Your morning jolt: Georgia politics as fantasy league

On the second day after an election, the fantasy league aspects of politics take over.

By Thursday, we all know who won the game. But within the team, who scored highest?

By the numbers, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson again proved himself the most popular politician in the state, leading the Republican ballot. Governor-elect Nathan Deal and Sam Olens, the next attorney general, who faced the two strongest Democratic opponents, brought up the rear.

The surprise on the Democratic side was Ken Hodges in the race for attorney general, who – boosted by a raft of Republican endorsements from fellow prosecutors and sheriffs — led the ticket.

In his last available disclosure, Hodges, a former Dougherty County district attorney, reported raising $1.5 million for his race. Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes, who earned 5,115 votes less, reported $8.7 million raised.

The worst statewide Democratic performance came from U.S. Senate candidate Michael Thurmond, who failed to break the million-vote mark.

And Libertarians proved once again that the further down the ballot you are, the more popular you become. Kira Griffith Willis, candidate for state school superintendent, led her party’s tickets.

As many others have noted, this was a ham-sandwich election. Party identity – rather than money raised or spent, or the name of the candidate — was the driving force in the returns.

Statewide Republican results: Total votes, percentage of field:

– U.S. Senate, Johnny Isakson: 1,487,011, 58.4%

– Secretary of state, Brian Kemp: 1,437,472, 56.5%

– Agriculture commissioner, Gary Black: 1,424,184, 56.1%

– Public Service Commission, District 2, Tim Echols: 1,404,060, 55.6%

– Lieutenant governor, Casey Cagle: 1,401,291, 54.7%

– Labor commissioner, Mark Butler: 1,396,403, 55.2%

– Insurance commissioner, Ralph Hudgens: 1,365,707, 53.8%

– School superintendent, John Barge: 1,363,784, 53.6%

– Governor, Nathan Deal: 1,363,284, 53.1%

– Attorney general, Sam Olens: 1,348,560, 53%

Statewide Democratic results: Total votes, percentage of field:

– Attorney general, Ken Hodges: 1,107,745, 43.5%

– Governor, Roy Barnes: 1,102,630, 42.9%

– Insurance commissioner, Mary Squires: 1,075,535 42.4%

– Lieutenant governor, Carol Porter: 1,070,432, 41.8%

– School superintendent, Joe Martin: 1,056,965, 41%

– Labor commissioner, Darryl Hicks: 1,038,684, 41.1%

– Public Service Commission, District 2, Keith Moffett: 1,025,521, 40.6%

– Agriculture commissioner, J.B. Powell: 1,023,080, 40.3%

– Secretary of state, Georganna Sinkfield: 1,002,318, 39.4%

– U.S. Senate, Michael Thurmond: 992,347, 38.9%

Libertarian results: Total votes, percentage of field:

– School superintendent, Kira Griffiths Willis: 124,959, 4.9%

– Secretary of state, David Chastain: 105,857, 4.2%

– Governor, John Monds: 102,901, 4%

–Insurance commissioner, Shane Bruce: 96,278, 3.8%

– Public Service Commission, District 2: Jim Sendelbach 94,708, 3.8%

– Labor commissioner, Will Costa: 93,077, 3.7%

– Agriculture commissioner, Kevin Cherry: 91,214, 3.6%

– Lieutenant governor, Dan Barber: 88,513, 3.5%

– Attorney general, Don Smart: 88,364, 3.5%

– U.S. Senate, Chuck Donovan: 68,574, 2.7%

***

My AJC colleague in Washington, Bob Keefe, has this assessment of what the Republican takeover of the U.S. House could mean to the state’s political clout:

— [Republican Rep. Tom Price of Roswell] is in line to become the Republican Policy Committee chairman, which could make him No. 5 on the GOP’s leadership roster and put him at the forefront of helping craft Republican legislative policies. One potential complicating factor: Some Republicans — including the current chair of the policy committee — want to abolish the committee and cut its $360,000 annual budget, saying it’s a waste of money. Current GOP leaders don’t back that idea, however. Price, currently chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, also is bucking for a position on the influential House Ways and Means Committee.

–Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County is running for regional representative on the Republican Steering Committee, the group that hands out committee assignments to other members. If he’s elected by his peers, Westmoreland could help put other Georgians on top congressional committees, which ultimately could help the state attract federal funding and give the state a bigger role in legislative matters.

– Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah, the longest-serving Georgia GOP member in the House, is expected to get an important subcommittee chairmanship in the House Appropriations Committee, the body that gives out federal funding. Kingston is expected to chair the agriculture subcommittee on Appropriations, a job that could help funnel federal money and other resources to the state’s agricultural interests.

