Your morning jolt: GOP contest prompts an unexciting stream of early votes

Updated at 8:15 p.m. to correct numbers offered today by the secretary of state’s office:

If early voting is any clue, the GOP presidential contest is setting Georgia ablaze — like a wet matchstick.

According to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, 86,426 advance and absentee votes have been cast thus far.

In 2008, there were 247,897 early ballots cast. Now, assume that 50 percent of those votes four years ago were cast in the Democratic party, which had a contested nomination.
And assume that all of the early votes this year are Republican in nature.

Even so, this would be a 30 percent decline in Georgia early voting over ’08. Last year, the Legislature curtailed the advanced voting period. Even so, the difference is startling.
If nothing else, the current number is evidence that none of the four GOP candidates has an extensive ground game in Georgia.

***
A new Georgia poll of the GOP presidential primary was rolled out by 11Alive/Survey USA on Monday, showing Newt Gingrich with a substantial lead. From the SurveyUSA analysis:

Gingrich gets 39%…., Santorum 24%, Romney 23%. Delegates are awarded proportionally, so Gingrich should get 3 delegates for every 2 that Santorum and Romney take. Compared to a SurveyUSA tracking poll 3 weeks ago, Gingrich is down 6 points, Romney is down 9 points, Santorum is up 15 points. Santorum’s momentum may propel him during the final days before ballots are counted, closer to Gingrich, but it is unknowable today, 02/27/12, whether Santorum has the tailwind to catch Gingrich. Ron Paul is flat, at 9%, in 4th place….

The margin of error is +/-4.7 percent. The poll notes also include this observation:

In this survey, cell respondents vote materially different than do home phone respondents. Among cell respondents, Ron Paul leads with 26%, followed by Gingrich with 23%, followed by Paul and Romney, tied at 18%. Paul’s support is 4 times greater among cell respondents than among home phone respondents.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Rick Santorum’s claim that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg prefers the constitution of South Africa over the one made in America.

***
The Senate Regulated Industries Committee on Monday passed out a measure to allow the five-member Public Service Commission to choose its own chairman. But SB 483 was first amended to allow the current chairman, Tim Echols, to finish his current year-long term.

For the last 20 years, the chairmanship has been rotated on an annual basis. The PSC’s four other members support the change – and had asked for it to go into effect earlier. The statement from Echols:

“I am grateful for the six senators who amended the PSC Chairman’s bill to insure that I could serve my term as Chairman this year. As the bill moves forward, I hope that the full Senate and especially the House of Representatives will see that this change in policy is not good for rate payers or the PSC.”

***
State Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, has introduced SB 486, a bill that places a certain new requirement on the board members who govern the state Department of Transportation:

Any member of the board who desires to seek elective office during such member’s term of office on the board shall first resign from membership on the board prior to qualifying to seek such elective office.

The legislation applies only to the state DOT board. No other heavyweight, public policy institutions – say, the Board of Regents or the Department of Natural Resources board — are included in the measure.

What makes the DOT board so special? Possibly, it’s the presence of Brandon Beach, president and CEO of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce – who ran against Albers for the open District 56 seat in 2010. Beach hasn’t made any noise about another try for the seat – but he hasn’t taken his campaign website down, either.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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43 comments Add your comment

Sadie Hawkins

February 28th, 2012
9:46 am

My guess is the regressives are embarrassed to be seen in public voting for this band of rejects.

Centrist

February 28th, 2012
9:57 am

Voters know that Georgia’s primary is not going to make a difference with non-contender favorite son Gingrich winning and Democrat voters included. Why bother to vote? Turnout will be subdued.

Cutty

February 28th, 2012
9:58 am

Casting my first ever republican ballot for Santorum. Let’s keep the party going!

Centrist

February 28th, 2012
10:09 am

td (from the last blog) – Although Santorum is probably your second choice after Gingrich – his ultra right wing stances via the Catholic Church are not going to fly with moderate Republicans, Independents, or Democrats. He can’t possibly win the nomination as both the east and west coast Republicans are not of his ilk. There is no formula for him to get enough delegates, and even if he did – he would get creamed in a general election when his stances and last election in PA are highlighted by Democrats and the media.

MB

February 28th, 2012
10:09 am

+1 Cutty. Liberal-minded libertarian here planning to vote for “Frothy” in the GOP primary. Let’s see if we can wake up Nov. 7th with an electoral map that rivals 1964’s.

MiltonMan

February 28th, 2012
10:12 am

I am voting but it does not really matter who wins/loses in GA. Georgia will vote republican in the general election just like New York, California, Michigan will vote democratic.

MiltonMan

February 28th, 2012
10:17 am

…that rivals 1964???

Obama will carry Texas and other southern & mid-western states with such low approval numbers???

Keep up the wishful thinking; we’ll keep up the laughing.

Mark

February 28th, 2012
10:19 am

Cutty

February 28th, 2012
9:58 am

Casting my first ever republican ballot for Santorum. Let’s keep the party going!

I with you Cutty! I’m doing the same thing. Of course I’ll vote for the President in the General.

George Hills

February 28th, 2012
10:24 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.

