congressman John Barrow (D. GA-12) has said he's not interested in this race right now but with the GOP making him a top target again for 2014, he might change his mind.  Barrow is certainly not my top choice but I am impressed that he was able to both large African American voters and conservative white gun owners to come out for him.  Name another Democrat this past cycle that could do that?  Grant it, ads like this certainly helped him seal his re-election victory:

But again this is good news and with Karl Rove threatening to intervene in the primary and stop someone like Broun from securing the nominee.  But Broun isn't scared of Rove:

http://www.ajc.com/...

With three fist pumps and a shout, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun on Wednesday leaped into the 2014 race for the U.S. Senate — and thumbed his nose at Karl Rove and other establishment Republicans who see the Georgia congressman as a threat to the national GOP's effort to revive itself.

“I’m not intimidated,” Broun said in the crush of reporters that followed his announcement. And then he was quickly back on message. No mention of President Barack Obama’s allegiance to the Soviet Constitution, no description of evolution or the big bang or embryology as “lies straight from the pit of hell.”

“The only thing that intimidates me is this looming financial meltdown,” Broun said, returning to the only topic that he laid out before a small group of enthusiastic supporters at a Buckhead hotel. - Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/6/13

Stay tuned.

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and Kos Georgia.

Poll

Of the three tested Democrats in this poll, who's your choice for U.S. Senate?

68%62 votes
7%7 votes
23%21 votes

| 90 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I voted for Cleland, but (19+ / 0-)

    I could live with any of the three. This is Georgia and there is little chance of getting of true progressive elected. I'll take a Democrat who agrees with me 80% of the time over any of the nutjob Republicans any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

    Guns are never the principle in the commission of a crime, but they are usually an accomplice

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:56:30 AM PST

  •  Wanna see Cleland's Revenge when he wins in 2014. (11+ / 0-)
  •  A Blue Dog isn't much of an improvement. (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, do we need Joe Lieberman with a Southern accent?  Just inflating our numbers isn't much help. We ned someone who can actually be counted on to VOTE like a Dem, just not call himself one.

    I live in GA.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:58:52 AM PST

    •  That is false and counterproductive! (16+ / 0-)

      As much as I detest Lieberman and Nelson, they didn't vote against us 95-100% of the time like the current Republican crop does.

      The Democratic Party has liberal, moderate, and conservative wings. It looks like the country. I am a proud Deaniac and still support the idea that it is better to have someone who votes for you 75% of the time than someone who is only with you 5%.

      We also have to remember that the economics of each state is different and until we have public financing of campaigns, it is not often that politicians from that state are going to take on entrenched special interests we do not like.

      It is much easier to take on dirty energy from Vermont than it is West Virgina or Texas. It is somewhat easier to take on Wall Street from Minnesota or Massachusetts than it is New York or New Jersey. That is why we need to win in all states in order to cobble together enough votes to overcome native resistance.

      More votes are better than less votes. 35 DK-approved Senators cannot move legislation on their own.There has to be help.

      "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

      by sebastianguy99 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:27:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good point.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cjagmoore, sebastianguy99

        I'm no Holy Joe fan, but he is at least part of the reason gay servicemembers can serve openly, almost single-handedly reviving DADT repeal when everyone thought it dead.

        "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

        by TLS66 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:36:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No. It isn't. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pistolSO

        I am female. Nelson voted against MY interests far too damned often. Yes, I am the Dread Single Issue Voter: CHOICE.  And women like me are why Obama got re-elected.

        I used Lieberman as an example. Nelson is a better one.

        I live in GA. I will be THRILLED when I finally moon the state as I cross the state line for good.

        Luckily, at least Carter and Barrow aren't aweful on MY issues so far.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:51:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So you were with OFA? (0+ / 0-)

          I pretty sure President Obama would not have been reelected without the support of a number of groups. I appreciate your passion but he is not your property single-issue voter or not. I'll also remind you that your rights weren't the only ones under attack.

          That said, other folk's single issue was the ACA and Nelson did, finally, vote correctly. As I said, I detest the guy.

          "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

          by sebastianguy99 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:24:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  YES we need Joe Lieberman with a Southern accent (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RoIn, antooo, pademocrat, theone718

      if the alternative is another know-nothing head in sand Teahadist ... with a Southern accent.

      •  ANd if they are anti-woman and anti-chocie? (0+ / 0-)

        I should vote for them because they are Not Quite As Awful?

        Hell, I'll write in my OWN name first.

        Luckily Barrow and Carter aren't screamingly anti-chocie (being pro-chocie was Lieberman's ONLY savign grace--but I wouldn't ave voted for him anyhow).

