Contemplating the possibility of a (groan!) runoff for governor

With just over a week to go before Groundhog — er, Election — Day, it’s time to consider the uncomfortable possibility that some bucktoothed newscaster will see his shadow, and we will all be forced to endure four more weeks of campaigning and ugly TV ads.

In other words, we could have a runoff for governor. Cue the tinny duet from Sonny and Cher: “Just put your little hand in mine …”

Neither Republican Nathan Deal nor Democrat Roy Barnes will yet acknowledge such a scenario — perhaps out of a fear that it would drain much-needed adrenaline from their volunteers.

And the signs certainly point to a strong Republican performance in Georgia on Nov. 2.


But in virtually every poll of statewide races, Deal has run several points behind other GOP candidates — the burden of a bitter primary struggle and fierce, well-funded TV attacks from Barnes.

In most surveys, the former North Georgia congressman has been under that magic mark of 50 percent plus one. And Libertarian John Monds continues to exact his crucial sliver of support.

Conventional wisdom and house odds say a mano a mano runoff for governor on Nov. 30 would simply delay the inevitable. No Democrat has ever won the second statewide round of a general election in Georgia — though, granted, there haven’t been many. Republicans show up for special elections. Democrats don’t.

But unconventional wisdom says there remains a narrow path for Barnes to win a runoff. This is why you’ve seen some Georgia Democrats begin to root for Republicans to take over the U.S. House — and maybe the U.S. Senate, too.

This is why nearly a dozen reporters showed up on the 27th floor of a Midtown Atlanta office building on Friday to listen as Karen Handel gave her first public address since losing the Aug. 10 GOP runoff to Deal.

They waited to see whether Handel would declare bygones to be bygones.

What they witnessed was a former secretary of state who spoke with all the enthusiasm of a woman who lost a statewide race for governor by 2,500 votes — and might have been the GOP nominee for governor had her runoff rival been more forthcoming about his personal financial situation.

“I support the ticket and I reiterate that support today,” Handel told the mostly female membership of Pocketbook Politics, a nonpartisan group. Much of the rest of her speech focused on the need for “fresh” leadership and higher ethical standards from public officials — lines she used this summer in reference to Deal.

She eschewed bitterness and declared Nov. 2 to be “too important to let what did or didn’t happen affect your voting decision.”

But the words “Nathan Deal” never passed Handel’s lips during her speech. Though she gave the Republican nominee a passing mention in the question-and-answer session, while listing candidates who might still need volunteers. Deal wasn’t at the top.

Handel’s campaign spokesman afterward e-mailed reporters a copy of a two-paragraph endorsement of Deal that Handel issued after the runoff. But “what I said in August” can hardly be called a lightning bolt of enthusiasm.

Democrats are hoping that Handel exemplifies a certain softness in GOP support for Deal that — if it doesn’t rear its head a week from Tuesday — might be more likely to show itself in a runoff. Especially if the rest of the Republican ticket, led by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, has been sated by victory.

Should Republicans take the U.S. House, as now seems probable, the Republicans in Washington might be preoccupied with the immediacy of personal ambition.

And some GOP voters might feel their duty done, just as African-American voters in Georgia, once Barack Obama was elected president in ‘08, gave Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss a pass in his U.S. Senate runoff against Democrat Jim Martin.

All could depend on whether “the people ticked off at Obama feel like they’ve gotten their pound of flesh,” theorized one Democratic heavyweight.

Republicans are aware of the opening. Linda Herren, a member of the Republican National Committee, was in Handel’s audience on Friday.

Herren said she’s been grabbing the lapels of every Republican she talks to, emphasizing that the Governor’s Mansion is the key to controlling next year’s reapportionment — the all-important, once-a-decade redrawing of the state’s political boundaries.

“Take your blinders off,” she tells her GOP friends. “We’ll have to live with this for the next 10 years.”

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136 comments Add your comment

PP

October 23rd, 2010
3:23 pm

I believe that a run-off is inevitable in this race. I only hope that voters in the run-off will seriously consider the flaws of the Republican candidate. Not only is he crooked, corrupt, and willing to use his office for personal gain, he has an incredibly flawed record on women’s rights. Even the AJC’s politifact gave credence to Barnes’s claims regarding Deal’s 1991 proposed changes to the rape shield laws. No Deal, Georgia. http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/ajc-rules-on-truth-behind-barness-rape-shield-ad/

catlady

October 23rd, 2010
3:23 pm

““Take your blinders off,” she tells her GOP friends. “We’ll have to live with this for the next 10 years.”

Exactly, Ms. Herren. And, as they say, 8 years already HAS been enough! Georgia cannot afford any more of the self-serving chicanery of the last 8 years. We cannot afford to take care of Nathan! We need someone who is smart with money, and who doesn’t try to pull the wool over his own supporters’ eyes. No Deal!

Let Mr. Deal get his house in order. Let him actually WORK for the next 8 years. Let him (gasp!) even do some volunteer work that won’t benefit his number one project–himself. Let him live like the rest of us workers for a while, instead of at the trough.

Best for Georgia

October 23rd, 2010
3:24 pm

I hope Linda Herren is successful in getting GA Republican’s to “take their blinders off” because, if they do, they will see that the truth of what has become of Georgia Republican politics under Sonny Perdue, Glenn Richardson, Casey Cagle and Nathan Deal. Whereas Republicans once bemoaned the cronyism and autocratic rule of Speaker Murphy, eight years under these clowns has made this State such an embarassment of corruption, skirt-chasing philandering, and clowns that if we could dig up Speaker Murphy from his grave, the Republican should do so just to pull us out of the mess they have created. But that would require taking the blinders off, a healthy dose of humility, and putting their love of this State ahead of partisanship. In other words..unlikely.

dagny

October 23rd, 2010
3:31 pm

This conservative will be voting for Barnes.

No Longer Republican

October 23rd, 2010
3:37 pm

waiting for a diatribe from our every day idiots, where are you last man? td? Raplh?

Karen Handel Supporter

October 23rd, 2010
3:49 pm

I am voting for Barnes we dont need a crook in office. I am one of Karen Handel supporters who voting for Barnes.

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
3:54 pm

PP:

You’re paying advertizing fees, aren’t you? I mean that you spend more time posting the link to your little wannabe website than blogging!

mc

October 23rd, 2010
3:55 pm

Monds = no a bigot about marriage! Gays for Monds…

D. E. Kalb

October 23rd, 2010
4:03 pm

Vote for whoever you please, but don’t confuse the Georgia Democratic party with the definition for ethics. I have lived here my entire life (60+ years) and I have seen my share of crooks in office, most of whom were Democrats.

Bill

October 23rd, 2010
4:13 pm

….who became Republicans.

KG

October 23rd, 2010
4:13 pm

Why not vote for someone with some integrity? Monds
may not win a majority but the message will be clear.
I can not vote for Barnes or Deal – I would probably
get overcome by nausea in the voting booth!

Hugh G

October 23rd, 2010
4:17 pm

“Herren said she’s been grabbing the lapels of every Republican she talks to, emphasizing that the Governor’s Mansion is the key to controlling next year’s reapportionment — the all-important, once-a-decade redrawing of the state’s political boundaries.

“Take your blinders off,” she tells her GOP friends. “We’ll have to live with this for the next 10 years.”

So basically, this election is really important so the state GOP can gerrymander this state out the wazoo? That’s the only reason to vote Deal? So you can twist the state’s boundaries to your cronies’ maximum political advantage? Thanks for giving this independent one more reason to vote Barnes. Pretty much everyone agrees that the Republicans will hold the Legislature: If we elect Barnes, hopefully they’ll have to compromise, and we might get reasonable districts for once.

jack freeman

October 23rd, 2010
4:29 pm

vote for monds nov 2 then vote for barnes four weeks later he is honest and will wake up every morning working for georgia the only jobs deal will create are ethics investagaters and prosecuters

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
4:38 pm

Well, let’s see who is on here. I see we have “felinewoman”, “Worst for Georgia”, “Never was a Republican” and the ever-present “Bill”. Quite a collection, I must say.

Hugh G.:

“So basically, this election is really important so the state GOP can gerrymander this state out the wazoo?”

No, Hugh G., your boy Barnes showed us his last time out the true meaning of “gerrymander”. He got so carried away with it that the Justice Department gave us our current gerrymandered districts.

Karen Handel Supporter:

“I am voting for Barnes we dont need a crook in office. I am one of Karen Handel supporters who voting for Barnes”

What a surprise! You be voting for Barnes.

