Your morning jolt: Rick Santorum leads, Newt Gingrich trails in Tennessee poll

A Vanderbilt University poll this morning shows Rick Santorum with a commanding 38 percent lead in the GOP presidential contest in neighboring Tennessee, with Newt Gingrich in a statistical tie for fourth place with Ron Paul.

Gingrich will spend all of today at events in Nashville. Tennessee voters, like those in Georgia, will cast their primary ballots in the 10-state, Super Tuesday vote on March 6.

The top line in Tennessee:

– Santorum, 38 percent;

– Mitt Romney, 20 percent;

– Ron Paul, 15 percent;

– Newt Gingrich, 13 percent;

– Undecided, 13 percent;

That’s based on telephone interviews with 815 likely GOP voters with an MOE of +/-4.1 percent. A larger aspect of the poll, also conducted Feb. 16 to 22 by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt, indicates that both Santorum and Mitt Romney would narrowly defeat President Barrack Obama in November.

The Vanderbilt poll measured antipathy toward the current occupant of the White House this way:

Fifty-nine percent of those polled correctly identified Obama’s birthplace as Hawaii, with 7 percent saying he was born in “Another Country.” Twenty-four percent of those polled believed that Obama was a Muslim, while 39 percent said he was Protestant. Among the 14 percent of registered voters who think of themselves as a member of the Tea Party, however, 43 percent thought Obama was a Muslim, Catholic, Jew or an atheist.

And yet, the poll summary also includes these lines:

Voters didn’t seem to think that having a Republican or Democrat in the White House would influence the economy much. Forty-one percent thought the economy would be “fairly good” or “very good” the next few years if Obama is reelected, versus 39 percent if a Republican became president.

***
Ever since GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich decided to give up on Michigan – polling shows him in the single digits – and concentrate on Georgia, there’s been the question of whether Rick Santorum would reciprocate.

After a large reception in metro Atlanta eight days ago, Santorum has yet to schedule another appearance in Georgia, and these paragraphs from an Associated Press piece indicate he may remain absent:

With Gingrich the home-state favorite in Georgia, the state offering the most delegates on Super Tuesday, Romney and Santorum were turning to Ohio, the state with the second-biggest Super Tuesday cache.

Romney was expected to head straight there from Michigan on Wednesday. Santorum wasn’t even waiting until the votes were counted and planned to go to nearby Toledo on Tuesday.

Underscoring the fight already being waged in Ohio, it’s the only upcoming state where Romney and Santorum and allied super political action committees were all spending money on television advertising, according to records of advertising expenditures provided to The Associated Press.

***
We’re told that a bill to enforce the application of the state sales tax on some Internet businesses is expected to make its debut today. The vehicle is likely to be HB 993, which is now simply a shell of its future self.

***
The state Senate today will take up HB 800, the measure to make good Gov. Nathan Deal’s appointment of Joe Jarrard as assistant adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard. State law requires five years’ service in the Guard. Jarrard, a 20-year Army vet who retired as a lieutenant colonel, has none.

Dale Russell of Fox5 Atlanta has this summary of the dilemma. In addition, Russell has posted on Facebook a promo touting an examination of Deal’s appointment of former state Sen. Jim Butterworth as adjutant general.

***
Also on the defensive today will be Tim Echols, chairman of the Public Service Commission. SB 483 would allow the five-member PSC to return to its former practice of choosing its own chairman, rather than rotating the position. It’s very likely that Echols would be ousted on passage.

The bill’s lead sponsor is state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, but Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, is also a co-signer. And Chance is one of the governor’s floor leaders.

Writes Echols on his Facebook page:

Back in ‘92, the PSC could choose their chair, but there was constant bickering, drama, and infighting that kept them from being able to elect a chairman. The legislature got dragged into it because of how bad it made the state look and how embarrassing it was for the PSC. They set up the rotation system.

By rotating the Commission chair, all the posturing was removed and the PSC could focus on its job–protecting consumers and regulating Georgia Power.

One other benefit that was not originally intended is that the various regions of the state gets “representation” as the chair rotates. This is certainly not the most important dimension to the system, but with power plants and telephone companies situated all over Georgia, it keeps the Commission’s focus on all of our state.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at this statement from state Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein: “Our small staff of 51 is still fewer than we had a decade ago, yet our caseload – like that of other courts — has grown.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

180 comments Add your comment

liberalefty

February 27th, 2012
11:09 am

tennessee is another state where righrting white men get their manhood from black college football players…GO VOLS

Tom

February 27th, 2012
11:11 am

Well, it is Tennessee.