– Democratic Reps. John Lewis of Atlanta and Hank Johnson of Lithonia will lose subcommittee chairmanships with the leadership change. Lewis currently chairs the influential Ways and Means subcommittee on oversight, which oversees tax issues. Lewis also is currently the Democrats’ senior chief deputy whip, making him part of the outgoing Democratic leadership in the House. Johnson currently is chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on courts and competition.

***

Don McClellan, who has spent more than 50 years over at Channel 2 Action News, has posted this balm for Roy Barnes on his personal blog. It’s a brief clip from an interview with Carl Sanders, several years after the former governor attempted his own comeback in 1970 – only to be beaten by Jimmy Carter:


For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

41 comments Add your comment

zeb

November 4th, 2010
10:27 am

Carol Porter got 41.8% of the vote for Lt. Governor. In this red state, that is a major accomplishment for a neophyte politician. Beware Republicans, you most certainly do NOT have a mandate to run roughshod over the rest of us or act out frat boy fantasies or line your pockets with taxpayer money.

John

November 4th, 2010
10:36 am

In 2010 nonetheless.

Mr. KnowitAll

November 4th, 2010
10:48 am

Looks like the democRats haven’t figured out they got their fannies handed to them on Tuesday. They still feel like we owe them something.

How was it oblablama put it….”We won”.

Now go sit in your corner, shut up, and lick your wounds.

AngryVoter

November 4th, 2010
10:53 am

People need to stop blaming the voters and start blaming the Dem Party of GA, who failed to put up viable candidates. People are not happy with the status quo, but when the only alternative is the man who failed before, the status quo looks better.

If the Dems stick with the mantra that it just stinks to be a Dem in GA, nothing will change. If the Dems find new leadership, figure out what they can offer – we’re not them isn’t a campaign slogan that works – and find candidates who can connect, interest and excite the electorate, they would have an easy win. Clearly what they have been doing is not working. Nominating Barnes more or less said to the voters that the Dems had no new ideas. It was like serving leftovers to paying customers in a restaurant.

Yes, there are people who will vote Rep no matter what, but no enough of them to win an election. It’s the middle that decides elections. Right now, in GA, given the two choices, the middle is going to the side they may not like, but at least comes across as the only competent choice.

td

November 4th, 2010
11:03 am

AngryVoter

November 4th, 2010
10:53 am

“Yes, there are people who will vote Rep no matter what”

Is that number higher than the 30% African Americans that will vote Democrat “no matter what”?

BPJ

November 4th, 2010
11:12 am

Did anyone notice that Elena Parent (D) beat incumbent Jill Chambers (R)? Chambers was the MARTA Oversight Committee chair who hated MARTA. She also got caught by Politifact in a “Pants on fire” lie about Parent. Yay!

Now we have to see if Speaker Ralston appoints someone worse than Chambers to head the MARTA oversight committee…………or if Republicans come around to the idea that MARTA is a major (underfunded) state asset.

trw1001

November 4th, 2010
11:14 am

I’m a Cobb Democrat who didn’t vote for Hodges in the summer because of the stuff about the guy who was killed by a police officer that he didn’t prosecute. I have to say that I was pretty impressed by his general election campaign, especially his advertisement and endorsements, and he got my vote. He actually seemed to be campaigning, unlike some of the other lame candidates the Democrats put up.

I hope some tells that guy to stick around. We Democrats need him.

You Asked

November 4th, 2010
11:15 am

td – in the last election cycle it was closer to 90% than 30%.

…however I think the real split tends to be Urban vs. exUrban than racially based. Race just correpsonds to that split very closely.

John

November 4th, 2010
11:25 am

Jill Chambers is a disgrace to all fat people.

Bobby Anthony

November 4th, 2010
12:05 pm

I voted for Nathan Deal. In 2014, I hope the Democrat Party will have a candidate I can support. This election was carried by voters over 50 years of age. There will be fewer left of tis group in 2014 and far fewer in 2018.

Retired Soldier

November 4th, 2010
12:24 pm

This blog sure is quiet now that the election is over. It must be due to the fact the world didn’t end when Deal was elected or the sky didn’t fall when Pelosi was fired. The sun has continued to rise every morning and we have the same stars out at night.

Guess all is right with the world.

P.S. I wonder if words like “we won you lost” or “elections have consequences” will come back to bite certain democrats?

td

November 4th, 2010
12:35 pm

You Asked

November 4th, 2010
11:15 am
td – in the last election cycle it was closer to 90% than 30%.

