Your morning jolt: Does Rick Santorum threaten Newt Gingrich’s hold on Georgia?

Ever since the Florida primary, Super Tuesday has been make or break for Newt Gingrich in the Republican presidential contest.

Georgia, one of 10 states voting on March 6, is the former U.S. House speaker’s ace-in-the-hole. Just as, in Michigan on Feb. 28, Romney will be relying on his favorite-son status.

But Rick Santorum may be making a mess out of both sure things. The latest Public Policy Polling survey has Santorum with a national lead in the GOP presidential contest:

Santorum is now completely dominating with several key segments of the electorate, especially the most right leaning parts of the party. With those describing themselves as ‘very conservative,’ he’s now winning a majority of voters at 53% to 20% for Gingrich and 15% for Romney.

Santorum gets a majority with Tea Party voters as well at 51% to 24% for Gingrich and 12% for Romney. And with Evangelicals he falls just short of a majority with 45% to 21% for Gingrich and 18% for Romney.

For Santorum, overturning Gingrich’s current lead in Georgia will depend in large part upon latching onto the Mike Huckabee operation of ’08 – and quickly. Several Huckabee hands are already pledged to Gingrich: Maria Strollo Zack; state Rep. Harry Geisenger of Roswell; and Stan Wise, the long-time member of the Public Service Commissioner.

GOP activist Shawn Davis of Marietta has remained neutral.

State Rep. Sam Teasley of Marietta has endorsed Santorum, and state Rep. Ed Setzler of Kennesaw has now joined him. “It was something I’ve been wrestling with for some time,” Setzler said this morning. He likes Santorum’s position on national security, and said the former Pennsylvania senator played a key role in welfare reform during the Clinton years.

Setlzer admits that Santorum doesn’t have much of an organization here. “It’s small. But he has not gotten to where he is in the polls by organizational excellence – as Romney has,” the lawmaker said.

Setzler will be at what we think is the first major organizational meeting of the Santorum campaign at 7 p.m. tonight – at 4250 Hwy 78 Lilburn, GA 30047-3340.

***
For Newt Gingrich, success on Super Tuesday may come down to a simple question of money. Gingrich has to be hoping that he won’t have to spend any money on TV in Georgia – cash spent here can’t be spent in Ohio or elsewhere. From the New York Times:

Newt Gingrich recently joined Gov. Rick Perry of Texas on a conference call with more than 50 “bundlers” who had powered Mr. Perry’s formidable campaign-cash machine.

Mr. Perry asked his top financial rainmakers to raise money for Mr. Gingrich, telling the group, according to one participant, that he fully supported the former House speaker.

But it seems unlikely that Mr. Gingrich will reap a financial windfall from wealthy donors for his cash-starved campaign, Perry supporters and Republican leaders said, even as Mr. Gingrich begins three days of fund-raising in California on Monday.

***
Over the weekend, in the Marietta Daily Journal, Dick Yarborough told of a bill sponsored by state Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, that would supersede local zoning laws that restrict the raising of animals – and plants – in suburban and urban settings for consumption:

H.B. 853 passed the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee and is scheduled to go before the Rules Committee on Wednesday with a couple of changes. Roosters were dropped out and honey bees were added….

The biggest obstacle facing the bill is opposition from the Georgia Municipal Association and homeowner association groups. Ehrhart is particularly critical of the GMA spending taxpayer money to lobby against the wishes of local taxpayers.

“It is quite a sight to see their silk-stocking lawyers standing behind the ropes at the Capitol trying to grab legislators to talk about chickens. I can just hear them crying ‘The Sky is Falling.’” he chuckles.

As for the homeowner associations, my Favorite Quote Machine says they remind him of Mrs. Kravitz, the nosy neighbor on “Bewitched.”

A couple additional things worth noting here. As I recall, a certain resident who has a four-year lease on a West Perry Road address recently installed a pair of bee hives. One wonders if he has run afoul of his homeowner association.

Also, one of the co-sponsors of HB 853 is state Rep. Karla Drenner, D-Avondale Estates. I ran into her at the state Capitol not long ago. She said she signed onto the bill in defense of constituents who had been targeted for growing corn in their yards.

So corn is the pit bull of vegetables? What – is it too noisy? Does it jump the fence and chase neighborhood cars?

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia takes a look today at Republican claims that “President Barack Obama will have added more debt….than each of the previous 43 presidents combined.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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46 comments Add your comment

Becky

February 13th, 2012
10:13 am

Moonbeam and Scrotum duking it out. We all lose.

liberalefty

February 13th, 2012
10:16 am

whichevber one call the president the “N” word first will win…u know how these southern conservatives love god,country,guns etc. but hates blacks,hispanics, gays, women, etc

liberalefty

February 13th, 2012
10:17 am

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[...] messageUSA TODAYRomney scrapes by in Maine GOP caucusesPhiladelphia InquirerOzarksFirst.com -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -TPMall 5,613 news [...]

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Look before I leap...