George Hills

February 27th, 2012
11:13 am

Mr. Gingrich helped pass the 1996 misdemeanor gun ban in Congress, hiding it in a 750-page last-minute budget bill. Many people in his district stayed mad until he quit in 1998. Only a fool would vote for him now.

Cutty

February 27th, 2012
11:23 am

“By rotating the Commission chair, all the posturing was removed and the PSC could focus on its job–protecting consumers and regulating Georgia Power.”

Laughable at best! Depressing at its worst.

General Turgidson

February 27th, 2012
11:34 am

Blah blah blah Obama blah blah liberals blah blahs Soros.

oppo

February 27th, 2012
11:38 am

Butterworth is a clown and a disgrace to our state. anyone who knows him can tell you that he’s mentally unstable. hope that dale russell shows georgia who nutty that nut bar really is.

Becky

February 27th, 2012
11:41 am

oppo-unfortunately it will not matter. Deal will appoint them anyway.

On another tangent-sonny’s go fish! would be hilarious except for the $19 million the state lost.

Grey Goose

February 27th, 2012
11:51 am

GOP Grumpy Old People

UGA 1999

February 27th, 2012
12:03 pm

IT SURE SEEMS LIKE DEMOCRATS BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT CAN AFFECT GAS PRICES.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4e6_1330224490

HOWEVER THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE IS SHOULD RUN THIS AD AND OBAMA IS DONE!

td

February 27th, 2012
12:03 pm

Rick, Newt or Romney. It does not matter because each are 1000 times better the the current occupant of the white house.

ABO

td

February 27th, 2012
12:05 pm

Herman was 100% correct about how African Americans are still on the plantation.

“Drawing on the history and language of slavery, the film argues that the Democratic Party and the welfare state are the new version of the slave-holding plantation, keeping black people mentally enslaved.”

““They’ve been deceived that race is their issue,” says Peterson. “But that’s really not it. It’s the breakup of the home.”

http://pjmedia.com/blog/blacks-enslaved-by-the-left-argues-new-film/

td

February 27th, 2012
12:11 pm

Time to see if you so called stanch “separation of church and state” crowd are true believers or just when it comes to Republicans.

“Imagine if Ron Paul announced a national campaign called ‘Whites for Ron Paul’ – he’d be vilified as a racist. And yet Barack Obama has done the equivalent of precisely that with his launch of ‘African Americans for Obama’.”

“Not only is Obama playing the race card in an attempt to pressure black Americans into voting for him, he is also violating the separation between church and state. In the video promo for the campaign, Obama urges black people to pressure churches into supporting his administration by getting his message out via “the faith community”. He also calls on voters to become “congregation captains”.”

http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-plays-race-card-calls-on-churches-to-support-campaign.html

yuzeyurbrane

February 27th, 2012
12:11 pm

I guess Newt is not so “cheerful” anymore.

Carole

February 27th, 2012
12:27 pm

td
“Not only is Obama playing the race card in an attempt to pressure black Americans into voting for him, he is also violating the separation between church and state. In the video promo for the campaign, Obama urges black people to pressure churches into supporting his administration by getting his message out via “the faith community”. He also calls on voters to become “congregation captains”.”

++++++++++
So I guess you didn’t hear about the big powpow that GWB had with the likes of Eddie Long, Creflor Dollar and T.D. Jakes just to name a few so that he could get their support and that of their congregation. Or about the full webpage that Dollar had on the church website denouncing anyone who did spoke ill of GWB. Even used scripture to back it up. Until it got so much national attention he took it down.

UGA 1999

February 27th, 2012
12:31 pm

Carole….Sounds like Dollar had his priorities straight! ha.

td

February 27th, 2012
12:32 pm

Carole

February 27th, 2012
12:27 pm

I forget to mention that I personally do not have a problem with Obama going to the African American churches because I believe religious believes and politics do mix in this country.

I posted this article because I wanted to see if all the secular humanist on these blogs that have been bashing the Republicans for the past week or so are true believers and will take offense to Obama as well or are just hypocrites.

Cutty

February 27th, 2012
12:33 pm

td- Puh-leeze! Blacks have been voting for whites for generations! Blacks finally vote for a candidate whose hue is the same as theirs, among other reasons, and its somehow racist!

Were blacks racists when they voted for Clinton, Kennedy, or Roosevelt? Are whites only voting for a candidate because he is white when they vote (which is 99.99999% of the time)?

UGA 1999

February 27th, 2012
12:36 pm

Cutty….That is a LAME excuse. Why did 95% of blacks vote for Obama?

