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.
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