Tags: Georgia

The Silver Lining of Any Senate Race Runoffs


Assuming either or both Senate races go to a runoff, how do you think voters in Louisiana and/or Georgia will respond to President Obama issuing an executive-order quasi-amnesty for illegal immigrants? Do you think Mary Landrieu and Michelle Nunn are hoping Obama will announce it quickly? Do you think Bill Cassidy and David Perdue would appreciate the extra passion and fury added to the Republican grassroots?

Note that at least so far, the form of executive-order-amnesty discussed has been to issue “safe harbor from deportation and work permits” for one million to four million illegal immigrants, not full citizenship so it would not change the makeup of the electorate in Louisiana and Georgia for the runoffs. The number of illegal immigrants voting in those states would be . . . well, no more than usual.

“Not now, Mr. President!”

Tags: Illegal Immigration , Runoffs , Georgia , Louisiana

The Good, Bad, and Good News for Georgia Republicans


Here’s the good news for Georgia Republicans: The Atlanta Journal Constitution poll out today puts GOP Senate candidate David Purdue ahead by 2 points over Democrat Michelle Nunn.

Here’s the bad news for Georgia Republicans: The five previous polls, including the CNN poll out earlier today, put Michelle Nunn narrowly ahead.

Here’s the other good news for Georgia Republicans: To win the Senate seat, a candidate needs 50 percent, and Nunn hasn’t hit that in any poll this year. Her share in the last five polls: 42 percent, 47 percent, 47 percent, 46 percent, 46 percent. In the most of the most recent polls, Nunn would need to win almost all of the remaining undecideds to hit the 50 percent threshold. The Libertarian candidate, Amanda Swafford, is getting around 5 percent and appears likely to keep the other candidates below the threshold.

If they go to a runoff, Nunn and Purdue would continue campaigning for another two months, and by the time the January 6 runoff arrives, control of the Senate may be resolved. In that scenario, it’s possible one or both parties and outside groups will be much less intense in their get-out-the-vote activities. (Louisiana holds its runoff in December.)

Of course, if control of the Senate comes down to the Georgia runoff . . . it is going to be a mean and nasty Christmas season and New Year’s in the Peach State.

Tags: David Purdue , Michelle Nunn , Georgia , Polling

Why Georgia Republicans Shouldn’t Be Too Nervous This Morning


The first poll out this morning comes from Georgia, where the WSB/Landmark survey finds both the Senate race between and the governor’s race tied.

At first glance, this is an ominous indicator for Republican governor Nathan Deal and Senate candidate David Purdue, as most polls in the past two months showed both men with small but consistent leads.

But look a little closer. The last poll that showed Purdue trailing Michelle Nunn was . . . the WSB/Landmark survey, conducted from September 9 to 11, showing Nunn ahead by three points. So by the measuring stick of this particular pollster’s turnout model, the new survey shows movement in the GOP direction. In fact, of the past 13 polls, only two have not shown Purdue ahead — both of the WSB/Landmark surveys. (Note, this doesn’t mean that the poll is wrong, “skewed,” biased, or is some other deliberate effort to misinform. It’s just that their particular samples seem to bring slightly better results for the Democratic candidates than those of the other pollsters.)

In the governor’s race, the last WSB/Landmark survey showed Deal trailing Jason Carter by three points as well. So this morning’s survey also represents movement in the direction of the GOP candidate, compared to the last time this pollster went into the field. Deal has led 11 of the past 14 polls.

Tags: Nathan Deal , David Purdue , Michelle Nunn , Jason Carter , Georgia

Not Much Is Coming Easy to the GOP This Cycle


The Thursday morning poll roundup…

Arizona Governor: ”Forty-one percent of likely voters said they were likely to vote for Doug Ducey, the Republican nominee, while 39 percent said they would vote for Fred DuVal, the Democratic nominee — within the poll’s margin of error. Seven percent said they would vote for Libertarian Barry Hess.”

Georgia Senator: ”In the fierce fight to fill the seat vacated by Saxby Chambliss, Republican David Perdue leads Democrat Michelle Nunn by just one point: 46 percent to 45 percent.”

Georgia Governor“Incumbent Republican Nathan Deal is behind Jason Carter by one point: Carter 45 percent, Deal 44 percent.”

Virginia Senator:Virginia voters favor U.S. Sen. Mark Warner over Republican challenger Ed Gillespie with more than half saying they don’t consider President Barack Obama a factor when deciding who should be their senator, according to a poll released today. However, the telephone survey of likely voters also indicated that, while Warner, a Democrat, enjoys a nine-point lead over Gillespie, the race is not settled. About one of every five voters contacted said they still might change their minds before Nov. 4.”

