Your morning jolt: If the race is for 2nd place, Karen Handel is leading

If the real contest among the Republican candidates for governor is for the No. 2 spot in a runoff, former secretary of state Karen Handel has the lead, according to an automated poll conducted by InsiderAdvantage for WSB-TV.

As in the past, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine leads. The numbers:

– Oxendine, 26%;

– Handel, 18%;

– Nathan Deal, 9%;

– Eric Johnson, 5%;

– Other candidates, 11%;

– And no opinion, 31%.

The poll was conducted April 5 among 396 likely voters in the Georgia Republican gubernatorial primary, for a margin of error of plus or minus 5%.

One new addition to InsiderAdvantage’s polling boilerplate: The firm is disclosing that the poll was conducted via automated phone calls.

For those still trying to fathom Ray Boyd, the real estate executive who just jumped into the Republican race for governor with $2 million of his own money, the Associated Press adds the following:

Georgia law allows candidates to funnel an unlimited amount of their own money into political races. But under a law adopted in 2006, candidates may only recoup $250,000 of those funds.

So once in, there’s no financial incentive to back out. There’s more:

Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said moneyed candidates with no prior political experience don’t have a history of doing well in the state.

He pointed to conservative commentator Herman Cain’s failed primary bid for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and Guy Millner, a multimillionaire businessman who ran for governor of Georgia in 1994 in 1998 and U.S. senator in 1996. He lost all three races.

“The lesson has been you can spend a lot of money and still lose,” Bullock said.

Despite his status as a Republican, Boyd is likely to wish a Ross Perot-like pox on both of Georgia’s major parties – if one of his web sites, VOILA2010, is any measure.

VOILA stands for Vote Out Incumbents, Liberate America.

The Republican field in the race to replace U.S. Rep. John Linder continues to grow. Local conservative activist and longtime community volunteer James “Jef” Fincher will announce his candidacy for the 7th District contest today. Fincher is a 34-year veteran flight attendant with Delta Airlines and local real estate broker.

In his press release, Fincher speaks of becoming involved in politics through the tea party movement.

If the state of Georgia really wants to dump those sport and music halls of fame in Macon, Bibb County may be ready to buy in.

This from the Associated Press:

County commissioners have agreed to let Commission Chairman Sam Hart begin negotiating for the buildings. The deal could involve a swap of sales tax money for operating funds.

Hart said the county could spend special purpose local option sales tax money to buy the two halls.

The state would then return the money as an endowment to run the halls and other sites the county subsidizes.

The Georgia House is about to consider a measure asking for proposals to move or change the management of the halls. Georgia taxpayers have been spending more than $1 million a year to subsidize the operations.

The re-election campaign of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is trying something you might see duplicated here. This from McClatchy Newspapers:

[Perry] is sponsoring native Texan Bobby Labonte’s racecar — a Chevrolet Impala SS — for the Samsung Mobile 500 on April 18. Perry’s name and campaign logo will be emblazoned across the No. 71 car at a cost of $225,000.

“I’ve got to think that racing is not a lot different from governing,” Perry said Tuesday during the unveiling of his sponsorship of the racecar at Huffines Chevrolet in Lewisville. “There’s about three or four things that, if you get it right, the rest will take care of itself.”

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46 comments Add your comment


April 7th, 2010
8:42 am

yesssssssssssss go karen handel


April 7th, 2010
8:43 am

Handel now within single digits of the falling Ox. The rest of the pack is falling back. Go Karen!


April 7th, 2010
8:53 am

Deal’s fall has begun, Ox’s fall continues. Johnson also is going backwards. Handel’s increasing. Impressive for Karen.

Baby's Daddy

April 7th, 2010
8:56 am

Enter your comments here


April 7th, 2010
8:58 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over

Ostrich Racer

April 7th, 2010
8:59 am

Do InsiderAdvantage pollsters make their calls from Oxendine’s office? Or is that just when Towery is in “fixer” mode?

Baby's Daddy

April 7th, 2010
8:59 am

It’s time for a white woman in da gov’s chair.
Oxendine is a spoiled rich white boy who ain’t
got sense God gave a squirrel crossing a four
lane highway. You go girl!


April 7th, 2010
9:00 am

Nobody polled me. Please Georgia voters, we can’t elect John (The Sleaze) Oxendine or Roy (Good ‘Ol Boy) Barnes. Let’s have some fresh leadership for the state.


April 7th, 2010
9:20 am

I wish Congressman John Linder would reconsider politics and run for governor. He would be a great governor.

Jill's mom

April 7th, 2010
9:25 am

Someone should forward this over to Tom Perdue’s dumb doctor from Atlanta – we all know you don’t live in Blairsville, have never voted for a GOP candidate in the 9th District, and cannot buy this seat.

Dr. Chris Cates is toast in North Georgia.

It's going to be a runoff

April 7th, 2010
9:26 am

This is a race for the top two places, it will be a runoff. Deal’s campaign is done, Johnson needs more than a weak TV ad to get his name ID up. Scott, McBerry, and Chapman aren’t even blips on the radar. Scott should drop back to the Lt. Gov’s race and beat Cagle. Cagle is wounded and can be taken down.

Jack from Sandy Springs

April 7th, 2010
9:37 am

Atlanta had a glorified secretary do a much over rated job as Mayor so I guess it’s time for Georgia to have a glorified admin as Governor! Seriously, with all the bright business people in the state is this group of hacks the best we can do or is it no one with any sense wants to go through the horrible political process?

Sorry State

April 7th, 2010
9:40 am

Sad that this slate is the best the Republicans have to offer. Each has so much baggage it would wipe out their war chests if they had to check it on a Delta flight.

Worse, we have to vote for someone to lead us thru such a critical time.

Marlboro Man

April 7th, 2010
9:45 am

Horse dung or cow dung ?

Look before I leap

April 7th, 2010
9:49 am

Perry had it right when he compared governing to automotive racing:
You spend a lot of money and make a lot of noise to run around in circles and go no where.
The analogy is spot on!


April 7th, 2010
9:51 am

If that ‘no opinion’ candidate wins the Republican primary the GOP will win the Governor’s election with 99% of the vote.

The circle h

April 7th, 2010
10:07 am

Cracks me up how “real estate agent” equals business person / candiate for governor.

Robert Lewis

April 7th, 2010
10:10 am

Why did Insider Advantage reveal that they are doing the polls via automated phone calls? Could it be because they were slammed on Monday because they have been leading people to think they were done with live callers. Guess Galloway forgot to report and how NBC felt duped by IA.


April 7th, 2010
10:10 am

To have someone to vote FOR for Governor would be a welcome change of pace. Why is it so hard for an independent to run in this state? What are the Dem and rep scared of?

Look before I leap

April 7th, 2010
10:12 am

What’s even funnier “Circle”, is the flight attendant who wants to be a congressman.


April 7th, 2010
10:19 am

Jim, interesting that you note that this was an automated call… does that mean the rest of the Insider Advantage polls have been automated as well?

That would certainly put in jeopardy the accuracy of their polling.

David Poythress for Governor

April 7th, 2010
10:19 am

There is a great choice on the ballots, but no one ever notices him.

Georgia Conservative

April 7th, 2010
11:00 am

Wondering – The reasons independents don’t run in the state of Georgia is that they can’t get on the ballot. Georgia’s ballot access laws are rigged so that only those from the two major parties can get on.

Eugene Moon, a conservative independent running for Congress in the 9th district is the first independent candidate to qualify for a congressional race in Georgia since the ’40’s, and that’s because it’s a special election that doesn’t require the usually onerous amount of signatures. The law is so stupid that if Moon wins the special elections, he’ll still have to collecte 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot fo the general election in November.


April 7th, 2010
11:02 am

The poster above me is obviously talking about Jeff Chapman but failed to include his name.


April 7th, 2010
11:03 am

A look at committed voters is even more revealing:
* John Oxendine – 17%
* Karen Handel: 14%
* Nathan Deal: 7%
* Eric Johnson: 3%
* Other: 14%
* Undecided: 45%

Jim Harris

April 7th, 2010
11:03 am

Jim Harris

April 7th, 2010
11:04 am





Ego Matt

April 7th, 2010
11:13 am

The 45% “undecided” are all “Closet Roy Barnes Republicans”. Roy is now getting public endorsements from local elected Republican office holders and local party officials. The business community doesn’t give a damn about party affiliation; they jusy simply want someone who knows how to run the state and somebody to clean up the Perdue/Cagle disaster!