February 13th, 2012
10:33 am

Santorum may well ride the wave of conservative emotionalism to the nomination. This will drive the moderates into staying home in November and the independents right into the arms of the Democrats. Santorum has the social conservative credibility, however his fiscal record is much murkier. And he has precious little appeal to those who are uninterested in having the King James version of the Bible supplant the US Constitution.

When will the evangelical flank of the GOP get a clue and realize they are killing the party. The elephant is already lying on its side and the theists are preparing to put a bullet in its head.

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clyde

February 13th, 2012
10:40 am

O.K.,Santorum is a conservative and he’ll get the conservative vote.Obama will win the election.It’s that simple.Sad Sad Sad.Sad Sad.

For some reason The Republicans are brain dead this year.

honested

February 13th, 2012
10:42 am

Considering the overwhelming budget crisis we are all facing, does it make sense to waste money on an election to determine who will finish Second in November?

td

February 13th, 2012
10:45 am

Look before I leap…

February 13th, 2012
10:33 am

I do not agree with your analysis. The evangelicals are the ones that gave GWB the win in 2004 and are the ones that stayed at home in 08 and Obama was elected. What you are saying is the same thing as if the Dems nominated a person that did not embrace the African American community. If they did not turn out then there is no way a Dem can get elected.

It does not matter if Santorum gets the nomination or not because if the social conservatives issues are not addressed and the social conservatives not fired up for the party then a Republican can not win a general election.

Becky

February 13th, 2012
11:04 am

Ricky was hilarious (and not in a good way) when called out by George about women in the military and radical feminists by saying his wife wrote that part in his book. Of course her name is not on the book as an author or contributor……

He seemed unfamiliar with what he had written. Can you say ghost written Ricky?

Centrist

February 13th, 2012
11:05 am

I don’t agree with the blog or commenters’ analysis. Romney will almost certainly win the nomination. Obama is almost as certain to win the general election.

Look before I leap...

February 13th, 2012
11:11 am

@td

Completely incorrect. Republicans may have stayed home in 2008, but it wasn’t the evangelicals and born again Christians.

Bush 04 Evangelicals and Born Again Christians 36% of total votes
McCain 38% of total votes.
The moderates were completely turned off by Sarah Palin. This was the GOP voter bloc that stayed home.

Becky

February 13th, 2012
11:17 am

Every GOP member I know has been turned off by any of these candidates. They have managed to alienate anyone in their base. Georgia should turn blue as they will all stay home in their double wides.

Centrist

February 13th, 2012
11:17 am

Look before I leap… posted “The moderates were completely turned off by Sarah Palin. This was the GOP voter bloc that stayed home.”

Incorrect.

Voters don’t stay home because of VP contender. McCain was the weak link, but turnout was not much of problem.

DJ Sniper

February 13th, 2012
11:18 am

Rick Santorum is determined to take this country back to the 19th century as fast as possible.

double

February 13th, 2012
11:23 am

Do they make silencers for roosters?Bee’s without stingers.Yep had I voted for Bush,think I would have stayed home next election too.

Becky

February 13th, 2012
11:25 am

Dang-I do have a life so missed all the frivolity on the Calista post before it was scrubbed. Can someone offer a recap?

Big Hat

February 13th, 2012
11:28 am

If Newt becomes President, will Calista be the First Tramp?

Jimmy the Cricket

February 13th, 2012
11:31 am

If February and March produce decent employment numbers and jobs creation, the Repubs can skip the Republican convention in Tampa. lmao

Sandy

February 13th, 2012
11:41 am

Before you cast out Santorium consider what Godlessness has caused in this Nation: drug addiction, teen suicide,child abuse, divorce and all increasing astronomically since pray was taken out of school in 1962.

Becky

February 13th, 2012
11:44 am

Sandy-please explain why you think Scrotium is the answer.

DJ Sniper

February 13th, 2012
11:54 am

Jimmy, that’s exactly why the GOP is bringing back all the social issues now. They already don’t want to give Obama any credit for the economic rebound, but let the numbers go south again, and they will be ready to give him all the blame. Pathetic.

Peter

February 13th, 2012
11:59 am

Rick Santorum stands for principles he has lived by and always stood for – the “Johnny-come-lately” conservatives do not – and Obama, with an awful record on everything, is susceptible to an articulate, persuasive and formidable Santorum. Go, Rick!

Sandy

February 13th, 2012
12:02 pm

Becky, Jesus Christ is the answer. But as a believer in him alone I realize my responsibility to vote. I believe that Rick is the best equipped person for the office of President because he addresses the real issues that lead to the decline of this Nation. He understands that the core is the family and that this country was founded on Biblical principles which most people do not understand because of the doubing down of our History books which l

DJ Sniper

February 13th, 2012
12:03 pm

Too bad Rick’s principles aren’t line with the rest of the country.

DJ Sniper

February 13th, 2012
12:04 pm

Sandy, this country was not founded on any sort of religious principles. Stop believing that lie from the right.