Best for Georgia:

Actually, the only people really with the blinders are democrats. They become Republicans when the blinders are removed.

catlady:

Only one wee bit of advice: practice saying, “Governor Deal”.

td

October 23rd, 2010
4:42 pm

So basically, this election is really important so the state GOP can gerrymander this state out the wazoo? That’s the only reason to vote Deal? So you can twist the state’s boundaries to your cronies’ maximum political advantage?

Have you seen the current gerrymandered lines the Democrats drew in 2000? To answer your question Yes, Yes and Yes. The state of Georgia must do everything possible to stop the Obama progressive/socialistic/communist agenda. Georgia will be receiving at least one more congressional seat(13 total) and I think with the right drawing then we could be sending 9 or 10 Republicans to the house in 2012.

After looking early voter turnout numbers and where they are turning out I do not see a runoff needed for any race.

Bobby Anthony

October 23rd, 2010
4:43 pm

Deal WILL BE Georgia’s next GOVERNOR!

td

October 23rd, 2010
4:56 pm

No Longer Republican

October 23rd, 2010
3:37 pm
waiting for a diatribe from our every day idiots, where are you last man? td? Raplh?

I think we are just providing clarity for the uneducated, non producing, mooching side of the fence.

AngryVoter

October 23rd, 2010
4:58 pm

Hugh G – Let me get this straight…One of our candidates personally worked on a defended a redistricting plan that was illegal, tried to steal our government from us, and you want us to believe that’s who we should trust with redistricting? The Reps, when the court overturned the illegal scheme, redistricted and we wound up with more Dems in Congress than we had before and lines that were universally praised as fair, but you tell us we should fear having those people do the maps again? It makes not sense, Hugh G. While there may be some reasons to vote for Barnes – although I’m at a loss to think of any – this is clearly not one of them. Clearly, Barnes has abused this before. Don’t try to tell us we’d be safe with that wolf back guarding the hen house. Please.

Doug Craig

October 23rd, 2010
5:00 pm

I will vote for John Monds and I will feel great about. 48% will vote for Deal and hold their nose. Why would you do that. vote for the best person vote Monds http://www.votemonds.com.
your vote is your vote not the GOP’s or the democrats.

catlady

October 23rd, 2010
5:05 pm

LMS: If he wins, I will have another “pet” name I will call him.

AngryVoter

October 23rd, 2010
5:10 pm

Once again, I’ll say it. Any commercials, discussions, parsing, trying-to-convince or wasting of breath trying to talk anyone into voting for Barnes at this point is wasted. People either thought he was incompetent eight years ago or were going to vote Dem anyone, no matter what. Nobody is changing their mind about him at this point. The Dems lost this election when they chose to nominate him instead of someone who could win a general election. No matter how bad they paint Deal, or he paints himself, most people think that he is the only one who has not already proven himself a failure at this office, so they’re willing to take a chance, rather than condemn themselves to Barnes again.

It doesn’t matter if there is a run-off, if Deal is found holding a smoking gun in front of ten bleeding bodies or even if JC himself were to walk on earth and tell everyone to vote for Barnes, nothing will change the majority’s minds at this point. The only way Deal can lose is if he winds up in a runoff with Monds, as that would allow people to vote against Deal without worrying about the worse-of-the-two Barnes getting the office.

Shame on the Dems for putting us in this situation. It was very simple. Don’t nominate Barnes and you could beat anyone but Handel. And maybe her, too. The polls clearly showed Barnes would lose to every Rep running in the primary. As usual, Dems thought they knew better, as, for the most part, they are unable to appreciate any viewpoint other than their own. Rather than trying to find a suitable candidate who might represent enough of their views while still able to attract those with differing views, Dems appear to have just thought of others’ views as wrong and thought they could bulldoze to a win. Of course they can’t, but it’s that hubris that will force us to have Deal as a Gov for the next four years.

Yep, the Reps were hoodwinked by a man who didn’t disclose the truth, but the Dems chose to have Barnes as their nom, despite the truth being out there and obvious. In other words, while it’s a shame the Reps were fooled by Deal, it’s worse that the Dems knowingly chose Barnes. I’d rather have the people fooled than the people who knowingly make very bad, impulsive choices.