…however I think the real split tends to be Urban vs. exUrban than racially based. Race just correpsonds to that split very closely.

I am sorry that I was not clear enough. I meant 30% of the entire population and close to 50% of all democratic voters. I have not seen the racial break down in the last election so I will take your word that it is a 90% voted democrat. I know plenty of conservative African Americans that just will not switch to or vote for Republicans. It was very nice to see some at the Hyatt Tuesday night and hopefully more will come and make both parties stronger.

td

November 4th, 2010
12:41 pm

Bobby Anthony

November 4th, 2010
12:05 pm
I voted for Nathan Deal. In 2014, I hope the Democrat Party will have a candidate I can support. This election was carried by voters over 50 years of age. There will be fewer left of tis group in 2014 and far fewer in 2018

The older one gets the more they trend conservative, so for everyone over 50 that is not there in 2014 or 2018, the will be someone in their 40’s now to take their place. As Winston Churchill said:

Show me a man that is a conservative in his 20’s and I will show you a man with no heart. Show me a man that is a liberal in his 40’s and I will show you a man with no brain (paraphrase).

td

November 4th, 2010
12:42 pm

Retired Soldier

November 4th, 2010
12:24 pm

It was not quiet yesterday. I do not think I have ever seen so much whinning and complaining from a bunch of adults in all my life.

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
1:02 pm

“P.S. I wonder if words like “we won you lost” or “elections have consequences” will come back to bite certain democrats?”

I wonder if words like “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR US LATELY?” will come back and bite Republicans who are busy patting themselves on the back? Whose turn is it to clean up this mess? What, and you’re still partying? Shame. We’re watching you AND we’re timing you. Elections have consequences, you know.

Retired Soldier

November 4th, 2010
1:07 pm

GaBlue-

Glad you are watching, guess like your fearless leader said, now you’ll have to get on board with us, but in the back please. Are we still the enemy?

You are correct republicans have to clean up this mess because the Dems have made it much worse. Maybe Obama will change his direction out of self-preservation like Clinton did. If not, he’s a one termer.

Enjoy the ride GaBlue!

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
1:15 pm

Retired Soldier,

What happens in D.C. is really beyond our scope of influence. You know that, right? I have one Congressman and two Senators, neither of which give a *bleep* what I think. This has not changed.

I do, however, feel a certain responsibility to my home state of Georgia (now overrun with non-Georgians.) It’s sad how truly ignorant most people are about what goes on HERE — and affects our lives as much as the bozos in Washington do.

Now, will YOU hold these people accountable? Do you even know who represents you here and what they voted for? MOST people don’t.

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
1:23 pm

P.S. There was only ONE choice on my ballot for Congress, State Rep, and State Senator. This effectively means that no one in my district has a voice in government (excepting the rich friends of the unopposed aforementioned reps), as the perpetually unopposed NEVER have to answer for any thing they do, ever. They do what they want as long as no one can come up the kind of cash it takes to run against them. Not much of a demoratic representative republic, is it?

td

November 4th, 2010
1:24 pm

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
1:15 pm
Retired Soldier,

What happens in D.C. is really beyond our scope of influence. You know that, right? I have one Congressman and two Senators, neither of which give a *bleep* what I think. This has not changed.

I do, however, feel a certain responsibility to my home state of Georgia (now overrun with non-Georgians.) It’s sad how truly ignorant most people are about what goes on HERE — and affects our lives as much as the bozos in Washington do.

Now, will YOU hold these people accountable? Do you even know who represents you here and what they voted for? MOST people don’t.

The States budget is only $16 to $20 billion and the US budget is what? Somewhere over a trillion and all of their money has massive strings attached (especially under Democratic times). Besides education, how much can the state really do about the economy?

td

November 4th, 2010
1:30 pm

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
1:23 pm
P.S. There was only ONE choice on my ballot for Congress, State Rep, and State Senator. This effectively means that no one in my district has a voice in government (excepting the rich friends of the unopposed aforementioned reps), as the perpetually unopposed NEVER have to answer for any thing they do, ever. They do what they want as long as no one can come up the kind of cash it takes to run against them. Not much of a demoratic representative republic, is it?

If your districts are so Republican that a Democrat can not run in them then you join the Republican party, go to all your local meetings, get fellow members on your side with issues and go to your Rep and tell them. If your rep does not listen to the people then you have grounds to start a primary challenge. This is called grass roots advocacy and it really works if you are willing to put in the work?

