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First off, thanks to Drocedus for sending me this story.  Second, I'll need to see if this does hold up some big news today out of Georgia:

The poll conducted by Landmark Communications on July 15 found Democratic challenger Jason Carter with a seven-point lead over Republican incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal.

Carter received 48.7 percent in the poll and Deal received 41.3 percent. Libertarian Andew Hunt received 4 percent of the vote in the poll. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

The poll comes just after new developments in the ethics investigation into Deal, and it could have cost him support according to Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane.

“This is definite cause for pause and concern for a governor who probably a year ago didn’t have any serious Democrats who were running and now obviously are in a position to knock him out of his seat,” Crane told Channel 2’s Lori Geary.

Deal has a nine-point lead in men but women support Carter by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

The poll also shows Carter with a large lead among African-American voters and voters under age 40.

Voters who claimed to be Independent are split 38 percent to 38 percent in the race. - WSB-Tv Atlanta 2, 7/17/14

Now again, I'll need to look into this more but it's not that far fetched to believe that the ethics scandal is helping shape this race:

The Georgia governor's race was roiled this week by new revelations in a long-standing ethics investigation of the incumbent, Republican Nathan Deal.

His opponent, State Sen. Jason Carter, a Democrat, says that a newly-revealed memo, in which the head of the state ethics commission claimed an attorney for Deal threatened her agency while it was investigating complaints against the governor, shows a "pattern of intimidation and interference on the part of the governor's office."

Carter, the grandson of former Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Deal's opponent in the November election, renewed his call for a full investigation of the original charges against Deal.

Carter wants state Attorney General Sam Olens, a Republican, to appoint an independent investigator to probe those charges and what he called "the subsequent cover-up."

"We still don't have answers to what it was that was so bad that they went to these great lengths to hide," Carter said Tuesday. "We have no one who is willing to apparently investigate the governor's office and what is clear misconduct at a minimum and probably illegal conduct on the part of his staff."

Deal told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he and his staff were "in the dark" over the allegations. "I think it further proves they are an independent agency, and my office had no operational knowledge," he said.

The ethics imbroglio goes back to Deal's election as governor in November 2010. Early the following year, the executive director of the state ethics commission and her deputy began a probe of Deal's campaign. By mid-year, both were out of their jobs: the deputy's position was cut; her boss resigned after her salary was reduced by nearly 30%. Holly LaBerge was hired as the new director. - USA Today, 7/16/14

Here's a little more info:

The now-famous memo penned by former ethics head Holly LaBerge’s offers an idea of what Gov. Nathan Deal’s aides said to her ahead of a major hearing. But a lingering question is why  Chris Riley, the governor’s chief of staff, and Ryan Teague, his executive counsel, reached out instead of a campaign attorney.

Deal told us in an interview that his staff needed to get details of an upcoming ethics hearing “so they could plan our schedule.” It was logistical, he said, and non-threatening. His office sought to reinforce that message with a more detailed timeline of what led to the contact.

LaBerge said in the memo she received the texts on July 17, 2012 – days before the governor was headed to Switzerland for a trade mission. Why would Deal’s aides have to plan his schedule if they already knew he was headed overseas?

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said the texts were sent with that trip in mind. Said Robinson:

    “The texts were sent on a Tuesday and the governor was leaving on the Sunday. If we had a settlement, Holly was insisting on a personal check from Gov. Deal that he would have to write. If we were going to do that, and he was overseas, we needed to figure that out. He also would have had to sign the order. That’s why we were under a time crunch. That’s why we desperately needed the executive director to call our campaign attorneys back and work with them.”

As to why Riley, the governor’s top aide, sent the text and not a lower-level aide associated with his campaign, Robinson added this:

“This scenario is exactly why there was contact. We had to know what was coming down because we would have had a scheduling problem.” - Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/17/14

This is encouraging news indeed.  Click here to get involved and donate to Carter's campaign:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:54 PM PDT.

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

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