Sadie Hawkins

February 28th, 2012
10:30 am

Gingrich hid his mistress in his belly-fold.

BRW

February 28th, 2012
10:32 am

And MiltonMan, We’ll keep laughing…………. at you……….

No Longer Republican

February 28th, 2012
10:36 am

Count me in on voting for Rev.Rick! I would vote for Newt if I thought he had a chance at being the nominee because I would love to see Pres. Obama squash him in November. The concession speech would be so priceless. As it is Sick Rantorum is the man for the religious righties at the moment so I want him to give Romney as much hell as possible.

sheepdawg

February 28th, 2012
10:39 am

early voting for sanitorium today, President Obama in November

DJ Sniper

February 28th, 2012
10:46 am

Seriously, does Rick Santorum wake up every morning and think of some just completely off the wall statement to make for that day? This guy is off his rocker for real, and the people who support him aren’t much better.

Tom

February 28th, 2012
10:48 am

I see the Santorum car at Daytona wasn’t able to come from behind last night. How fitting.

Attack Dog

February 28th, 2012
11:00 am

Imagine Mitt, Rick, Ron, or Newt at the table with a foreign power. A flip-flop, a name caller, just say no, and a rambler.

DannyX

February 28th, 2012
11:27 am

“a tepid stream of early votes”

Sounds like Santorum has an early lead in Georgia.

Road Scholar

February 28th, 2012
11:36 am

Who would want a GDOT Boardmember as a rep?

Carole

February 28th, 2012
11:52 am

I voted yesterday. I was so tempted to do the cross-over thing, but instread I just voted for the Pres like I’ll do in Nov. The funny thing about crossing over though is I get literature from both sides. I love sending back pledge cards with $0 paid for by Republicans.

clyde

February 28th, 2012
12:10 pm

A tepid stream of early votes and a tepid pursuit of the Presidency by the Republicans.

I had a short chat with Tami Stainfield a couple of evenings ago.She’s the No Party’s candidate for President.She made as much sense as any of the forerunners.She has a slightly better chance than I do of being elected.

MrLiberty

February 28th, 2012
12:31 pm

As Democrats will find nobody on the democratic ballot that supports civil liberties, ending the wars, cutting wasteful military spending, reigning in inflation (that destroys everyone’s savings and earnings), ending the racist war on drugs, restoring sound money, and other things democrats used to care about, they would all be wise to pick up the republican ballot and vote for Ron Paul. Clearly Obama has run away from dozens of campaign promises he made during the race in 2008. Ron Paul on the other hand has been voting consistently for all of his 12 terms in the congress. Ron Paul is right for the republicans, right for the democrats, and right for america and the restoration of its freedom and liberty.

clyde

February 28th, 2012
12:36 pm

Ron Paul also has only a slightly better chance than I do of being elected President.

Georgia, The " New Mississippi "

February 28th, 2012
12:44 pm

Imagine a Nut Gingrich / Race Limbaugh ticket……….. They would start World War III and race riots in the first 60 days.

Obvious

February 28th, 2012
12:47 pm

everyone please repeat after me……
FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!
GOD bless America!

yellowdog.

February 28th, 2012
1:21 pm

georgia IS the new mississippi; as a yellowdog democrat, i will cast a vote in rep primary for romney; to at least try to elevate this idiocy; santorum is deranged and gingrich a pompous a__; four more years the mantra of the enlightened………..we are a joke in the rest of the world…

Sadie Hawkins

February 28th, 2012
2:04 pm

jimmy got a mean streak.

Attack Dog

February 28th, 2012
2:14 pm

Show us one campaign promise that he “broke,” and we can show you what the GOP obstructed, even those they may have agreed on before.

td

February 28th, 2012
2:18 pm

Attack Dog

February 28th, 2012
2:14 pm

Obama said no lobbyist would work in his administration and said he would not use Super pacs. He said if we would pass the stimulus then unemployment would not get above 8%.

Mark

February 28th, 2012
2:28 pm

OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

William Smith

February 28th, 2012
2:34 pm

I would vote but I have several problems. Both of my Cadilacs are at my other homes. I’m trying to talk my daughter out of going to college I don’t want no snob in the family. My latest wife what ever number is giving me fits. Lastly, I’m trying to figure out how to legalize everything. When I clear these problems out I will vote.

Attack Dog

February 28th, 2012
2:38 pm

One cannot leave the administraion and come back. The USSC made Super Pacs constitutional, and as it stands the POTUS cannot dictate the Super Pacs. They us how many job. And stimulus bills have the GOP obstructed. Remember closing Gitmo?

Jimmy M

February 28th, 2012
2:53 pm

Ruth Bader has already ruled in cases based not on our constitution but on others as well as other liberals on the court. Why have courts if we don’t rule by law.

Attack Dog

February 28th, 2012
2:58 pm

Some want to talk about campaign promises, and Dixiecrats should really listen to what the candidates are saying. If Dixiecrats think conservatives will cut spending, cut taxes, eliminate the deficit, and reduce the debt at the same time, they need to see Sarah Palin about her bridge to somewhere.

honested

February 28th, 2012
3:05 pm

Clearly, Democrats are split on which of the Clown Car Candidates makes the most easily trounced opponent in November.