AngryVoter

October 23rd, 2010
5:14 pm

td – what Barnes and the Dems did last time was no gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is legal. The Dems schemed to steal the government, denying citizens of one-man-one-vote. The court decisions, in overtuning and slamming the schemes, were very clear on this. Please stop calling it gerrymandering, as that allows an out: the Dems did what everyone does.

It’s the difference between – to drag up a recent case from around here – making someone chicken soup when he is sick and feeding someone soup laced with anti-freeze. One is legal, the other is a crime. Nobody ever accused Ms. Turner of making chicken soup, did they?

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
5:21 pm

I have thought about this AJC posting re a possible run-off election and have come to a conclusion. The AJC has moved into the world of reality. They now see that Barnes will NOT be elected. Perhaps they think the possibility of run-off will produce a higher turn-out of democrat voters on November 2, or that a run-off would give Barnes a better shot at the governorship. In either case, they are wrong. The inevitable Republican tide is comming in . . . and it will sweep democrats OUT as it recedes.

No Longer Republican

October 23rd, 2010
5:24 pm

Thanks TF, but I provide very well all by myself, thank you! Your belief that all liberals are broke and living off of food stamps is very simple minded. As a matter of fact I am a strong fiscal conservative, But I have had enough of the government interfering i in everybody’s and the right wing “christian” taliban has destroyed my belief in the Republican party. Personal freedom is far more important to me than how much taxes I pay. I am not controlled by money like the Rethugs and I certainly don’t approve of their intrusion into personal lives.
Then here in Georgia, add to that, the nomination of a crook and a liar (I prob would have voted for Handel) to be our next governor and I have absolutely NO faith in Republicans. Sonny has all but destroyed public education in Georgia and eight years of Deal and no only will be 50th, we won’t even be able to see 49th. So go ahead with your stupidity and elect a liar and a crook. We will continue to see our state decline year after year after year. And will be the laughingstock of the country when Deal is imprisoned.

No Longer Republican

October 23rd, 2010
5:25 pm

should have been TD, sorry

Drew

October 23rd, 2010
5:26 pm

NO ROY BARNES!!!!!!!!!!!! SUCK IT UP GOP AND VOTE FOR DEAL!

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
5:26 pm

catlady:

“LMS: If he wins, I will have another “pet” name I will call him.”

There won’t be any need for you to conjure up another “pet” name. You may just address him as “Sir”.

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
5:31 pm

NLR:

“public education in Georgia and eight years of Deal and no only will be 50th, we won’t even be able to see 49th”

We will still not be at the bottom, according to Obama. After all, he had campaigned in 57 states and probably would have campaigned in all 58 before he was done.

Calhoun

October 23rd, 2010
5:33 pm

The intelligence of the pro Barnes crowd and the anti Deal crowd could be glaring. But I don’t see any. Now I will wait for the squealers and howlers.

jack freeman

October 23rd, 2010
5:33 pm

put it in simple words you can understand if you vote for deal you are an ediot deal is a crook and will only use the office to better himself and his family roy will simply do the right thing for georgia

Bill

October 23rd, 2010
5:39 pm

Last Man Standing Up for Shady Deal: There were 57 Democratic primaries and caucuses. He misspoke but we can be pretty sure that someone who was President of the Harvard Law Review knows how many states there are.

jack freeman

October 23rd, 2010
5:57 pm

before deal walked down the aisle to give away his daughter he said to the boy i know you are a crook and you will fit in just fine when you file for bankrupcy you take an oath under penalty of federal law that all the information is correct deal says his personal business has nothing to do with the voters business he really believes this wake up georgia voters

Calhoun

October 23rd, 2010
6:20 pm

To jack freeman:

I said:
October 23rd, 2010
5:33 pm
“The intelligence of the pro Barnes crowd and the anti Deal crowd could be glaring. But I don’t see any. Now I will wait for the squealers and howlers.”

You said:
October 23rd, 2010
5:33 pm
“put it in simple words you can understand if you vote for deal you are an ediot deal is a crook and will only use the office to better himself and his family roy will simply do the right thing for Georgia”

Idiot is spelled “idiot,” not “ediot.” That seems to make my case.
I will now wait for the squealers and howlers.

