More than two-thirds of 576 mayors and members of city councils across Georgia expect former Gov. Roy Barnes to be the Democratic nominee for governor.
A plurality of the same men and women – 34 percent — think state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine will emerge as the Republican nominee.
Thirty-eight percent of the city officials think Barnes will pull off an upset in November. Twenty percent said they don’t have a clue, and 10 percent picked John Oxendine.
The survey – not a poll – is the biennial work product of the Georgia Municipal Association. The question asked of GMA’s members in each case was not: “Who would you like to see as the nominee?”
The question was: “Who do you think will win?”
See the complete results here. About 25 percent of GMA members participated.
“We enjoy doing this survey each year before our annual convention [in Savannah next week],” said GMA Executive Director Jim Higdon. “It’s just fun to see what city officials are thinking in regards to state politics.”
If you assume that urban centers, regardless of size, will trend Democratic, that would mean the GMA question regarding that party’s primary carries the most weight.
From the GMA communiqué:
“[I]t was interesting to note that we did ask the respondents which Regional Commission their city is in, and city officials had Barnes on top in each region except in Three Rivers (Carrol, Troup, Heard, Coweta, Meriwether, Spalding, Pike, Upson, Lamar and Butts counties) where he tied with Oxendine,” said Higdon.
– 75 percent of the GMA members picked Republican Casey Cagle to win another term as lieutenant governor, over Democrat Carol Porter.
– 48 percent predicted that their regions would reject a 1-percent sales tax for transportation in a 2012 referendum.
From the press release:
“City officials in three regions thought the tax would pass — metro Atlanta, middle Georgia and the coastal region,” Higdon said.
“The transportation needs in metro-Atlanta are well documented and people have generally felt that the regional tax has a good chance of passing there. In middle Georgia getting the fall-line freeway completed may be behind the thinking of some local officials there and the coast experienced exceptional growth over the past 10 years and has pretty significant transportation needs.”