Come Back Kids

Right now I am inclined the believe the GOP is going to have a rough year nationally in 2006. But we do have two come back kids in Georgia.

How important nationally are former Rep. Max Burns’ challenge to Rep. John Barrow and former Rep. Mac Collins’ challenge to Rep. Jim Marshall? Later this month, Vice President Dick Cheney will be in Georgia to campaign for both Republicans, with hopes of jump-starting their coffers in what could be two of the country’s most competitive races.

11 comments

  1. GAWire says:

    Two great Congressman! I hated to see them go last year, and I hope we get them back. These will be big federal races (which I hinted at before), and I hope we hear more about them!

    Erick knows as well as I do that mid-terms are usually our worst time for Congressional races, except that freak year of ’02 when we ran the board, and whatever we lost that year, we gained back in ’04.

    Anyways, I agree that ’06 could prove to be tough, and you are going to see a lot of internal sniping within the Party due to a lot of the policy issues that candidates will be campaigning on, rather than the typical partisan politics.

  2. GAWire says:

    I don’t see how you make a rational case for either of them NOT returning to Congress next year.

    They have a good record in Congress. Max had a tough time, and will have a tough time this year. The NRCC put a lot towards his race, so they like him up there, which is good for GOPers down here.

    Mac never should have gotten in the Senate race to run against Isakson. He should have bowed out early and use the boost and support he did get from the run to help him with something in the future – especially when Cain came in to complete the split. Initially Mac proved that he is someone that can compete, but when Isakson cleaned him out, that didn’t help him.

    Both are good for the Party.

  3. Burns lost to Barrow in a year when Bush was leading the ticket for Republicans and Kerry was leading for the Dems. 2006 will not be as favorable towards the Republicans on that front, and the new 12th district is actually higher percentage black than the old one.

    Collins is running against a very competitive Democrat who outpolled Kerry in his old district by nearly 20 points. His new district is about 5 points worse, but really that still gives him 5 or 6 points to spare. The Republican areas that were added to the district (parts of Houston county and North Bibb) are more favorable to Marshall than any Democratic area (and even many Republican ones) are to Collins.

    Whether these gentleman should or deserve to be in Congress is a different question altogether than whether they will be in Congress.

    I really have a hard time making the case for Burns. The NRCC gave him a lot of support in 2004, and he had all of the advantages of an incumbent as well. Now he’s a challenger, which will require a significantly larger investment on the part of his supporters. I have a hard time seeing the NRCC and their donor base fronting more money for a challenger than when he was a Republican. Obviously they have to telegraph that they are supporting him to save face for everyone involved, but when push comes to shove there will be enough GOP incumbents elsewhere in the country who will need help that Burns will be seriously put on the backburner.

    As for Collins, I think he could make a great comeback … in the new 3rd district seat occupied by Lynn Westmoreland. Too bad he’s not running for that one.

  4. Bull Moose says:

    I see Burns as having a better shot than Mac Collins.

    Burns is energetic and passionate. Collins is just kind of there — he didn’t impress much on the Senate trail and I think will likely not win in 2006.

    I can see Burns out working and just simply out manuevering Barrow.

    2006 is going to be extremely tough for Republicans, let’s hope that the good side prevails in this one!

    If I were Max Burns though, I wouldn’t stay in Congress. I’d serve and then run for Governor in 2010.

  5. albert says:

    All the more reason to have control of the Secretary of States office. Savannah has a terrible record of voter fraud that has not been prosecuted….

  6. HeartofGa says:

    Did anyone see the NBC News/Wallstreet Journal poll released on Wednesday? Bush’s approval rating was at 39%, and 48% said they preferred a Democratic-controlled Congress, compared with 39% who said they preferred Republican. On the latter number, this was apparently the greatest difference between the parties in the eleven years the poll had been tracking that question. This begs the question, “How much can Bush and Cheney help-even in Georgia?” They were a plus ’04, but in ’06, not so much.

    I wasn’t so surprised about the numbers in that particular poll because they reflect the discontent I hear daily from people of both parties. It seems that many, for different reasons, are not confident that the country is headed in the right direction. Perhaps more importantly, I don’t see anything on the horizon that is likely to reverse the trend. Actually, we face increasing gas costs, heating oil costs that may be as much as 50% higher this winter, escalating costs of the war in Iraq and a balooning deficit. Maybe it’s not “fair” to blame Bush for all that, but you know as well as I do that people tend to hold the party in charge responsible. And their’s no debating that, at this point, republicans have the reins. Perhaps not for long, though. Midterms may not be so much fun for the republican party.

    I don’t think that Barrow or Marshall will be defeated in 2006. