Poll shows muddled Georgia Democratic field for Senate

Most of the attention paid to Georgia’s soon-to-be-open U.S. Senate seat has gone to possible Republican candidates — including Congressman Paul Broun, who today became the first to file paperwork to run. But the race may be the best chance Georgia Democrats have at winning a statewide election in 2014, so who might run for their nomination?

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has said he isn’t running. Congressman John Barrow has been more coy, but his hints suggest he is reluctant to give it a shot.

With all that in mind, I was intrigued by a poll tweeted a short while ago by the AJC’s Washington correspondent, Daniel Malloy. Pollster Fred Hicks surveyed 1,411 Democratic voters statewide Feb. 1-2. Here’s what he found:

Undecided: 21.5 percent

Congressman Sanford Bishop: 16.3 percent

Former Attorney General Thurbert Baker: 15.4 percent

Former Secretary of State Cathy Cox: 15.0 percent

Former Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond: 12.6 percent

Someone else: 8.8 percent

Former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones: 5.7 percent

Former Dougherty County DA (and 2010 attorney general nominee) Ken Hodges: 3.1 percent

2010 lieutenant governor nominee Carol Porter: 1.5 percent

It’s not surprising to see “Undecided” leading the pack so early. But it’s hard to imagine any of these candidates doing particularly well next year. Bishop nearly lost re-election in 2010 before being drawn a much more friendly map and cruising last year, but there’s nothing to suggest he’d do well enough in South Georgia with the kind of voters Democrats need to flip that he could actually win statewide.

Baker lost badly to Roy Barnes in the 2010 gubernatorial primary. Thurmond got just 39 percent against Johnny Isakson in that year’s Senate race. Porter won just 42 percent of the vote against Casey Cagle. Hodges, in the best statewide showing by a Democrat in 2010, tallied just 43.6 percent against Sam Olens.

A name I’ve heard come up during the past couple of weeks — in a purely speculative way — is that of Cox, who left politics after her ‘06 gubernatorial primary loss to Mark Taylor and is president of Young Harris College. Against the right Republican (which is to say, the wrong one in the GOP’s eyes), after a particularly nasty primary, she might be able to … keep it close. If she’s even interested in running. Which strikes me as unlikely.

What do y’all think? Do any of the possible candidates — or anyone else you might name — stand a chance next year?

– By Kyle Wingfield

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49 comments Add your comment

Glenn

February 6th, 2013
5:34 pm

First; I’m a Hard-nosed Democrat and I’d vote Republican before I’d vote for Ken Hodges – I have family down in Albany, and I’ve heard all kinds of things about him from his time down there that make me sick.

Next, the person I would LOVE to see run is Stacey Abrams, who is Minority Leader in our GA House of Representatives. Now SHE’S someone I think every Democrat could back, and has proven can work across the aisles.

Hillbilly D

February 6th, 2013
5:46 pm

It’s too early to be talking about this in my opinion but I think the Democrats will have the same problem they’ve had the last few years, the person most electable statewide will have a slim chance in the primary and vice versa. If they get somebody who can figure out how to deal with that, then they could make it interesting.

Cherokee

February 6th, 2013
5:58 pm

Cathy Cox – smart, good name recognition, moderate – but I don’t suppose she’s up for it, either.

indigo

February 6th, 2013
6:00 pm

“stand a chance next year”

The old saying “a snowball’s chance in hell” comes to mind.

CC

February 6th, 2013
6:25 pm

I think the dimocrats are really onto something here!

“Undecided” would definitely have the best shot at it for the dimocrats.

MarkV

February 6th, 2013
6:32 pm

The most appropriate response to Kyle’s article appears to be: What is the purpose?

Dusty

February 6th, 2013
6:37 pm

There are Democrats in Georgia?

Everybody knows that the only Dems speaking up in Georgia are out of state bloggers.

Not a Southern accent among ‘em!

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

February 6th, 2013
6:38 pm

Bill Campbell!

