Soggy notes from a GOP tsunami: Is Nathan Deal a four-year governor?

Republican Gov.-elect Nathan Deal waves to supporters on Tuesday. AP/John Bazemore

Republican Gov.-elect Nathan Deal waves to supporters on Tuesday. AP/John Bazemore

Perhaps the first question that will face Gov. Nathan Deal in January will be an unspoken one: Is he a four-year governor, or an eight-year governor?

At 68, Deal will be the oldest person to assume the governorship of Georgia in four generations. (Tom Crawford of the Georgia Report points out that Lamartine Hardman was 71 when elected in 1927.)

A politician who has only one term in mind will govern far differently than one who has an eight-year calendar in his head – think of the things Roy Barnes left undone.
georgiamap

And a Legislature is likely to treat a four-year governor with far less deference than one likely to serve two terms. But more than that, think of the Republican jockeying for position that would begin almost immediately.

***

One of the best things going on ajc.com today is this interactive county-by-county map showing results in the governor’s race. Check it out.

What you see on the right is a non-interactive version. Counties won by Republican Nathan Deal are in red, counties won by Democrat Roy Barnes are in blue. Note the ever deepening racial split among voters.

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The real meaning behind Republican Nathan Deal’s trouncing of Democrat Roy Barnes, and the GOP sweep of every state office? Look for the money and energy in Georgia campaigns to shift to summer Republican primaries. That bitter runoff between between Deal and Karen Handel in the GOP primary — which, it turns out, was the real race for governor — will seem like child’s play.

Austin Scott, Republican winner of Georgia's 8th congressional district, kisses his wife Vivien and wraps his arm around his son Wells at a victory party. AP/Ric Feld

Austin Scott, Republican winner of Georgia's 8th congressional district, kisses his wife Vivien and wraps his arm around his son Wells at a victory party. AP/Ric Feld

***

State Rep. Austin Scott of Tifton woke up this morning as the luckiest man in Georgia.

A man in search of a larger venue, Scott killed the better part of a year in a fruitless campaign for governor that included a walk across the entire state. This spring, he considered dropping down to mount a Republican primary challenge to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

Instead, he was persuaded by GOP leaders, including U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, to mount yet another challenge against U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, the Macon Democrat. This one worked. Scott received nearly 53 percent of the vote.

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The second luckiest man may be U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany. The Associated Press declared him dead in his race against Republican Mike Keown at about 11 p.m. Tuesday, apparently missing the fact that ballots still out included Columbus/Muscogee County.

Bishop won with nearly 5,000 votes to spare, with 51.4 percent of the vote.

From the Associated Press this morning:

GOP candidate Mike Keown left a message with Bishop’s campaign Wednesday morning after unofficial tallies showed the incumbent Democrat ahead by about 4,500 votes in southwest Georgia’s 2nd District, said Andrew O’Shea, Keown’s campaign manager.

“With that kind of a gap, we just wanted to do the right thing and concede,” O’Shea said.

***

A sign that the economy and jobs were uppermost in the minds of voters: Amendment 1, which even Republicans said was so vaguely worded that it concealed the fact that it dealt with non-compete contracts for workers, passed easily. Voters were asked if they wanted to make the state “more economically competitive.”

Amendment 2, which would have levied a $10 car tag tax to fund a statewide trauma network, failed – gaining only 47 percent support — despite a multi-million dollar campaign.

***

In state legislative contests, most of the turmoil on Tuesday was in the House:

– Republican Sam Teasley beat Democratic incumbent Pat Dooley of Marietta with 56 percent of the vote;

– Republican Valerie Clark beat Democratic incumbent Lee Thompson of Lawrenceville with 54 percent of the vote;

– Jill Chambers of Atlanta, chairman of the MARTOC committee, was the only Republican casualty – beaten by Democrat Elena Parent. Chambers’ bankruptcy became a key issue.

– And don’t forget that Alan Powell of Hartwell, unopposed on Tuesday, had said he would consider switching to the Republican party if Roy Barnes lost the race for governor.

***

Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz takes a shot at one of the nation’s oldest polling firms this morning at the Huffington Post:

Gallup’s final likely voter poll gave Republicans a 15 point margin on the generic ballot, the largest of any major poll and far beyond the average of 6-7 points. The actual result, based on both the national exit poll and votes tabulated thus far, appears to be between 6 and 7 points.

Not only did Gallup miss the actual vote margin by a mile, but their projections about the composition of the midterm electorate were also way off the mark. Based on the exit poll results, it appears that the actual electorate was not nearly as male, old, Republican, or conservative as Gallup’s final likely voter sample.

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177 comments Add your comment

lmno

November 3rd, 2010
10:32 am

4 year or 8 Year? I am asking whether or not he even gets signed in before indictment.

lmno

November 3rd, 2010
10:34 am

A wife beater, a philanderer, and a crook! Way to go Georgia! Way to go!

We don’t need no stinking trauma system! $10 is too high!

A Disgrace

November 3rd, 2010
10:36 am

jawjah never ceases to amaze me. Just when I thought you folks were getting smarter you voted for someone who is bankrupt. His number one agenda is to replenish his wealth and get his lousy daughter and son in law employed.

should be fun

Jeff

November 3rd, 2010
10:37 am

Not often that you get to say you’ve walked 10 miles with a Congressman. I still remember that July 2009 day all too well. :D

Austin is a great man, and while I’d rather see him living on West Paces Ferry Rd than in DC, I’m glad he won regardless.

FormerGeorgian

November 3rd, 2010
10:37 am

Deals victory will be a Pyrrhic victory for the GOP.His and the legislatures corruption will be exposed. Republicans in Georgia are on top of the world now they can only go downhill from here.

BillyHill

November 3rd, 2010
10:39 am

Will Deal’s debts will be paid off by the end of the week by donors & constituents???
inquiring minds want to know

Michael

November 3rd, 2010
10:40 am

Republicans want a change back to where they throttle our lives by making us servants to the private sector rather than to the government. They got the first step accomplished with the House of Representatives. Hopefully there sinister plan will get them the Senate and White House in 2012 and this country can finally devolve into the economic slavery they so richly desire as we kick money up to our corporate overlords. All hail the white, benevolent dictators! All Hail!

David S

November 3rd, 2010
10:41 am

The gubenatorial election proved conclusively that nothing will ever change in this country and that the politics of fear are the foundation of the two party monopoly in this country. We do not have a clear choice between two different parties or philosophies. We have a choice between a socialist pro warfare party and a socialist pro welfare party. Truly there is no difference to the pocketbook of the voters who must pay and pay and pay. In this current race we had a contest between two of the worst candidates to come along in a long time and yet the calls by each side to fear the other side because they are “them” and not “us” worked and a profoundly competent black man (the first to be on the general election ballot for governor in the state’s history!) received no more than the typical vote that the libertarian party candidate receives.

In every election, we hear loud complaining, but nothing ever changes. Between elections nobody ever works towards the formation of alternate parties. Nobody every lobbies their elected representatives to change the oppressive ballot access laws in this state. Nobody ever pickets outside of local media outlets demanding full and equal coverage of third party candidates. And yet somehow they expect that electing someone different from the same two parties that have caused all of our political problems will generate a different result.

The laws of economics cannot be repealed by majority vote. The unsustainable spending and growth of government cannot continue. Real change NEVER happens via the political process. That will become clearer and clearer as the months go by following this election.

Michael

November 3rd, 2010
10:42 am

Deal’s Debts were likely paid in full some time yesterday.

RK

November 3rd, 2010
10:43 am

Amendment 1’s wording disgusts me.

Maw Maw

November 3rd, 2010
10:45 am

GA will continue its downward spiral that started with Sonny “I didn’t do it”. “Let’s make a deal” Deal is even worse, if that is possible. We will be the laughing stock of the nation. God help us. We need it.

Jeff

November 3rd, 2010
10:46 am

Good job Georgia. We got a Governor that can’t manage his own finances, and an Attorney General that has never prosecuted a case.

RK

November 3rd, 2010
10:49 am

Jeff, don’t forget he is also someone that wanted to see Obama’s birth certificate, and quit Congress before ethics charges were brought up.

Just the facts

November 3rd, 2010
10:50 am

Will he be allowed to complete his term from his prison cell? If so, look for 8 years.

Travis McGee

November 3rd, 2010
10:54 am

The “giddiness” of the conservatives over showing that uppidy black guy from Harvard a thing or two will give way to dispair as their strategies lead to a double-dip recession.

Finally, the conservative victories also accomplished something else — the lowering of the median IQ in Washington by 25 points.