What an odd situation, the most unelectable candidates will get MORE votes in the primary than the eventual candidate will get in the fall. At the same time, a viable candidate would get LESS votes next Tuesday.

What a party.

honested

February 28th, 2012
3:06 pm

jimmy m,

What kind of talk radio nonsense are you blabbering about?

Sadie Hawkins

February 28th, 2012
3:12 pm

hope 13000 dow change from gw 6500 dow

Frederick Douglass

February 28th, 2012
3:15 pm

td @ 2:18

Super PACs didn’t exist before the 2008 election, so how was that a broken campaign promise? Keep your lies and half truths straight.

Mark

February 28th, 2012
3:22 pm

“I believe that no American president should apologize when young Americans are being killed,” Gingrich told hundreds of supporters at a campaign rally here. “Mr. President, you owe the American people and you owe the young men and women in uniform an apology for your failure to defend America.”

Now this is campaign rhetoric! I’m sure td will agree with this idiotic response from Newt too.

WOW

February 28th, 2012
3:30 pm

Obama also never said the over 8% comment. That was Biden.

ole gal

February 28th, 2012
4:36 pm

Y’all better look closer to home for the chief nuts of silly season — John Albers has a new target — GDOT. Serve on the Board of GDOT and want to run for public office — Oh, no. You must resign first. Now, maybe that ain’t so bad; but, John Boy is pretty selective. His bill goes after GDOT and doesn’t touch the other public sector heavy hitters. DId GDOT run over John Boy’s toes? Why not go after the Board of Regents cause that bunch is always running after or away from something.

John Boy also favors drug testing folks who receive any kind of family assistance — so if daddy had a beer this week, his kid’s may not eat. John Boy also wants to tax food and has a voodoo approach to taxes that he yaks up will save us all money when no one with a lick of fiscal sense believes it will work for anyone but the richest, say 20 per cent of his constituency, while the other 80 percent pay the freight.

Somebody ought to take that boy out to the wood shed before he gets any sillier. Ole Gal

ole gal

February 28th, 2012
4:53 pm

Is anyone surprised that Georgians aren’t rushing to their precincts to vote for their Republican nominee choice ? Who are they kidding, there is no sensible choice? Much married, serial sorta monogamist Newt lives up to his nastiest side given even half a chance. He points to the higher ground but has no climbing shoes. Lately his nasty name calling has caught up with him — ie. the Ronald Regan ads. Yep, there was Newt, dripping venom and pond scum. He has not changed and his message doesn’t change. His idea of a positive campaign is to float fairy-tale ideas that will cure the world or at least bring down oil prices. One Republican Sr. House member was quoted recently saying that Newt used to come up with a new idea every week when he was Speaker; but, no one, not even Republicans, paid any attention to them. Now that is an endorsement.

Ricky Ticky Tavi is out there gnawing ankles, Newts, or Romney’s or Justice Ginsberg. Hey, wait a minute, she ain’t running. But she is a little old Jewish Lady and therefore a legitimate target for his fundamentalist rant. Ricky Ticky Tavi is both in literature and life, a little weasle, ankle biter and gives religious belief a bad name. I know a lot of fine fundamentalist folk and though they all seem to have some blind spots on one thing or another — like Catholics, Jews, race issues, immigrants, Muslims, corn whiskey or something else, few have all the buggaboos. Ricky has never met a prejudice he did not want to cling too. But, don’t worry folks Ole Ricky can back down from a position faster than any other Republican running.

Bless there hearts, Ga Republicans must be crying in their beers. Ole Gal

Romeny does have a little dignity, very little. But, face it boys and girls he has the personality of, of, of, of “pablum” maybe.

Well

February 28th, 2012
6:07 pm

honested

February 28th, 2012
3:05 pm

Clearly, Democrats are split on which of the Clown Car Candidates makes the most easily trounced opponent in November.

Best comment of the day.

Lynn Otting

February 29th, 2012
12:41 am

The Republican Party seems to vote based on the poll results that are meaningless. Let’s not vote for the candidate that has the only workable tax and energy plans. Let’s not vote for the candidate that can actually beat President O’bama. Let’s not vote for the candidate that has set and achieved goals for the advancement of conservatism. Newt has done more to advance the cause of conservatism than anyone in the presidential race. He not only ended 40 years of Democratic control in the House, he ended Democratic control of southern states like Georgia too. Republicans forget how much Newt has done for conservatism. Regardless of how he did it and whether he made a few mistakes along the way, he accomplished his goals. For example, he didn’t quit until Republicans controlled the house. It took him over 12 years to achieve this goal. (Funny, how people are so quick to conclude that Newt quit the speakership because he was scared he didn’t have the votes to win. How difficult is it to understand that he would rather step down than risk the Republicans losing control of the house.) Unfortunately, people just don’t get that the one and only reason Newt has ever done anything is for conservatism, not individualism. More importantly, his ideas are about more than conservative values, they are about American principles. Georgia should not give this nomination away by voting for anyone other than Newt. It is too important, not to him, but to all Americans.