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

February 6th, 2013
6:38 pm

Er, if he’s out of jail, that is.

getalife

February 6th, 2013
6:39 pm

Undecided wins.

yuzeyurbrane

February 6th, 2013
6:41 pm

None of these will have the slightest interest until their is some evidence the Republicans are cannibalizing each other.

MarkV

February 6th, 2013
6:41 pm

I stand corrected. The real purpose appears to be to give people like Dusty a chance to show her wit.

Michael H. Smith

February 6th, 2013
6:44 pm

1,411 Democratic voters statewide?

You mean they have that many OTP voters still hanging around? What happened, did they miss the last donkey leaving out of state for the left coast? Do they need obama to send them carfare?

:lol:

Hoof Hearted

February 6th, 2013
6:48 pm

Kyle,

As a Democrat (recent convert/apostate former conservative republican), I agree with you. None of those candidates stands a chance, even against some nutball like Paul Broun, except for Cathy Cox. She could possibly beat somebody like Broun, but it will still be a huge upset here in Georgia.

Michael H. Smith

February 6th, 2013
6:48 pm

Ah, payback isn’t as funny when you’re on the receiving end?

Dave

February 6th, 2013
6:56 pm

I’m not a member of either party; but, the last Republican I voted for was President Ford. That said, the people that for the most part I vote for haven’t got a chance, unless, unless, Broun and Price beat each other up, the national Democrats throw some money in and…. Damn, that’s the part that hurts, there are no Dems to run.

Michael H. Smith

February 6th, 2013
6:59 pm

Keep wishing dems, you’re not going to get a GOP circular firing squad.

jconservative

February 6th, 2013
7:01 pm

All I can say at this time is that if the Republicans nominate Broun I will probably vote for the Democrat, whoever he or she will.

bluecoat

February 6th, 2013
7:11 pm

undecided independent votes.

bluecoat

February 6th, 2013
7:15 pm

Forgot “without a southern accentl”

Michael H. Smith

February 6th, 2013
7:22 pm

If, maybe, but, without… Ah shucks, were that rabbit’s foot!

Michael H. Smith

February 6th, 2013
7:24 pm

Good night to all.

Uncle Jed

February 6th, 2013
7:31 pm

Maynard Jackson stands as good a chance as any of them.

Georgia , The "New Mississippi"

February 6th, 2013
7:31 pm

The GOP has to finish gutting our state before a Dem will be able to win………. Give it about 3 more years and we should finally hit rock bottom based on the path we are on.

Uncle Jed

February 6th, 2013
7:35 pm

After 3 more years of Obama, will it really matter?

Rafe Hollister preparing for an Obamanist America

February 6th, 2013
7:43 pm

A Rogue’s gallery above. No way Bishop leaves his safe district. Since his close call, we have had reapportionment and the GOP gave him many more democrat voters to get them out of other districts. Sanford is a lifer, not going to give up that paycheck. His record of voting with Pelosi about 99% wouldn’t play well in the rest of the state.

Why don’t they run King Rat Roy Barnes, he would be able to raise more money than all the others combined.

Politico

February 6th, 2013
7:44 pm

Dusty

Do you post stupidity for stupidity’s sake or is that just who you are?

As for the race, any Republican will win…. But don’t be mistaken they will be beholden to the same corporate farm subsidies as the Repubs and Dems before them

The Ghost of Willie B

February 6th, 2013
7:44 pm

What better candidate could they choose to represent the modern Democrat party than Hank Johnson?

Politico

February 6th, 2013
7:46 pm

Rafe

The “conservative” farmers in Bishop’s district will never get off the government nipple, hence he need not go anywhere.

TheDixieDove

February 6th, 2013
7:51 pm

KICK OBAMA’S ASS LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!
As I said when I was first elected to the House of Repersentatives many years ago, I stand for one issue and one issue only! LEGALIZE MARIJUANA! That’s WEED, GANJA, POT, XHIT whatever you call it, it’s good and it’s good for you. That’s why the first bill I sponsored in the House was to make medical marijuana legal, I’m a doctor, so I figured that would get me my supply right there, but HELL NO! The Liibuhralls shut that down! So dig this I’m running for
BROUN FOR SENATE!

And I’m gonna straighten this xhit out! And remember, anyone who says pot isn’t a good drug and shouldn’t be legal is telling…
LIES STRAIGHT FROM THE PITS OF HELL!
http://brounforsenate.blogspot.com

Loki

February 6th, 2013
8:16 pm

None of the above.

StingerSplash

February 6th, 2013
8:22 pm

You know what’s going to happen – Dems will cross party lines to vote for Broun in the primary in hopes of having the GOP field the worst possible candidate. He’ll win the GOP primary. And then the Democrats will field a candidate who can’t tie their own shoes without looking at the directions and Broun will win the race and represent Georgia in the world’s most exclusive fraternity. Thanks in advance, Georgia Democrats. Thanks a stinkin’ lot.

td

February 6th, 2013
8:40 pm

Well dang, if that is the best that the Dems can do then Borun could actually win the Senate seat walking away.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

February 6th, 2013
8:58 pm

OK, I’ve got a few minutes to try and get this all straightened out. Which one of these guys is the whackjob, which one is the ecoterrorist, who is the tax and spender, I know one of these people has to be a marxist or a member of PETA, how can I tell who the big America hater is, I’m sorry for not studying these luminaries deeper than I did. Where do I get my scorecard?

ODD OWL

February 6th, 2013
9:20 pm

What about Zig Zag Zell Miller ??? We Dems might be able to drag him out of the camp of the enemy and rehabilitate him or is he to old ??? We Democrats must start a candidate college here in Georgia and train the next generation of candidates how to win… Damn !!!

ODD OWL

February 6th, 2013
9:30 pm

Georgia has never elected a Woman to the Senate… So i think that Cathy Cox might be our best bet… If we Dems fill her coffers with campaign megabucks, she might have a chance… Draft = Cox…

independent thinker

February 6th, 2013
9:38 pm

Shirley Franklin- lots of experience on deficits and full employment

ODD OWL

February 6th, 2013
9:44 pm

Herr Paul Von Broun must be stopped at all cost…

bluecoat

February 6th, 2013
9:45 pm

TD carry a chickens foot in your pocket,could bring you more luck than you had with Romney.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

February 6th, 2013
9:49 pm

Southerners are more patriotic and more American than folks elsewhere in the country. Democrats don’t have a chance in Georgia, at least not those perceived as being supportive of the America-hating liberal fascist Obozo.

Politico

February 6th, 2013
9:52 pm

on her step stool, flailing and wailing

tough little chicken hawk she is

Stanman

February 6th, 2013
9:58 pm

How about Scott Holcomb or Lewis Massey?

bluecoat

February 6th, 2013
10:53 pm

Yeah! South gonna rise again.Just after the Biblical rapture.

bluecoat

February 6th, 2013
10:57 pm

All time I thought it was Uncle Jeb…

Vinnie the Taxman

February 7th, 2013
1:46 am

How about the honorable and esteemed Senator Vincent Fort? I know he is a man of integrity who seeks to unit people and has never been known for grandstanding or opportunism.

john

February 7th, 2013
6:17 am

Chip Rodgers for Senate. Maybe Nathan can pull some strings again to get him another high paying taxpayer job. We have not forgot nate. Nor will we come re-election time.

MiltonMan

February 7th, 2013
6:42 am

Just call the list: “List of Losers.” For such a strong national presence of the democratic party it is hilarious to see the democrats in this state as nothing more than a freak show.

Tiberius - pulling the tail of the left AND right when needed

February 7th, 2013
6:46 am

It’s certainly an interesting mix of nobodies, I’ll give you that.

Sad to say, it’s just slightly worse than the names being bandied about on the GOP side.

Numbers-R-US

February 7th, 2013
7:17 am

Georgia’s Republicans deserve Paul Broun.