Selah!

Alpha23

November 3rd, 2010
10:54 am

Well, I see the sore loser’s are out in force today!!! Go find a nipple to suck on babies!!!

packing my bags....

November 3rd, 2010
10:55 am

been trying to decide whether to stick around this backward state i was born in, now with deal’s election it just may be time to get on out of here. funny how state house rep. chambers gets defeated because of financial issues, but an ethically challenged and financially challenged crook like deal gets elected to the governor’s mansion. talk about dysfunctional….

itpdude

November 3rd, 2010
10:56 am

Menken said the American people get what they deserve, and hopefully good and hard.

The election of Deal is incredible. It’s only a matter of time before we get what we deserve.

Terri

November 3rd, 2010
10:56 am

man o man did we get a raw deal.

crazydi

November 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

I CANNOT believe that CROOK was put in office, he was kicked out of congress, has defaulted on a loan that he cosigned for his kid, you know who will be paying for that one, YEP US TAXPAYERS! And that idiot purdue, what the devil has he done since in office? lol SQUAT.

And lets just wait until deals indictment is underway, what a way to represent GA, a damn criminal running the state!!! HOW EMBARASSING!

Travis McGee

November 3rd, 2010
10:57 am

The rich got lower taxes and the working stiff got “trickled on” in the 80’s by Reaganomics. So, let’s try that again!

And, so it goes. . . .

Alpha23

November 3rd, 2010
10:59 am

My, my, the libs are upset today aren’t they???!!! Get over it cry-babies!!! Go play in the rain!!!

Entirely Unsurprised

November 3rd, 2010
11:01 am

Yes indeed. Just watch it unfold. Never underestimate the pure stupidity of the Ga voter. As long as the guy is white, a republican, and makes an appearance of going to church and being a fambly man, he will get elected, no matter what he does or what he stands for. I wanted to see Monds do better myself, but who am I kidding. Its a two party system, and they are both the same, both designed to increase their power and run us the people into the ground. And no one seems to care. So enjoy! Bon appetit!

Mike552

November 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

I live here in Georgia and I’m not surprised Deal won. This redneck state doesn’t care what crimes you commit you do as long as you’re white and have an (R) next to your name on the ballot. I hope this crook goes to jail and embarrasses the people who elected him.

Will

November 3rd, 2010
11:02 am

Well Georgians by electing Deal we proved to South Carolina that we are as dumb as they are.

lmno

November 3rd, 2010
11:03 am

Look, I know some of you voted for that non-compete crap. Where are you? Defend your vote.

And what about you that voted against the trauma system cause you refuse to spend $10 more on a car tag? Where are you? What are you going to do when your child is in a wreck in rural GA an hour away from teh nearest trauma center? Are you going to go visit them and say, “Look, I am sorry you are in a coma and may die, but I just had to make a point.”

packing my bags....

November 3rd, 2010
11:05 am

where is all the change the loudmouths were screaming about? certainly not here in georgia. only one incumbent gets defeated for the house of reps, isakson cakewalks back in, and another bubba crook in is the gov. mansion….. change has been the tagline and mantra for years now, and people keep buying the rhetoric. what some call democracy is really just mob rule by those who can can yell the loudest and instill the most fear…..

Disgusted

November 3rd, 2010
11:09 am

Well, now Georgia has another thing in common with Louisiana, both states elected a crook as their governor. But seriously, this proves that statewide, maybe even Julius Streicher could be elected as long as he was running as a Republican. What is a shame is that the voters are stupid enough to believe the trash said by Deal about Roy Barnes, i.e., that he supported child molesters, when all Roy did was vote against a law that allowed hearsay testimony that was later declared unconstitutional, bu the same voters ignored that Deal, his daugher, and her husband, engaged in Bankruptcy fraud in order to cover up the fact that Deal owed $2.5 million dollars to a small town bank that he didn’t have the money to pay.

