Archive for February, 2012

Rasmussen poll: Newt Gingrich holds a thin lead in Georgia

Rasmussen reports is out with a new, automated poll of Georgia voters that has former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich with a thin lead over Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney trails well behind.

The automated survey of 750 likely Republican voters was conducted Wednesday, so it’s unlikely to reflect any impact from last night’s Arizona debate. It has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.

The line:

– Gingrich, 33 percent;

– Santorum, 28 percent;

– Romney, 20 percent;

– Ron Paul, 9 percent.

Given the margin of error, Gingrich’s advantage here is made of gossamer. But the Rasmussen survey shows a different dynamic than an InsiderAdvantage/Fox 5 Atlanta poll from earlier in the week, which had Gingrich, Santorum and Romney in a three-way statistical tie.

But note that Romney — according to the Rasmussen poll — is on the edge of walking away from Georgia with no delegates. A candidate has to register 20 percent of the vote to qualify even for a small, proportional share.

- By …

Continue reading Rasmussen poll: Newt Gingrich holds a thin lead in Georgia »

Senate bill would ban two-by-two bicycle riding

Updated at 2:05 p.m.: State Sen. Butch Miller just told me that he has a substitute for SB 468 that should satisfy all parties. Will post as soon as I receive it. Cycling lobbyists in the Capitol have turned off their alarm bells.

Original: We’ve got a road war brewing in the state Capitol.

Cyclists are putting out the word that a bill to mandate single-file riding on all Georgia roads – absent specific government permission – was introduced Tuesday and is already up for a 3 p.m. hearing in Room 450 of the Capitol.

Senate bill would ban two-by-two bicycle riding

Senate bill would ban two-by-two bicycle riding

That’s a sign that SB 468, sponsored by Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, is on a fast track. Miller is the immediate past chairman of the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association.

It’s an interesting topic, given that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has recently taken up cycling. One wonders if it may be a reaction to a victory won by cyclists last year, when lawmakers passed, and Gov. Nathan Deal signed, a bill to require …

Continue reading Senate bill would ban two-by-two bicycle riding »

Your morning jolt: A Mitt Romney-Ron Paul alliance against Rick Santorum?

Before he clocked out early this morning, my AJC colleague Daniel Malloy e-mailed a few spin-room notes from last night’s CNN debate of the GOP presidential candidates in Arizona:

– Rick Santorum was on the defensive much of the night, enduring assaults from a well-prepared Mitt Romney and a biting Ron Paul. While expressing regret for his vote for the federal No Child Left Behind law as a senator from Pennsylvania, Santorum in essence accused Romney and Paul of teaming up to take him down. His long-time media strategist John Brabender elaborated later.

“For all I know Mitt Romney might be considering Ron Paul as his running mate,” he said. “Clearly there is some allegiance or alliance between those two and you saw that certainly in the debates.” Here’s a Paul-on-Santorum clip:

There has been anecdotal evidence of a Paul-Romney alliance, proffered here by the most elite of media, the New York Times, but the same argument could be made about Santorum and Gingrich. …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: A Mitt Romney-Ron Paul alliance against Rick Santorum? »

The branding dilemma for Southern Baptists — and Republicans

Rick Santorum addresses supporters at  First Redeemer Church – a Southern Baptist congregation -- in Cumming, Ga., last Sunday. Newt Gingrich will attend the 10:30 a.m. service at the same church this Sunday. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Rick Santorum addresses supporters at First Redeemer Church – a Southern Baptist congregation — in Cumming, Ga., last Sunday. Newt Gingrich will attend the 10:30 a.m. service at the same church this Sunday. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Late last year, the Southern Baptist Convention completed an eye-opening study that included this fact: Knowing that a church is Southern Baptist would make four out of 10 Americans less likely to become a member of what is – for now – the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.

In the political world, this is known as unfavorable name recognition. And it’s a killer. Ask Newt Gingrich.

So this week it was no surprise that, for 24 hours, at least, leaders of the denomination considered dropping – after 166 years — one of the most iconic and successful brand names in American culture.