Peter

February 13th, 2012
12:16 pm

Sniper and the rest… Its funny how so many in this country believe their anti-morality and “do what makes you feel good” attitude is the way most people feel. Perhaps they are young, don’t have children, and don’t have jobs – more about themselves than society or the future of America (or, indeed, civilization!) – values “threaten” them…

Sandy

February 13th, 2012
12:17 pm

Dj,Have you done your homework?Check it out for yourself. Have you read the constitution? Have you studied this out for yourself? What leads you to believe that this Nation was not founded on Biblical principles?

VoiceOfReason

February 13th, 2012
12:20 pm

Santorum is the GOP frontrunner and will defeat Obummer. Go Rick!

Peter

February 13th, 2012
12:20 pm

What is very telling is when you examine the groups and individuals who oppose Santorum – and with vehemence… Do they represent the majority of Americans? What do they contribute to the sanctity and prosperity of society? When your enemies are of an ilk that is detrimental to society, I think that speaks to the quality of the person.

Hypocrites?

February 13th, 2012
12:29 pm

There are so many folks commenting on both sides in various blogs who are convinced they and only they know it all and have the only solution to our nation’s problems. The truth is that neither side exhibits much in the way of common sense and we..the voters…are responsible for the mess we are in by constantly electing morons in both parties who only care about getting elected and taking care of the special interests who finance their campaigns. They win and get rich while the people are the losers as the country goes down the drain into the dustbin of history! Lots of angry comments…no real answers. Human nature I suspect. Damm shame!

peter

February 13th, 2012
12:32 pm

Well, what is “the answer” – to pay no attention to who is actually running, or attempting to run our country? I agree with much of what you say, but you seem to imply the answer is to not care.

At the very least, with Santorum, from what we can tell – we get a person with enough character to raise a large family, stand by a wife for years and generally stand by his principles – that alone puts him ahead of his rivals.

honested

February 13th, 2012
12:44 pm

If it were not that sans-scrotum was attached to the dangerous side of his ‘principles’.

There is little he stands for that I can find any reason to respect.

Add to that he was a joke as a Senator and was shown the door by the good people of PA.

Hypocrites?

February 13th, 2012
12:55 pm

peter…It isn’t that we don’t care…it is that we don’t seem to care enough to get beyond our own little bubbles to understand what is required to solve the basic problems that are putting our country’s future at risk. I agree that Santorum has probably the most integritry of the current field and expect to vote for him in the March 6th presidential preference primary. Doews he have all the anaswers? Probably not. It will take both parties laying aside cheap politics and working together to get us out of this mess and it may be too late. Sure hope not!

xxixpines

February 13th, 2012
1:06 pm

Bottom line is Newt is Newts worst enemy.

DJ Sniper

February 13th, 2012
1:11 pm

Sandy, there is plenty of evidence out there that proves that America wasn’t founded as a Christian nation. Also, the Constitution makes no mention of this either. The founding fathers came here to escape religious persecution. It’s very possible that some or all of them did have Christian beliefs, but they didn’t intend for them to become the beliefs of the entire country.

Peter

February 13th, 2012
1:17 pm

I do agree that we are one people – again, country and civilization, and must work together. My problem is when people act as if marriage between a man and woman (and other issues Santorum speaks of) are unimportant to everyone because they personally don’t care.

So long as we keep compromising what fabric of a society we do have, eventually there will be no norms, no values, no guidelines – and “no”, that is NOT a good thing (again – perhaps some on this board are too young to understand the importance of such things).

As for “xxixpines” – Newt is the grouchy, ultra-conservative, “do as I say, not as I do” in this race – NOT Santorum. I see Newt ad “Plankton” from Spongebob – he’s a very angry man!

As for “Honested”, who said, “There is little he stands for that I can find any reason to respect” – I would ask, what do YOU stand for? Google “Robert Traynham” – an African-American, gay former Legislative Aide for Santorum and maybe find out more about Rick Santorum than you thought you’d known.

Sandy

February 13th, 2012
4:09 pm

“Our laws and our institutions must be based upon the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. And in this sense and to this extent,our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”
U.S. Supreme Court 1892

Sandy

February 13th, 2012
4:18 pm

“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and to humbly implore his protection and favor.”
George Washington
October 3,1789 Proclaiming a National Day of prayer and fasting.

Peter

February 13th, 2012
4:19 pm

Sandy – I think we won for here and now. It’s difficult to imagine why so many are filled with such hatred for someone who stands for good values. Check that, it’s sad to imagine that.

Peter

February 13th, 2012
4:24 pm

Excellent! Not too say that George Washington or the Supreme Court need to say that a good set of values, a respect for life and an understanding for the need of social compassion are important. It should go without saying that those things are essential to the prosperity of any society.

Sandy

February 13th, 2012
4:33 pm

God who gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indead, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
Thomas Jefferson,1781

Sandy

February 13th, 2012
4:40 pm

I hope that people will really do their homework before they make the very important decision on whom they will put their trust in. I believe after hearing Rick Santorium that the founding fathers of this Nation would believe that he was the right man for the job. Thanks Peter for your comments.