1. Bill Simon says:

    GAW: “Flexible ethics”…good term to use to describe RR.

    But, you admit to wasting time watching The West Wing? I guess you’re also watching the new Left Wing presidential show with whats-her-face in it…

  2. GAWire says:

    Yes, I reluctantly admit. What started out as simply seeking entertainment has now become a weekly obsession of watching liberal, inaccurate, un-real drama with dialogue that can drive anyone crazy! It’s like a train wreck – you just can’t help but watch it.

    The only difference between West Wing and the new Commander In Chief is that the latter is a comedy. A woman as President . . . that’s supposed to be funny, right?

    Oops, that might strike some nerves.

  3. GAWire says:

    Yes, I apologize for my sexist humor. Trust me, I know firsthand that women in politics can be just as good politicians (if not better) as men. As a matter of fact, some of the most influential movers and shakers in American politics are women, and it is certainly true that our male political leaders have many powerful women working their behind-the-scenes operations.

    Did I redeem myself?

    Anyways, please enlighten us as to why you think my Gubernatorial analysis funny? I am guessing that you think this will be a horserace where Sonny could lose?

    I seriousely doubt it. While those of us that are consumed with GA politics tend to think this race will involve scandals, cross-party voters, neck-and-neck polling up to ED, and all that stuff that make races fun; I think it will end up being pretty basic: Dems will divide support in the Primary, and the GOP base will eventually come around and vote for Sonny, despite some of their reservations.

    I also think that this race will end up being similar to the ’04 Presidential race – everyone thought it was neck-and-neck literally up to the point when polls were closing, but then results came thru and the outcome was pretty straitforward. Now, looking back on that, I can see how basic that race was, so I am applying that same theory to the GA Guber race. I could be wrong, though, and I will be the first to admit it if the results are different in November.

  4. Melb says:

    I think that while most of us do vote for partisanship, there are also a lot that vote on personality and then there are those that vote with the reining political sentiment — which seems to be with Taylor and Cox and against Perdue. I think that Sonny will get the most loyal of the base, but for the latter of reasons people vote he will lose. People don’t think highly of him or they think he is okay or they have no opinion. The people that don’t like him have a lot to say, and the people that are willing to vote for him don’t want to stick up for him. Democrats really like Cox and Taylor, they are only dividing up because they have to, but as soon as the primary is over so will the division. As for Sonny, he is running uncontested and has a divided base, though I agree that he will get some of them back. Also I feel the national party with the Republicans are having ethics issues and Sonny has been charged with ethics violations, that is going to fit into the sentiment that Sonny shouldn’t be in office and the general sentiment of dislike for Sonny and not that I think the flag is going to be an issue in the race, but it is going to be an issue that he lied to the flaggers to get elected which also fits in to ethics. In conclusion, I think that if the Democrats have the right message and work hard, which I think they will, then I think they are going to attract more of the swing voters and some of those who are divided within the republican party and ultimately win the Governor’s race. And if the results in November are different then what I expect, then I too will be wrong. Sorry about the run on sentences too.

  5. Melb says:

    Ya’ll never miss a chance to dog Bobby Kahn, but I wouldn’t breathe that sigh of relief just yet.

    Is anyone going to the Lt. Governor’s debate tonight?

  6. stephaniemills21 says:

    Lt. Governor debate Monday, Oct. 10th

    This Monday, October 10th, the four leading candidates vying to become Georgia’s next Lt. Governor (Casey Cagle, Greg Hecht, Jim Martin, & Ralph Reed) will meet in a debate to be held at 7:00PM at the Atlanta Area Chamber of Commerce located at 235 International Blvd in downtown Atlanta.

    Date: 10-10-2005
    Time: 7:00PM
    Where: Atlanta Area Chamber of Commerce located at 235 International Blvd in downtown Atlanta.

  7. kspencer says:

    re the Governor’s race, I think there are three significant things that’ll affect the whole. And yes to some extent I’m repeating myself.

    Given I agree about expecting a low turnout, the first thing is what I’ll shorthand as the flagger contingent. They’re the folk who are reliable Republican voters – folk who you’d expect to turn out even in low turnout seasons – who are disgruntled enough with the options available they don’t come out. Obviously I include the flaggers here. [As my family sat in a restaurant in Fort Oglethorpe the other day I was intrigued to listen to someone condemning Perdue on just that subject. It’s still there, and it’s very strong.] These also include the teachers who voted for Perdue last time (approximately 1.5% of the total turnout). Not so obvious will be other folk who are dissatisfied with Perdue and while unwilling to vote for a Dem satisfied that the candidate (be it Cox or Taylor) “couldn’t do any worse.” There are also those who are unhappy with the job done at the national level who will spill their frustration on the state level. This includes not only those who think there is something to the Dem campaign of cronyism and corruption, but who are directly frustrated by things like Supreme Court Justice selections and failures to end various personal hotbutton issues. Most of the Georgia contingent is actually fairly clean on this issue and so shouldn’t see much splash unless someone causes a focus on the issue. Yes, that means if Ralph Reed wins the primary.

    This brings up the other side of the coin – the things that increase Dem turnout. There’s really only one at this time. Ralph Reed’s a polarizing figure, and as stated he’s a lightning rod for the Dem “corruption” campaign. Lightning rods – amendments or local options that in themselves draw significant turnout – affect the rest of the ballot as well. Interestingly, at this time I don’t think there are any more lightning rods coming with the possible exception of using sales taxes for schools as an amendment, and that one’s as likley to draw supporters as it is opposition.