Mad As Zell

October 23rd, 2010
6:30 pm

The Democrat Party is basically toast in Georgia, now and in the long term for the forseeable future. The governor’s office is Deal’s to lose and pretty much his for the taking. Some voters may be put off by Deal’s seeming continued inability to balance a checkbook, but the simple fact is that there are more Republican voters than Democrat voters in Georgia and that gives Deal and the GOP all that they need to win it in all in November

jack freeman

October 23rd, 2010
6:32 pm

misspelled words is all you got from my comments

MrLiberty

October 23rd, 2010
6:33 pm

Let’s hope the runoff is between Deal and Monds!

Vote John Monds for governor. The republican and democratic parties have never make it more clear as to why they both need to be sent to the dustbin of history.

jack freeman

October 23rd, 2010
6:34 pm

mad wants to give deal georgias checkbook

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
6:40 pm

Bill:

“He misspoke but we can be pretty sure that someone who was President of the Harvard Law Review knows how many states there are.”

He seems to misspeak quite a bit, doesn’t he? Maybe you’d care to inform us exactly why he “surrendered” his licence to pratice law?

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
6:45 pm

Bill:

It was at a campaign appearance in Beaverton, Oregon, on May 9, 2008. Obama said, “It is just wonderful to be back in Oregon. And over the last 15 months we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states; I think one left to go.”

BrendaSue

October 23rd, 2010
6:48 pm

We saw what partisan gerrymandering looked like last time with Roy and his buddy Bobby Khan at the helm. He was perfectly willing to violate the voting rights act to get his way. The federal courts had to stop his scheme.
A vote for Roy Barnes is a vote for national democrat power in Georgia. I hope we won’t lift a finger to support the democrat agenda.

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
6:49 pm

jack freeman:

“misspelled words is all you got from my comments”

That’s about all I got out of it, unless you mean the lack of punctuation?

roybama barnes

October 23rd, 2010
6:50 pm

Roy Barnes has got to have some huge cajones. He puts out an advertisement suggesting that Deal somehow is soft on crime and insensitive to women. It was ROY BARNES who had his photo taken, IN THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, with Nuwaubian cult members barely a month before the raid on the compound. Why did Roy Barnes coddle and empower the most notorious serial pedophile in U.S. history? http://bibbrepublicanparty.com.

yuzeyurbrain

October 23rd, 2010
7:01 pm

Linda Herren and the RNC should take off their blinders; Deal is going down.

Calhoun

October 23rd, 2010
7:03 pm

To: jack freeman
No, it is not just the misspelling. Really, the whole thing makes my case. Someone important once said, “. . . forgive them, for they know not what they do” (or say). In another place it is written (to paraphrase), “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” I believe these things apply to both sides of the campaign. I do appreciate the freedoms that we have to say what we please, but trust me on this, you don’t know what you are saying.
This is all I have to say on this subject for today, but I will wait for the squeals and howls.

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
7:11 pm

yuzeyurbrain:

You obviously don’t.

Bill

October 23rd, 2010
7:20 pm

Last Man: I am aware. He misspoke. You don’t believe that a graduate of Columbia University and a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law Scollo (and President – i.e. editor on chief of the Law Review) doesn’t know there are 50 states?

Think B4 U Vote

October 23rd, 2010
7:23 pm

If you cast a vote for either Deal or Barnes, you deserve to be subjected to a runoff.

Monds is the clear choice to show losers that they cannot be a winner by default.

Change Georgia for the positive. Vote Monds.

Bill

October 23rd, 2010
7:25 pm

School (typed too fast).

Last Man Standing

October 23rd, 2010
7:27 pm

Bill:

“I am aware. He misspoke. You don’t believe that a graduate of Columbia University and a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law Scollo (and President – i.e. editor on chief of the Law Review) doesn’t know there are 50 states?”

I submit that it is within the realm of possibility.

He seems to misspeak quite a bit, doesn’t he? Maybe you’d care to inform us exactly why he “surrendered” his licence to pratice law?

Bill

October 23rd, 2010
7:43 pm

He’s actually the most articulate President we’ve had since Kennedy. I understand that he is registered with the Illinois Bar as “inactive” which a lawyer voluntarilly does when he or she is admitted but not practicing. That way you don’t have to meet CLE requirements and pay lower bar dues. It is a simple matter to become active. Only a complete birther wingnut (or their websites) would interpret that as surrendering a license.