No Longer Republican

February 27th, 2012
12:42 pm

TD – you continue to amaze me with your stupidity. But back to a post you posted the other night…in 40 years you have never seen anything in a your southern Baptist church that was political. I can guarandamtee you that is a lie. The Baptists were BIG on passing out voter guides just a few years back…and then to top off your stupidity Newt Gingrich takes the podium and speaks during a Sunday morning worship service at one of the largest SBC churches in these parts. No there is no politics there. You gotta be kidding me with such stupid statements.

Oh…after 40 years of sitting in a SBC church you think you might have read a little scripture to see that Jesus was all about people…and not your money.

No Longer Republican

February 27th, 2012
12:44 pm

I will be voting for Rev. Sick Rantorum on Super Tuesday! Newt doesn’t really have a shot at beating Romney and making it easier to elect President Obama. Once people get familiar with Sick Rantorum and his ideology there is no way America elects him President. Vote Rantorum GA!

liberalefty

February 27th, 2012
12:45 pm

uga

we voted for OBAMA because we thought he was the best candidate…and we were right/…lol

td

February 27th, 2012
12:46 pm

Cutty

February 27th, 2012
12:33 pm

You do understand that African Americans did not put Obama in office. African Americans make up 12% of the population and over 50% of them live in what is known as the Confederacy which voted for McCain. It was white people that voted Obama into office more specifically white middle class suburban married women with children. They will be the ones that decides if he is re elected as well because the majority of the African American vote will not even be counted.

UGA 1999

February 27th, 2012
12:46 pm

liberalefty….Wrong, you voted for Obama because he is black.

liberalefty

February 27th, 2012
12:46 pm

THE SOUTHERN BAPTISTS supported the kkk and JIM CROW..

liberalefty

February 27th, 2012
12:48 pm

uga

wrong i voted for the best candidate..now dont get mad…lol

UGA 1999

February 27th, 2012
12:48 pm

No Longer….Once again you spew “half-truths”. It is ok, we are used to the lies you guys spread.

http://churchtithesandofferings.com/blog/bible-verses-about-tithes/

Trial Lawyer

February 27th, 2012
12:48 pm

Republican choices the one who hides money in the Cayman Islands.. not bad but I don’t have enough to do that.. the one who is in favor of open marriage.. I sort of like that idea.. the one whose views on religon and women is right in line with middle eastern Mullas..no he will make it a law that church attendance is compulsory

UGA 1999

February 27th, 2012
12:49 pm

liberaleft…Ok, I will entertain your ignorance. Tell us all why in 2008 you thought Obama was a better presidential candidate than Hillary Clinton.

isaiah crowell

February 27th, 2012
12:51 pm

uga

dude i dont have to tell u why i voted…you rightwingers think blacks have to justify our votes to you..youre a pathetic sad racist…jock sniffer

Carole

February 27th, 2012
12:52 pm

Once again the bi-polar that goes on in the Repub party is shown on these boards. Now most Repubs claim that blacks vote DEM 99% of the time. So when they do the same thing in 2008 and the candidate happens to be black they claim that the only reason blacks voted for Obama was because of his color. What, were blacks supposed to vote Republicans that time? How intelligent does that make you guys look?

td

February 27th, 2012
12:53 pm

No Longer Republican

February 27th, 2012
12:42 pm

Since you said you were at one time in the SBC churches then you must have read these voter guides? Did any of them tell you who to vote for or did they give you the positions of the candidates that were running? Did you ever hear a Pastor announce from the pulpit that the members should vote for X candidate?

I think the Pastor of the church Newt was at Sunday said on the news that he had an open invitation to Obama to come and speak at his church. Did this Pastor say his members should vote for any candidate?

Harry Paulms

February 27th, 2012
12:53 pm

I’m a moderate and I’ll be voting for Obama. The 4 remaining candidates tell us all we need to know about the Republican Party: it is fractured and in search of its identity. We don’t need that undercurrent complicating matters from 2012 to 2016.

In spite of the rhetoric, Obama has achieved modest success in the face of great adversity, an adversity caused in great part by the actions of the Republican Party. Too soon to see if those demons have changed their stripes.

honested

February 27th, 2012
12:53 pm

The ‘poll’ doesn’t show the mass of GA Democrats who will be voting for noots just to make their November vote for President Obama all the more fulfilling.

When picking the opponent, pick the one who is clearly the most incompetent (unless maybe you have a line on moon real estate).

UGA 1999

February 27th, 2012
12:53 pm

Hey guys look Liberalefty has to hide behind a different moniker (isaiah crowell). He is too much of a coward to post his own thoughts. More evidence of democrats lies.