The candidate I supported in this election cycle took this route and is now a statewide elected official.

Retired Soldier

November 4th, 2010
1:33 pm

GaBlue-

Of course I know who my state rep and state senator are. One had a primary race the other was unopposed. What happens in GA is very important, but this nation will fail unless our federal officals change course. 3 trillion in debt in less than two years? Unthinkable and yes the Reps. where bad last time, but I believe they got “religion” this time. If they don’t all of us conservatives will bolt forever. The Constitution Party will have a new member.

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
1:39 pm

td,

Re: the national economy, no. But what happens under the Gold Dome affects our communities, schools, property values, and local businesses. OUR lives. I wish people would pay more attention. All the good ol’ boys down there do is scratch each other’s backs, and leave the people of this state itching badly. Our state spirals downward while they fish, golf, and focus on their own land deals and assets.

Re: Grass roots, you’re absolutely right. I DO get involved, much to my repeated disappointment. It’s hard being sorely disappointed EVERY two years, but then, some of us do what we think is right, not necessarily what will make us part of the “in” crowd.

Your point about switching parties is valid, except for the fact that **I believe** one-party rule in this state is part of the problem, not the solution. Without real choice, there are no checks and balances. Without those, power always runs away in the wrong direction, regardless of who is driving.

People are busy watching American Idol or some nonsense and do not pay attention. They use brand loyalty instead of information to decide. That’s not serving us well, and I can’t in good conscience perpetuate it.

Retired Soldier

November 4th, 2010
1:43 pm

GaBlue-

Where you as opposed to one party rule when the Dems were in charge for over 100 years?

Keith

November 4th, 2010
1:45 pm

After redistricting next year, Democrats will lose even more state house and senate seats. And some moderates are planning to switch to the GOP in a few weeks. Nothing will be left but urban blacks in the Democrat Party. It’s toast! http://www.BackroomReport.com

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
2:00 pm

Retired Soldier,

In as far as it resulted in corruption, stagnancy, the dominance of the good ol’ boy club, and being mired in backward ways, yes, I was. BTW, many of today’s lauded state Repubs ARE the former Dems, including the crook about to take the Gov mansion next year so he can erase $4 mil in debt on a $135K/yr salary. (You bet he will!) It’s not change when it’s the same self-serving people. When Sonny became our first Rep. Governor in our lifetime, he had a chance to do something better. He built a fish pond and multiplied his own assets instead, while ignoring every problem we had and still have. Progress is not happening here, and backward is not a good place for any of us to go.

Keith,

Does that prospect make YOUR life better? If so, congratulations. Don’t hurt your arm patting yourself on the back.

Retired Soldier

November 4th, 2010
2:15 pm

GaBlue-

You have me convinced that you are a true Dem., you can not answer the question that was asked. Good grief.

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
2:25 pm

Retired soldier,

You have me convinced you are a true Republitard. I answered your question honestly, and you believe what you want to believe instead. What part of “IT’s MOSTLY THE SAME PEOPLE in charge” is lost on you? Are you even FROM Georgia? I apologize for attempting to engage you in meaningful conversation. My bad.

sowhatyousay

November 4th, 2010
2:32 pm

You can’t tell me that Roy Barnes saying, “l Iike Johnny Isakson and think he is a fine senator and I haven’t made up my mind in that race yet” on GPB debate on Sunday evening didn’t hurt Thurmond. Thurmond wasn’t going to win–but, winning three statewides should have garnered him more votes than other people on Democrats ballot. Barnes gave white democrats and republicans a wink wink to vote for Isakson. Barnes is the worst panderer alive. please we don’t need anymore resurrections from the dead. Everyone on the ballot including Thurmond should hang it up for statewide elections in Georgia. Fresh candidates with new ideas please.

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
2:37 pm

“Fresh candidates with new ideas please.”

Yes, please! Mrs. Porter falls into that category, and she had a good deal of bi-partisan support on her first time out. I hope we’ll see more of her. Running Barnes was a terrible move by the state party organization, and I hope they’re busy cleaning out their desks today. More of the same is not what we need.

Last Man Standing

November 4th, 2010
2:57 pm

GaBlue:

“Re: Grass roots, you’re absolutely right. I DO get involved, much to my repeated disappointment. It’s hard being sorely disappointed EVERY two years, but then, some of us do what we think is right, not necessarily what will make us part of the “in” crowd.”