Florida Governor: “The result – according to a new independent poll – is essentially a tied race between Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist, with Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie picking up 8 percent of the vote. And voters don’t seem to like or trust either of the major candidates. The Quinnipiac University poll showed Scott leading Crist 44-42 percent among likely voters, well within the poll’s margin of error.”


Tags: Arizona , Georgia , Virginia , Florida

Hollywood Democrats, Digging Deep for Lundergan Grimes and Nunn


The Democrats’ friends in Hollywood are making a big push to help Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky and Michelle Nunn in Georgia.

On Tuesday, Nunn — who has been a frequent visitor to LA’s Westside this season, arrives back in town Tuesday for an early evening reception at the Hancock Park mansion of media moguls Michael Kong and Stacey Twilley. Among the hosts contributing $5,200 each to fuel Nunn’s Georgia run are Keith Addis, Marcy Carsey, Sherry Lansing, Michael Lombardo & Sonny Ward, Howie Mandel and Nancy Stephens. Other tickets are scaled from $2,600 apiece down to $500.

Grimes’ September 18 fundraiser is shaping up to be Hollywood’s biggest A-ticket event this month. Like all of Grimes’ Los Angeles fundraisers, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is once again a driving force. The studio chief has not only declared Grimes’ election his number one priority of this electoral cycle but already has raised well over $1 million on her behalf. In this final push, Katzenberg appears to be pulling in support from all corners of the industry, including director James Cameron, who in recent years has been a donor to Republican candidates.

You can picture the NRSC’s web videos already: “It’s crunch time, so Michelle Nunn/Alison Lundergan Grimes are headed to Hollywood, not Georgia/Kentucky” . . . 

According to the June 30 filing statements, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has $3.1 million more cash on hand than Grimes. But Nunn has $4 million more on hand than David Purdue in Georgia. Still, if Purdue needs some more cash, he can probably find it: “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported Perdue’s net worth, after examining his disclosure, at between $11.9 million and $48 million.”

Lundergan Grimes and Nunn probably don’t actually need more money; they need a more convincing case that they won’t be like the national Democrats that are so unpopular in Kentucky and Georgia.

Tags: Kentucky , Georgia , Hollywood , Alison Lundergan Grimes , Michelle Nunn

Michelle Nunn’s Lucrative Years Running a Nonprofit Organization


From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Michelle Nunn’s Lucrative Years Running a Nonprofit Organization

Georgia Democrats are quite excited about their candidate for Senate, Michelle Nunn.

Here’s how her campaign describes her work in the nonprofit sector:

Seeing a need in Atlanta for a vehicle by which young people could engage in service to solve problems in their own communities, Michelle and a group of friends got together to create Hands On Atlanta, with Michelle as its first Executive Director. Over the next decade, Michelle grew volunteerism across Georgia, and eventually throughout the country, through Hands On Network, a national outreach of volunteer-service organizations. Michelle was selected for a three year Kellogg Foundation Fellowship that gave her an opportunity to travel the globe and work with civic and religious leaders to help them translate the common ground of their faith and ideals into building better, more productive communities and services.

In 2007, Hands On Network merged with the Points of Light Foundation, President George H. W. Bush’s organization and legacy. After leading a successful merger, Michelle became the CEO and President of Points of Light, now the largest organization in the country devoted to volunteer service.

Sounds good, right? When Nunn was running Hands on Network, she was making $120,000 – a lot of money to most folks, but not that much more than the average of a CEO or executive director of a nonprofit in the Southeast. (In 2012, the average was $111,693.)

Except that when Hands On Network and Points of Light Foundation merged, they eliminated a lot of jobs. A lot. From 2007 to 2010, the staff dropped from 175 to 80 employees. By itself, that would hardly be a scandal; when two nonprofits merge, there are often a lot of duplicative positions and inevitably, some people get let go. The economy took a severe tumble during those years, of course, and so it’s reasonable to conclude the hard times hit the nonprofit as well.

It’s just that after the merger . . . Nunn’s salary went up. A lot.

In 2008, Nunn received $250,000 as CEO of the Points of Light Foundation, according to the organization’s Form 990.

In 2009, Nunn received $197,506 as CEO of the Points of Light Foundation, according to the organization’s Form 990, and the same in 2010. (Form 990)

In 2011, Nunn received $322,056 in total compensation, with a base compensation of $285,533 as CEO of Points Of Light Foundation, according to the Form 990.