Sales Dog

November 3rd, 2010
11:09 am

Amendment 1 needs to be challenged in court. No one had any idea they were voting workers into indentured servitude. Sales commissions are usually held by the company for a period of time for this reason already.
HEY “small business owners” – you may think your customer list is proprietary and secret, but you can find any clients name an number in the phone book, or google it.
GA is a right to work state and if we are free agents then you have no right to restrict where i can work. if you want to keep your clients, be competitive. you dont need a constitutional amendment to earn your customers business.
GA voters are easily led and vote in the economic interests of the plantation owners. Yo, tea party, you are NEVER going to be in that 39% tax bracket your defending.
And low taxes dont create jobs, they create profits. No promise to hire anyone.
What does create jobs is educating the workforce, and building infrastructure to get the goods to market efficiently and cheaply. Why would i spend my new low-tax profits on uneducated/unskilled legal american worker anyway? We have plenty of day labor waiting at homedepot.
Most of you anti-tax ninnys are just cheating your children from a good education and driving on potholed roads. And when you loose control on the ill maintained road, you dont even have a close trauma center to save your stupid life.
But if you are super rich you an build your own private road to the private school and keep the peasants out with a private police force.

LOL

November 3rd, 2010
11:10 am

Hey Alpha23, we “Libs” will not be crying in the rain. We will do what your guys do. Bitch, whine, complain and put party over country, just like you guys did – and nothing will be accomplished for at least another 2 years. Get ready to meet the new party of “No”.
You’ve all made your bed. Prepare to sleep in it.

Disgusted

November 3rd, 2010
11:11 am

Now the big question will be if Sally Yates, the US Attorney for the Northern District has the guts to indict Deal for lying to Federal officials about his meetings with the Georgia officials over the salvage title vehicle inspections. Martha Stewart was indicted for this offense and went to prison. Oops, I forgot, she was a Democrat.

Mike

November 3rd, 2010
11:12 am

Well the folks of this state put a crook in the governor’s office. Georgia is really a joke now. I am interested in seeing his new business plan. Will it be like the one they used to start that failed business. Way to go Georgians.

ENM

November 3rd, 2010
11:12 am

Watch Mr. Deal closely. He is a proven “crook.” It just a matter of time, for he will get caught with his hand in the tilt. Mr. Barnes, remain close, you may be the one asked to defend Mr. Deal. Shame on the “red” in Georgia, you will do any thing to keep good politicans out. Mr. Deal will do nothing for Georgia, for he is looking out for his best interest, not the citizens of Georgia.

Disgusted

November 3rd, 2010
11:14 am

Sales Dog, you CANNOT CHALLEGE AND CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IN COURT unless it violates Federal Law or the US Constitution. The voters amended the Georgia Constituion to allow this idiocy. But then, who ever said Georgia voters were smart. They elected Herman Talmadge, Lester Maddox, Zell Miller, Sonny Perdue, and Nathan Deal, DIDN’T THEY?

lou

November 3rd, 2010
11:16 am

Alpha23, I am not a “lib.” I am a Handel supporter who could not bring myself to vote for an ethically challenged, self-serving, financially ignorant crook as my governor. Guess who is going to be getting Mr. Deal out of debt? You, me, and the rest of the taxpayers of this state. And there is still a chance he will be indicted. Now won’t that look good to any business or industry thinking about locating here? And in addition to Shady Deal, we elected an adulterer to be our lt. governor. I’m afraid our troubled state just got more troubled. Hope I’m wrong.

Howdoyoulikethischange

November 3rd, 2010
11:17 am

If Obama and his brethren had delivered on their campaign promises instead of lying about almost every one of them, it is easy to say the changes would not have been so drastic. Oh, but I’m sure they’ll still blame Bush even though he is no longer in power and made none of the crazy decisions of the past two years of Democratic rule. Time to change to some sensibility and not bankrupt this great nation. It will take cooperation on both sides of the aisle so put your agendas away.

Bring back "Babe Alley" to the Capitol!

November 3rd, 2010
11:17 am

But, Jim, what happened to the runoff that the AJC said would happen?

Sales Dog

November 3rd, 2010
11:19 am

D,
I think when you have an amendment that is 180 degrees opposite from what was on the ballot. That does qualify.

Bwana

November 3rd, 2010
11:20 am

Hey IMNO, maybe the areas that need these new “trauma” centers should raise the money privately and build them that way? Why should the state / taxpayers have to do it? The state is broke, and facing nearly a $2B deficit. There is simply not enough money to do it. The taxpayers who voted against it are tired of getting nickeled and dimed to death on taxes. Taxes are basically paid on everything now, and these taxes are typically paid out of the net money left on ones’ check…. after the state, federal and social security people have had their crumb grabbing hands in it. Enough is enough.

