The Republican runoff for governor on Aug. 10 will be major test of influence for Georgia’s most aggressive anti-abortion organization.
Georgia Right to Life has already made it clear – in a couple hundred thousand re-election robo-calls – that the group will oppose Karen Handel in favor of Nathan Deal.
And Deal has already indicated that social conservatives are at the heart of his runoff strategy.
So this message from GRTL president Dan Becker is worth noting:
Throughout the state [Tuesday], voters supported an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that said the “right to life is vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death” and that right should be protected by law.
In all 46 counties where the amendment was presented, it passed overwhelmingly by an amazing 75%! Georgia is the first state in the nation where voters have said “yes” to the personhood question.
The presence of the question was made at the county GOP level. (One Democratic county, Butts, included the question on its primary ballot, and approved it.)
Becker said he’ll use the stats to lobby the Legislature for a proposed constitutional amendment next year. But making the difference in a statewide GOP primary for governor would be a stronger statistic to flash around.
Chris Riggall, who served as spokesman for former secretary of state Cathy Cox, e-mailed this morning to correct some misinformation floating about.
Tuesday’s vote was not – repeat, not – the first time that Republican ballots exceeded Democratic ballots in a general primary vote:
“In the 2002 general primary, Republican voters outpaced Democrats in both the top two statewide races — U. S. Senate and Governor. That’s when both Saxby Chambless and Sonny Perdue won hotly contested races.
“For example, in the 2002 governor’s race, total Democratic votes (Barnes) were 434,892. Total Republican votes (Perdue, Schrenko and Bryne) were 511,463. In the Senate race, Republicans outpaced Democrats as well, by about 40,000 votes.”
Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes is headed to Enigma on Saturday for what’s being billed as a major south Georgia rally.
Barnes now has three spare weeks to campaign, while Karen Handel and Nathan Deal snipe at each other in the GOP runoff.
But the state Republican party will try to take up some of the slack. Obviously, the party will try to wrap President Barack Obama around Barnes’ neck.
But on Wednesday, the state GOP – in an e-mail to Republicans around the state – indicated that Barnes’ ‘08 support for John Edwards, the Democratic candidate with great hair and not-so-great morals, will also be a target.
Also, with President Barack Obama in Atlanta on Aug. 2, look for some loud GOP wondering over what Barnes’ schedule will be that day.
Smart Media Group of Alexandria, Va., serves as the purchaser of TV time for the campaign of Karen Handel. On its blog is a (somewhat self-congratulating) assessment of cost per vote in Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor.
Costs cited apply to TV only, and Handel probably spent far more than Deal and Oxendine on direct mail:
In a field of four major candidates, more than $3.05 million was spent and 679,572 ballots were cast making the statewide average cost per vote $4.49. If we look at the cost per vote (CPV) of the individual candidates, we find that Karen Handel was unquestionably the most effective candidate in the race.
Handle’s CPV was $0.65 – a feat of efficiency when compared to the other candidates. The runner-up, Congressman Nathan Deal, paid $2.37 per vote, or 3.6 times what Handel paid. Moving down the list of candidates, third-place finisher, former State Senator Eric Johnson, paid $8.85 per vote. That’s 13.65 times what Handel paid and 197% more than the statewide average.
Finally, fourth-place finisher and current statewide office holder John Oxendine paid a shocking $11.86 per vote, or almost 18 times what Karen Handel paid. Oxendine’s CPV was 256% above the statewide average of $4.49.
Mary Norwood this morning announced that she’s filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court in an attempt to get her name on the ballot as an independent candidate for commission chairman.
The Fulton County board of elections refused her candidacy earlier this month, citing her failure to meet a state-mandated qualifying deadline.
In her court plea, her lawyers argue that the Board of Registration and Elections had the discretion to allow Norwood on the ballot under Georgia law, and should have. “Well over thirty thousand signatures gathered in 90 days speak volumes about what the people want,” Norwood said in a press release. “Voters clearly want to see more choice on the ballot.”
Finally, we’ve been shown an interesting portion of a Fulton County poll that measures the endorsement clout of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, and Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes.
Overall, Reed comes out on top – but the way the quartet’s influence varies according to the race of the audience is fascinating:
On whether an endorsement is more or less likey to move a voter:
More Likely – 57%
More Likey White – 47%
More Likely AA – 72%
More Likely – 50%
More Likely White – 29%
More Likely AA – 79%
More Likely – 51%
More Likely White – 41%
More Likely AA – 66%
More Likely 49%
More Likely White – 41%
More Likely AA – 60%