Her personal financial disclosure lists her 2012 salary as CEO Of Points Of Light Foundation as $270,770 and her 2013 salary as $214,231.

Who knew there was so much money to be made in encouraging other people to do volunteer work?

The explanation from Nunn to Politico was that she made less than her predecessor.

The public usually yawns at executives making enormous sums while running non-profit institutions . . . 

In its analysis of 3,929 charities, the charity research group found that 11 nonprofits paid their CEOs more than $1 million in annual salary and bonuses in 2011. CEOs at 78 of the charities were paid between $500,000 and $1 million.

But they may not be quite so forgiving of a nonprofit executive who’s laying off staff and enjoying a higher salary simultaneously.

Tags: Michelle Nunn , Georgia

Looking Ahead to Tuesday’s Not-So-Thrilling Primary Battles


From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

Looking Ahead to Tuesday’s Not-So-Thrilling Primary Battles

Boy, hype it much, USA Today?

Perhaps they don’t mean this coming Tuesday.

As a campaign correspondent, I’m arguing against interest by telling you that Tuesday’s primaries probably aren’t going to be that surprising or earth-shattering, but . . . come on. I can’t lie to you.

USA Today writes, “Senate contests in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky are critical to determining who will control the Senate next year.” Okay, sure. But Tuesday’s primaries aren’t what make them critical.

In Kentucky, here’s the last Bluegrass poll before the primary:

The poll found that 55 percent of likely GOP voters support McConnell, while 35 percent favor Bevin. Three other Republican candidates split 5 percent of the vote, with the remaining 5 percent undecided.

But the poll found that McConnell is in a statistical dead heat with a November showdown looming, with 43 percent favoring her and 42 percent backing McConnell, a five-term incumbent. McConnell would do slightly better in a head-to-head match-up with Grimes than Bevin would.

Cheer up, Bevin fans — that 20-percentage-point ;margin for McConnell is his smallest lead yet! But, er . . . it’s pretty tough to make up that much ground in the final days.

As for the general election, that one-point lead for Grimes is the first she’s enjoyed since February, and only the second poll showing her ahead since . . . December 2012. McConnell’s no slam-dunk, but his sharp-elbowed, well-funded campaign went to work making sure Matt Bevin never amounted to a serious primary threat, and it appears to be on the verge of success. Let’s just see what happens when all of that advertising, organizing and volunteer firepower gets concentrated on his Democratic opponent.

Moving farther south, USA Today notes, “In Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican challenger Rep. Tom Cotton will clinch their respective nominations in a state considered one of the GOP’s best chances for a pickup because of the conservative lean of the state.” So again, there’s nothing dramatic or meaningful about Tuesday’s primary.

That race currently features a weird split in the polls. Three of the last six polls say incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor is doing fine — up 10 or 11 points. But the other three point to a close race — Pryor by 1, Cotton by 3, Pryor by 3. Undoubtedly, Cotton’s going to need to kick it up a notch in his television advertising — and most of his ads have been pretty darn good!


In Georgia, a crowded seven-way Senate primary will be whittled to two for a July 22 runoff as no candidate is likely to earn the 50% necessary to clinch the nomination. The eventual winner will face Democrat Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn, who Democrats have touted as their best 2014 recruit.

The runoff will probably go to David Purdue (former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General) and Representative Jack Kingston. (Karen Handel has a shot to make the runoff, but not a great one.) Purdue polled well against Nunn until very recently. This is Georgia, where Democrats last won a statewide race in 1998. Democrats are getting their hopes up about Nunn’s ability to run on her father’s reputation, but notice this little wrinkle:

Under Georgia law, any race in which no candidate clears 50 percent on Nov. 4 heads to a runoff between the top two candidates. And thanks to a court ruling delaying any federal runoffs so that overseas voters have sufficient time to cast their ballots, there will actually be two separate runoffs, if needed: one on Dec. 2, for the governor’s race, and another on Jan. 6, for the Senate contest. . . . 

The 2008 elections offer a relevant illustration. Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss was just barely forced into a runoff after receiving 49.8 percent of the vote in November, while Democrat Jim Martin narrowly trailed with 46.8 percent. But in December, just a month later, turnout dropped by a hefty 43 percent, from 3.7 million to 2.1 million, and Chambliss triumphed by a wide margin, 57 to 43.

Could a Democrat beat a Republican head-to-head in a runoff election in Georgia? Sure, it’s possible. Just very, very, very difficult.