Matti

November 3rd, 2010
11:23 am

So, Deal had a little trouble with his personal finances. So what? That doesn’t mean he won’t be a totally awesome governor! Besides, I predict his personal finance savvy improves greatly, and real quick. He’ll turn that $4 million debt into a personal surplus REAL quick — on just $135K/year! Watch how it’s done, folks! You’ll be truly inspired.

packing my bags....

November 3rd, 2010
11:23 am

sorry Alpha, no whiney lib here…..i share my disgust equally between the reds and the blues….bishop should have been voted out down here in my district and the repugs should have been voted out of the gov. mansion. all those repug reps. who are heading back to washington are just as much a problem as all the dums heading back to washington.
if you are going to sell change, have the cojones to go through with it.

David Stevens

November 3rd, 2010
11:23 am

Georgia Power and the insurance conglomerate paid Deal’s debts before the vote was even tallied.

The Brutal Truth

November 3rd, 2010
11:24 am

Deal may be bad… but ol’ Roy is even worse.

And $10 for this and that is just more taxes. Reprioritize the state budget, cut the fat, and see the millions left over.

JoeV

November 3rd, 2010
11:26 am

The Brutal Truth,

Boy, you really brought the truth there didn’t ya? Could you have made a more generic statement? I think not.

Last Man Standing

November 3rd, 2010
11:27 am

Governor-elct Nathan Deal has not been indicted, tried or convicted of any crime whatsoever. If he has broken any laws, put up or shut up. I’ve read daily “hit” pieces in the AJC for quite some time now but have read of no action relative to indictment(s). I’m quite sure had there been any such news, it would have found its’ way into print. I’ve read the liberal bloggers rants concerning this for months, but no indictments. If, after all this time, no indictments are forthcoming, those of you who have participated in this attack on Governor-elect Deal are nothing more than sleazy character assassins. One could only hope that you experience something similar at some point in your lives.

To those of you seeing Georgia as regressing, my advice to you would be to seek employment and residence in another state.

Have a nice day. I know that I shall.

lmno

November 3rd, 2010
11:30 am

“Hey IMNO, maybe the areas that need these new “trauma” centers should raise the money privately and build them that way? Why should the state / taxpayers have to do it?”

Well, because most of us leave our homes and travel. The majority of people who need trauma centers are drivers, so it makes sense for drivers to foot the bill.

I live in Dekalb county and anytime someone is life flighted to Grady from Rural GA, I foot the bill, but I don’t moan about it.

Like I wrote, if your child is hurt in an auto accident in rural GA, what are you going to tell them?

NBC Hater

November 3rd, 2010
11:30 am

I cannot believe the simpletons in this State who voted “Yes” on Amendment 1 yesterday!

How would you like your employer forcing you, at the time of your job offer acceptance hiring, to sign a non-compete clause that prohibited you from working for a competitor or in the same field for X-number of months/years after you eventually leave that organization?

(Example: Under California and/or New York law where this is already practiced, Conan O’Brien has been prohibited from doing comedy on TV for a minimum 9 months after leaving NBC earlier this year. What else is he qualified to do?)

Well, many of us working-class people will now get to find out how much we like that type of law!

Mindless, Uninquisitive Sheep!

Bill Orvis White

November 3rd, 2010
11:31 am

There you go again, Jimbo – trying your best to take down Gov-elect Deal even before he assumes office. Figures. Gov. Deal is so strong, I would make him president of The Southern Coalition which would be a collection of these states that would produce its own social laws, school standards, currency, trading partners and operate a FAIR Tax system.

Will

November 3rd, 2010
11:32 am

The real question is whether or not Nathan Steal will make four years. I can’t help but think that sometime in he next three years we’ll see Nathan in handcuffs making a ‘perp walk’ down the capitol steps. In the meantime, the angry white voters of Georgia will have gotten what they so desperately craved, another old, white man ‘in charge’. An even if Nathan does manage to stay out of jail, isn’t he the oldest Governor to take office ever. Nathan might even die in office.

ByteMe

November 3rd, 2010
11:33 am

I predict 8 years if he has to declare bankruptcy in February as many of us expect. Bankruptcies stay on your record for 7 years, so he won’t get credit during that period, which means having the governor’s power as his “credit card” will be the only way he can manage it.

If he somehow sells his overpriced real estate to cover his gambling debts, then 4 years and then off to be an high-priced lobbyist!