Cutty

February 27th, 2012
12:55 pm

UGA1999- Just like voters for McCain were well over 90%. Are they racists too? And we know why the reason black votes may not be counted… Republican voter suppression.

td

February 27th, 2012
12:55 pm

Trial Lawyer

February 27th, 2012
12:48 pm

How can you hide money when it is reported on your tax forms?

td

February 27th, 2012
12:59 pm

isaiah crowell

February 27th, 2012
12:51 pm

uga

dude i dont have to tell u why i voted…you rightwingers think blacks have to justify our votes to you..youre a pathetic sad racist…jock sniffer

Your vote for Obama in Georgia was not counted anyway, just like your vote this year will not be counted. It really does not matter why you voted for you messiah and chief because we all know.

Carole

February 27th, 2012
1:03 pm

Cutty
Were blacks racists when they voted for Clinton, Kennedy, or Roosevelt? Are whites only voting for a candidate because he is white when they vote (which is 99.99999% of the time)?
++++++
And there are a few examples of that. Right in here the state of Georgia black Conservatives rarely if ever get backing from the Party. Deborah Hunnicutt has run for office against David Scott in a district that could go either way twice. Lost both times. The party would not back her. Same thing happened against Hank Johnson. Poor old Alan Keyes can’t get a break. To me J.C. Watts would have been a great presidential candidate or VP back in the day. The Party sure used him as their “black face” often enough, but wouldn’t even give him the VP nod.

td

February 27th, 2012
1:04 pm

Harry Paulms

February 27th, 2012
12:53 pm

Obama had two years of something no President has had since FDR. He had an overwhelming majority in the house and a filibuster proof Senate and what did he accomplish? $750 billion payoff to unions and welfare recipients and Obamacare.

No wonder people like you are trying to talk about it is the Republicans fault or the evil rich.

UGA 1999

February 27th, 2012
1:04 pm

Carole….YES Because they didnt have any other viable option.

MrLiberty

February 27th, 2012
1:05 pm

New Rasmussen poll:

Paul 43 – Obama 41
Romney 45 – Obama 43
Obama 45 – Santorum 43
Obama 49 – Gingrich 39

Ron Paul unelectable???? Looks like at least two of these clowns need to drop out now to save themselves the embarassment.

liberalefty

February 27th, 2012
1:05 pm

td

THE PRESIDENT DIDNT NEED GEORGIA TO WIN…obviously your vote didnt count either because OBAMA WON…hehehehewhe

td

February 27th, 2012
1:06 pm

Carole

February 27th, 2012
1:03 pm

I think whoever the Republican nominee is would make a wise decision to select Allen West as their VP, although Mark Rubio would be just as good a choice.

liberalefty

February 27th, 2012
1:06 pm

TD

its your vote that didnt count cause OBAMA WON…HEHEHJE

liberalefty

February 27th, 2012
1:08 pm

TD

WEST wont get the vp nod…hes black …duh

Carole

February 27th, 2012
1:08 pm

U1999
Carole….YES Because they didnt have any other viable option.
+++++

If you’re answering the question were blacks supposed to vote Republican,obviously you’re both delusional and didn’t pay attention to the last election. Their “OPTION” occupies the White House. You must have things mixed up with the McCain/Pail campaign. Now there is a case of no option.

Karen

February 27th, 2012
1:08 pm

92% of Blacks voted for Kerry. Blacks have voted for the Democratic Presidential nominee by 85% or higher since Carter. More whites represent majority black districts than blacks that represent majority white districts in this state and country. So based on facts..Blacks have shown more of a willingness to vote across race lines. Just by looking at facts and history. This is not an indictment on whites.

Mark

February 27th, 2012
1:11 pm

@ td

I thought you were just a radical conservative, but now I’m starting believe that you are just a idiot blowing hot air!

Prior to the 44th President; have you ever worried about how the African-American community voted? Oh and keep in mind td….I’m not hardly African-American…..We are waiting

No Longer Republican

February 27th, 2012
1:11 pm

Hey UGA – so mine are “half truths?” At least I got it half right then. Nothing I have seen you post is even remotely true. You and your crazy cohort won’t admit it, but its politics in the church that had me leaving mainline churches and it keeps millions of Americans from even thinking about going. But thats ok with you since you don’t give a rip about people anyway…and Sick Rantorums rants based on “christian” values will keep even more people out of the church, since obviously this is what the churches stand for.

liberalefty

February 27th, 2012
1:11 pm

ALLAN WEST WILL NOT GET THE VP job because hes black…case closed..