Keep getting invloved! Disappointments will be experienced from time to time but that is the nature of life. Always remain true to what you believe is right because to do otherwise would make you untrue to yourself. You and I probably will never agree on political matters but I can respect your loyalty to what you believe – while I try to change your mind!

Nancy Pelosi's Sister

November 4th, 2010
2:58 pm

td
November 4th, 2010
12:42 pm
“It was not quiet yesterday. I do not think I have ever seen so much whinning and complaining from a bunch of adults in all my life.”

@td: Sure you have!! Remember the day after President Obama was elected? Rolled out bottom lips and grown men having hissy fits all around!! BTW, it’s “whining”. Watch that spelling, it counts for 25% of your grade.

Last Man Standing

November 4th, 2010
3:26 pm

Nancy Pelosi’s Sister:

Talked to Nancy since the election? Is it true that she is under a “suicide watch”? I guess she will be flying commercial with the great unwashed after she has to turn in her G-ride (the 757).

Or maybe she will just get her broom out, polish it up and use it?

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
3:37 pm

Um, I’m no fan of Mrs. Pelosi to be sure, but y’all DO know the jet thing was not her personal demand, right? Y’all do know it was a mandate of homeland security due to being in line for the Presidency, right? Puddle jumpers cannot fly non-stop to the West Coast, which is a security issue. Weepe…I mean, Speaker Boehner will get non-stop service to his home state too.

Last Man Standing

November 4th, 2010
4:01 pm

GaBlue:

“Speaker Boehner will get non-stop service to his home state too”

If he does what he SHOULD do, he will refuse it.

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
4:22 pm

Last Man,

I appreciate what you said earlier, by the way. Thanks. Regarding Speaker Boehner’s flights, I’m sure he will be afforded the level of security his position warrants, as did his predecessors, although I agree he should refuse transport and stay in Washington until the budget is balanced, the deficit is gone, and every American has a decent job w/healthcare available to him or her.

Last Man Standing

November 4th, 2010
4:30 pm

GaBlue:

I couldn’t have said that better! The airport security afforded every American is either adequate or it isn’t. He is no better than any other citizen. If he doesn’t feel safe flying commercial, his first order of business should be to fix it. These people are elected to serve us, and I don’t mean as a “ruling class” with rights and privileges above what each citizen has.

N GA Bubba

November 4th, 2010
4:40 pm

Check this out: when Deal was in the legislature, he was a back bencher to Speaker Murphy. In Congress, he was a back bencher to Speaker Gingrich and Hastert. Guess who will be running the Capitol? Face it, Deal won’t be like Governor Zell Miller. Congressman Deal’s only led a subcommittee in 20 years in Congress. And that was at the pleasure of a Speaker. Ralston will be king. Good news: Ralston is a decent guy who has the support of this conservative.

GaBlue

November 4th, 2010
4:45 pm

Last Man,

I think you and I are probably much more alike than we are different. Unfortunately, there are people in this country who have a vested interest (literally!) in maintaining the division between America’s “left” and “right” — arbitrary labels applied to obscure the reality that most of us are reasonable moderates, and to propel us away from any meeting of the minds that actually results in solutions.

Nancy Pelosi's Sister

November 4th, 2010
9:43 pm

No, LSM – Nancy is not under suicide watch, in fact she is thankful because she has a tough campaign coming up and this will give her more time in her district. (Kind of like Nathan Deal prior to this year, but think effective and motivated here! Not invisible and Nathan WHO???)
She also shared with me that the reason Boehner got so emotional (she called him crybaby, but I’ll be kinder) during his election night speech is because he realized that, since he will be Speaker, he probably won’t be able to play 100 to 120 rounds of golf each year. Poor, poor baby!! Does this mean the Republicants might actually have to do something besides sit on their hands and scream NO at every opportunity? I don’t know, maybe you have some insights into what their strategy is. So far, their main agenda is getting rid of Obama and screw the rest of us! Don’t give jobs or the economy any thought…..just go after that power and focus on keeping it!! The country be damned in the process! But who cares, certainly not the sheep like LMS.

fed up in fulton

November 5th, 2010
6:37 am

Senator Johnny Isakson received 41.29% of the votes in Fulton County – the highest of any Republican in a contested race. Second place? Steve Broadbent with 41.04%.

Jimmy

November 8th, 2010
8:34 pm

Ken Hodges is filth–plain and simple, filth. The people of Georgia woke up last Tuesday morning and looked in their toilets and saw Hodges and flushed. No amount of corrupt money or favors sold to Phoebe Putney could save the Hodges filth. The only bad aspect of the race is that Hodges is not in prison.