Robert Lewis

April 7th, 2010
11:17 am

Guess Galloway never saw this story about Insider Advantage

Rob Vinson

April 7th, 2010
11:46 am

“Circle H”…Mr. Boyd isn’t your typical realtor….he is a self made man on the commercial side. He is putting his money where his mouth is and it’s refreshing…he isn’t shaking people or companies down for their vote like the dirty Ox or the bad Deal…. Sure, he probably won’t win, but i applaud him for having the courage to try. $2M is some serious cash in this day and age to lose…it’s hard to be able to come by that kind of money this day in age…especially in commercial real estate.

going going......

April 7th, 2010
11:56 am

So Karen doubles her numbers and Ox’s needle hasn’t moved. And what about this no opinion candidate, why isn’t anyone talking about him/her/it? How does Ox raise $2M when he isn’t allowed to campaign….Oh nevermid, Ox doesn’t think those rules apply to him.

Blue Fox

April 7th, 2010
12:31 pm

Is Karen set to gore the Ox?

Fumble...'whoa boy

April 7th, 2010
12:57 pm

The Republicans are going to fumble the governor’s office back to Roy Barnes.


April 7th, 2010
1:13 pm

So a Harvard law graduate isn’t qualified to be President, but a woman with a GED is qualified to be Governor of Ga. What does that say about Georgia?


April 7th, 2010
1:36 pm

Hey Georgia Conservative — you are on to something. The 11th Circuit is currently considering a challenge to Georgia’s restrictive law on getting independents and minor parties:

Keeping third parties and independents off the ballots is a bi-partisan issue in Georgia.

I’d argue that it also leads to the generally poor quality of candidates on both sides of the aisle. You have to be an ideologue to get a democratic or republican nomination, and ideologues make poor leaders who only care about their base

Big Brother

April 7th, 2010
1:48 pm

Please fill out your Census form so the Government can keep track of who you are and where you live.


April 7th, 2010
2:09 pm

When you have to list what college you went to as your main qualification for being President, there might be a problem.


April 7th, 2010
3:32 pm

At least some are able to list what college they went to.

The time is near

April 7th, 2010
3:52 pm

All the canidates for both parties are not worth a plug nickel!!! Georgia; we are in for some hard times if any of these folks become the next governor.


April 7th, 2010
5:10 pm

Poor chooses on both sides. I’m a Democrat and would actually like to see John Linder enter the race.

Third party candidates should be allowed to enter as well.

Handel is as much a joke as Thubert Baker. Georgia is in such bad shape that our elected legislation is considering taxing hospitals.

colin richards

April 7th, 2010
7:17 pm

Thrilled Roy Barnes, the Democrat, is far in the lead. All they are saying about November is media hype. The Democrats are staying in power. Obama saved the world from a total economic collapse. The stock market is up. Time to start investing.

You Asked

April 8th, 2010
9:38 am

@colin richards

Not to be picky but the time to start investing is when the stock market is down. ;-)

Justice 4 Juan

April 8th, 2010
2:59 pm

Why isn’t Karen Handel in prison for rigging GA elections in favor of the GOP. Ditto for Oxendine for fund raising irregularities.


April 8th, 2010
3:39 pm

Look like UNDECIDED is winning to me………45% is a lot of voters people!!!!

Fire Eater

April 8th, 2010
5:55 pm

I bet the real reason that Deal is under attack is that he has the strongest track record of ACTION against the third-world immigrant invasion of America. He has sponsored the bill to eliminate the insane practice of granting citizenship to “anchor babies” whose parents are deportable criminals.

Some time back, a Deal press conference was disrupted by a neo-Marxist mob angry at his forthright efforts against the illegal alien menace.

Perhaps we can see Tom Tancredo and Joe Arpaio come to Georgia and campaign for Deal…let’s see what they think of THAT.


April 13th, 2010
10:00 am

If you have evidence of “campaign rigging”, the place to have it investigated is the Ethics Commission. Karen Handel has attempted to make Georgia elections fair for ALL citizens. Your slanderous accusations do not add anything positive to the campaign.