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:52:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not true. (0+ / 0-)

      A GA Dem should be able to vote on climate change, for example. We don't have a major fossil fuel industry here, especially if he/she could get some pork for the state in the process.

      •  And if they vote against women onr eproductive (0+ / 0-)

        rights? Would that be fine with you? Bet it would be,

        At least Carter and Barrow aren't compeltelynuts on women's issues--and remember women vote, and we helepd re-elect Obama PRECISELY becuase of women's issues.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:54:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You keep complaining but you haven't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Woody

          Answered the question. Would ANY of the Republican alternatives be better?

          "I don't want a line in the Sand lines can be moved. They can be blown away. I want a six foot trench carved into granite."

          by theone718 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:08:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ANd you are typical. (0+ / 0-)

            Answer my question.  SHould I vote for someone who is nominally a Dem but really someone who in another part of the country would be a conservative Rethug, someone who opposes MY interests? ANd would you have the gall to tell a BLACK person to vote for someone who sucks on their issues?

            I am so tired of people telling women to take one for the team. So until you answer mine, NO, I won't answer yours.

            And a Blue Dog is only a Republican who isn't  completely crazy--just mostly crazy.

            Personally I doubt anyoenbut  Tea Party moran will get elected int his state for many years--unless he's African AMerican and running in an African AMerican district.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:23:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I grew up and live in Georgia. (6+ / 0-)

    Cleland is pretty much forgotten outside Fulton and Dekalb Counties.

    Barrow has the only chance to win.

    There are no beloved Georgia Republicans though.  I doubt 15% of the state know who Johnny Isakson is.  

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:58:55 AM PST

  •  Jason Carter has his grandaddy's smile doesn't he? (7+ / 0-)

    I'm surprised Cleland is polling as strongly as he does in this poll, but will those unfavorables be easily driven up?

    I still think Barrow is the strongest candidate, and yes, he is a Conservadem. He can win because he probably can win the largest percentage of the white vote. It is no secret that a Dem is going to have turn out minority voters while winning close to 25% of the white vote.

    My question is whether or not Barrow can raise the money to wage a smart campaign? I think Cleland can raise the money, but I think it will be tougher for him to win. Just ask Roy Barnes.

    I think with his grandaddy's help, Carter might be able to run a good campaign and is the most likely of the suggestions to put together an Obama-like coalition. He is definitely the most likely to survive a loss in order to run successfully another day.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:39:14 PM PST

    •  Cleland had an edge in '02 (0+ / 0-)

      until Chambliss released that despicable Cleland=OBL commercial.  This can cut two ways ... on the one hand, a GOP candidate can be as despicable as Chambliss was.  On the other hand, some Chambliss voters in '02 might realize they were suckered.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:39:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  INTRIGUING SENATE RACE (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, MadGeorgiaDem, yella dawg

    Georgia will have an exciting 2014 Senate race, maybe the important in the nation, as it is a possible pickup in a reliably red state.
    I love Max and hope he wins.  Barrow I can live with.
    Jason I support too.  Would love him to run for Governor.

    "AMERICA DID NOT INVENT HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS INVENTED AMERICA"

    by michealallison on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:02:07 PM PST

  •  I appreciate Cleland's service but (0+ / 0-)

    he is the past and we need fewer old white men in the senate and house, not more.  And before folks get up in arms, I'm an old white man myself so I feel entitled to say that.

    Private health insurance: a protection racket without the protection.

    by rustypatina on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:12:02 PM PST

  •  Jason Carter seems like a good candidate (6+ / 0-)

    for Democrats, especially considering that one of the Democratic Party's biggest assets these days are younger voters...he should be able to appeal to young voters, especially if he could get Obama for America folks to help out.

  •  I want to see the Democrats win this seat (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poopdogcomedy, Pale Jenova, Woody, JBraden

    in 2014 JUST to see Zell Miller's reaction. I will NEVER forgive him for spitting on the Democratic Party and trashing John Kerry for 2004 just because Kerry was a war hero and he wasn't.

    •  The only thing I miss about Zell Miller is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO

      Will Forte's impression of him on SNL:

      Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

      by poopdogcomedy on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:56:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Zell punked a lot of people (0+ / 0-)

      after he was appointed to serve out Paul Coverdell's term.  Before 2001, he was regarded merely as a moderate Democrat.  He loyally voted for Gore in 2000 even when he had no hope of winning Georgia.  Then, a few months into '01 he goes batshit.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:02:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the national Dems don't pull a 2010 (0+ / 0-)

    we have a good chance of snagging this one. Well, a longish shot, to be sure, but maybe Hermie Hermie Hermie Hermie Cain Cain will jump in and try to out crazy Paul Broun. (God, his name looks like it came straight from a teabagger sign, doesn't it?)

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:18:13 PM PST

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