    Finally, there are (for lack of a better word) performance events. Unemployment for the state is near the highest it’s been under Perdue and there is a risk of it going higher. There are indicators that we’re going to see an economic depression – at a minimum the effect of a combination of increased gas prices (more than now) plus increased interest rates, and possibly some secondary effects resulting from those. If they occur (I believe it almost certain but there are some who think otherwise) then how Perdue copes – and more importantly how he SELLS how he copes – will have significant impact on voters in 13 months.

    All three categories are within the governor’s capability to affect in some manner. That said, my estimates:
    – If Perdue treats next year’s recession like he did last year’s recession, he’ll lose – not because he didn’t do a good job in a bad situation, but because he did a lousy job of selling the public on the fact he was doing so.
    – If the recession doesn’t happen and there are no other changes, Perdue vs either Dem treads into recount territory if Reed’s the LtGov candidate, and Perdue wins by a couple of points with Cagle. It’s the lightning rod effect.

    Bias restatement: If I were voting tomorrow I’d vote for Cox. I’m (relatively) liberal, but not a die-hard Democrat.

  8. GAWire says:


    I think people are putting a little too much stock in the “flaggers”. This is no longer as big of an issue as it once was. Ultimately these people will either come through for Sonny when they get in the voting booths, or just not vote at all – they won’t cross the aisle to vote for liberals. Moreover, these people are very conservative, which means they are usually the most convicted to do their civil duty of voting. More than anything, though, there really isn’t a lot of these people left out there, so it won’t be a significant voting factor. If Dems are depending on them to win, then they are in for a rude awakening.

    The teachers, however, will continue to be a hurdle for the Perdue campaign. The fact of that matter is that they should write them off and just assume the support will not be there. They shouldn’t waste time and money on the teachers, and instead should focus on groups that will come through for the Gov.

  9. kspencer says:


    As I said, I put stock in the “flaggers” because up here in the northwest corner the signs and bumper stickers are kept fresh – again, I heard a discussion on the issue just this past week. Also I agree, they’ll not vote for the Dem. Read what I said – I think the flaggers will be an issue, and it’ll be as “no-shows” of a group normally considered reliable.

    My guesstimate is that Perdue is going to have a shortfall of 2 to 4% of the votes he had four years ago due to the disgruntlement and disappointment factor, of which about half will vote for the Dem and the other half either not show up or vote third party. That still would have been enough in itself to beat Barnes back then, but he’s not facing Barnes this time. It’s far from hopeless – he has a slight edge – but he does not have what I’d consider a “normal” incumbent advantage.

  10. HeartofGa says:

    I’d be nervous if I were Perdue. Actually, he seems a bit nervous. Some of his decisions of late have had a sort of “knee jerk” quality that has not served him well. The lift of the gas tax initially went over well, but now, with prices rising, the public’s memory of that reprieve is likely to be short. On the other hand, I have no doubt that his opponents will hammer home the cost of the special session. And then there’s canceling school, a move that did not go over well with the teacher base he needs to win. He played right into the hands of those who say that his budget cuts indicate a lack of support for public schools. If democrats (I am one) are wise enough to choose Cathy Cox is the primary, I think Perdue has an uphill climb. (At a recent Cox fundraiser, I was amazed at the diversity of her support. Not only was the place packed, but there were people there who had probably never been in a room together. The number of republicans present could signal a BIG problem for Perdue in the general.) The question is whether democrats are wise enough to get Cox though the primary. Time will tell.

  11. albert says:

    I agree with much of your assessment. I do think the SoS race could evolve to be more than it is. I noticed you didn’t mention McGuire. He could do very well. His experience in the Senate and strong legal background provide him with unique qualifications.
    However, being out of public office for so long doesn’t help him any.

    He has some strong notable supporters and has the potential to get a lot of the religous vote.

    His strengths are his intellect and his personality. He’s not the typical arrogant politician. He has no aspirations for another position. He wants to overhaul the office and make it more efficient.

    This office is far more important than the LG seat and why it gets no attention is beyond me.

  12. Rebel says:

    Just an observation…2 paragrgraphs to analyze the Gov race yet 6 for LG. And the bias was evident. I haven’t seen a Cagelite yet that could make an argument for Lowell without attacking Ralph. And they ALL followed the talking points (message of the week for us West Wingers 🙂 ) that Ralph will “destroy the party and bring down the Governor.” Those of us in the real world realize Ralph built this party and the Governor can destroy himself without any help!

  13. GAWire says:


    Thanks for mentioning McGuire. I actually forgot to mention him when talking about SoS, but my analysis is the exact same as what you mentioned – his record is good, but the fact that he has been out for some time, and hasn’t received much attention so far compared to the others tells me he won’t be able to compete. I don’t think he is a bad guy or bad candidate – I just don’t think he can compete in this instance. One thing about the religious vote – their turnout is typically very low, even though they often show a lot of verbal support during campaigns. Trust me, depending on religious vote is a bad strategy!

    I gave the Gov race 2 paragraphs b/c I said all I needed to say about it: it will be pretty cut-and-dry. The Lt. Gov race got so much attention b/c it is getting more attention, and people are making it out to be much more complicated that it is. I wanted to give my analysis rather than just my opinion. Furthermore, this race could decide a lot about the future of GA politics. I first approached this race as anti-Reed, but the plus for me is that I have seen what a good guy Casey Cagle is, and how he could someday be a really good Governor!

    Ralph HELPED to build this Party – I will give you that much, but he did it behind-the-scenes and that is where he belongs. Ralph also created A LOT of division within the Party, and he certainly doesn’t have the qualifications to hold office. ‘Nuff said.

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