Republicans should pay close attention to this, for the parallels are deep and striking. The strength of both institutions is rooted in the …

Continue reading The branding dilemma for Southern Baptists — and Republicans »

Behind Mitt Romney’s continued assault on Newt Gingrich

My AJC colleague Jeffry Scott notes that, while a Mitt Romney-allied super PAC is battling Rick Santorum everywhere else, it has put nearly $1 million in Georgia behind this TV ad attacking a wounded Newt Gingrich:

The ad from Restore Our Future has its origins in a National Review Online piece published late last month by Elliott Abrams, an assistant secretary of state in the Reagan Administration – and a Mitt Romney supporter. The topic was Reagan’s efforts to curb Soviet expansionism in places such as Afghanistan:

But the most bitter battleground was often in Congress. Here at home, we faced vicious criticism from leading Democrats — Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd, Jim Wright, Tip O’Neill, and many more — who used every trick in the book to stop Reagan by denying authorities and funds to these efforts. On whom did we rely up on Capitol Hill? There were many stalwarts: Henry Hyde, elected in 1974; Dick Cheney, elected in 1978, the same year as Gingrich; Dan Burton …

Continue reading Behind Mitt Romney’s continued assault on Newt Gingrich »

Your morning jolt: House Dems signal an ‘OK’ on charter school vote

House Democratic leaders at the state Capitol cut loose their caucus members this morning, declaring lawmakers should vote their districts when it comes to HR 1162, the proposed constitutional amendment to allow the state to create charter schools over the objections of local school systems.

Early this month, a House vote on the constitutional amendment fell 10 votes shy of the required two-thirds majority to approve it.

Caucus Chairman Brian Thomas of Lilburn, cited Democratic changes to the legislation accepted by the measure’s primary sponsor, Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, R-Milton. From the press release:

“The House Democratic caucus fought to protect local control, and the new concessions are a step in the right direction. We negotiated to improve a fatally flawed bill that stripped funds from local schools and given a blank slate to political appointees creating new schools. Our caucus sought to protect local funds and local control, and we are pleased that this …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: House Dems signal an ‘OK’ on charter school vote »

Franklin Graham on the Christian faith of Barack Obama and the GOP field

If you have a spare 15 minutes and don’t mind being uncomfortable throughout, watch this clip from today’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC of the Rev. Franklin Graham assessing the Christian beliefs of President Barack Obama and his GOP challengers – Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Honestly, I could have shortened it, but much of the context would have been lost:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

Continue reading Franklin Graham on the Christian faith of Barack Obama and the GOP field »

Karen Handel, two weeks after her Komen resignation

Since her splashy resignation from Susan G. Komen for the Cure two weeks ago, former GOP candidate for governor Karen Handel has kept a low profile.

But Handel has begun making a few appearances in a way that – if one were a suspicious person who thinks politicians never lose the itch – might be seen as boosting her standing among conservative Christians.

For instance, at 6 p.m. this very evening you can watch a livestream interview of Handel by Marvin Olasky, on the premises of Patrick Henry College in Virginia. The link, I’m pretty sure, is here. Otherwise try this one.

The pitch to Patrick Henry students from Olasky:

“When Karen Handel earlier this month bravely criticized Planned Parenthood executives’ ‘shakedown to coerce a private entity to give them grants,’ many on the pro-abortion side were furious with her. This interview will give students a chance to hear and question one of this month’s big newsmakers, and to see that a woman can knock over one of our …

Continue reading Karen Handel, two weeks after her Komen resignation »

Poll: GOP presidential contest in Georgia a three-way tie

An automated survey conducted last night by InsiderAdvantage for Fox5 Atlanta says the GOP presidential contest in Georgia is now – statistically – a three-way tie. From Southern Political Report:

– Newt Gingrich, 26 percent;

– Mitt Romney, 24 percent;

– Rick Santorum, 23 percent;

– and Ron Paul, 12 percent.

Margin of error is +/- 3.6 percent.

The above gives more meaning to Gingrich’s decision to skip Michigan and concentrate on the Super Tuesday states of Georgia and Tennessee.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

Continue reading Poll: GOP presidential contest in Georgia a three-way tie »

Democratic women seek a state ban on vasectomies for men

This afternoon, the House Judiciary (Non-Civil) Committee will take up HB 954, a measure that would prohibit abortions on women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant. Current law prohibits abortions after the second trimester, or about 24 weeks.

The bill sponsored by Doug McKillip, R-Athens, asserts that 20 weeks is the point at which a fetus can begin to feel pain. The measure also attempts to tighten “life of the mother” exceptions to abortion:

No such condition shall be deemed to exist if it is based on a diagnosis or claim of a mental or emotional condition of the pregnant woman or that the pregnant woman will purposefully engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

In response, House Democrats have scheduled a 3 p.m. Wednesday hearing at the state Capitol, to propose a bill that would ban Georgia males from seeking vasectomies. From the press release:

“Thousands of …

Continue reading Democratic women seek a state ban on vasectomies for men »