Tags: Mitch McConnell , Matt Bevin , Tom Cotton , Mark Pryor , Georgia

Whoops! Half of Georgia’s Insurance Enrollees Haven’t Paid Yet.


From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

Whoops: Half of Georgia’s Insurance Enrollees Haven’t Paid Yet.

This seems rather important:

Georgia insurers received more than 220,000 applications for health coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s exchange as of the official federal deadline of March 31, state officials said Wednesday.

Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, though, said premiums have been received for only 107,581 of those policies, which cover 149,465 people.

“Many Georgians completed the application process by the deadline, but have yet to pay for the coverage,” Hudgens said in a statement Wednesday.

Half? Half? Sure, the nonpayment rates will be a lot lower in other places. But this indicates how much skepticism is warranted for the administration’s much-touted enrollment figures.

When progressives insist that we’re wrong and Obamacare is more popular than it seems, they’ll point to the enrollment numbers. They dismiss the national surveys, but there’s some indication that Obamacare’s meager support in the polls is actually worse than we think, because it’s being artificially boosted by respondents who are eager to declare the whole thing a success, no matter how their state exchange is actually performing.

A couple of lessons from this bit of polling research by Jonathan Easley at the Morning Consult: is uniquely and perhaps disproportionately disliked by survey respondents, and some people just tell pollsters what they want to be true, not what is actually true:

In a testament to how political affiliation potentially colors an individual’s view of the law, Morning Consult polling from November through April found that people reported more positive experiences in states with largely broken exchanges versus people who used the federal exchanges. And that includes states where the exchanges never were fully operational . . . 

We separated states into three different groups to do this analysis. The “broken” state exchange group included Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and Vermont. (While it is an inexact measurement, we put states where healthcare officials struggled throughout the enrollment period to fully launch their exchanges into the “broken” category.) The second group of states — those with relatively well running exchanges — included Washington, Rhode Island, New York, Kentucky, Colorado, Connecticut, California and the District of Columbia. All other states where included in our third group, as they used the federal exchange website to enroll customers.

Among these groups, you might expect the states with barely (or not-at-all) functioning exchanges to rank last when it comes to users’ experiences. But the federal exchanges took that spot in almost every measure. The poll has a margin of error of two percentage points, and approximately 2,000 interviews were conducted in each poll from November through April.

The analysis notes, “In the 2012 election, President Obama won all of our “broken” exchange states. That perhaps explains the rosier view voters in those states have of the law, even though the exchanges in many cases barely worked.” In other words, there’s a strong possibility some Obama voters declared their state health-insurance exchanges to be success even when they personally experienced its failure.

Tags: Obamacare , Georgia , State Exchanges

Gingrich’s Dry Spell Comes to an End!


The polls have closed in Georgia, and Newt Gingrich is the projected winner.

The victory ends a bit of a dry spell for the former speaker. Since winning South Carolina January 21, Newt has placed second in Florida with 31.9 percent and then shown a slow decline: 21.1 percent in the low-turnout Nevada caucuses (29 percentage points behind Romney), and then 10.8 percent in the nonbinding results in Minnesota, 12.8 percent in the nonbinding results in Colorado, 6.7 percent in Maine, 6.5 percent in Michigan, 16.2 percent in Arizona, and 10.3 percent in Washington.

Despite the recent spate of third- and fourth-place finishes, Newt has the second-most votes, with about 990,000 votes cast before today’s results. Santorum is just behind him with 959,000 votes.

Tags: Georgia , Newt Gingrich

GA Dem: I’m Not Nancy Pelosi


GA-08 — But can he prove it? Rep. Jim Marshall (D) tries to in his latest ad:

BATTLE ‘10 would like a closer look at that driver’s license. Until then, the verdict’s still out. Whoever he is, Marshall is unlikely to be around in 2011. A recent poll from The Hill has him trailing his Republican challenger Austin Scott by 13 points — 37 to 50 percent.

Tags: Georgia

Friday Afternoon Delight


A characteristically impassioned new ad from Dale Peterson (and the Republican Governors Association),  who wants you to know what he thinks about the Georgia governor’s race between Democrat Roy “King Roy” Barnes and GOP Rep. Nathan Deal. And remember: “When Dale speaks, you better listen up.” Enjoy.

Tags: Georgia

Sandford ‘Bring That Bacon’ Bishop


GA-2: Given the political climate this year, you would think a nine-term Democratic incumbent embroiled in a nepotism scandal would be trying to play down his record of winning pork for his district. You’d be wrong. Meet Rep. Sandford Bishop (D., Ga.).

Tags: Georgia

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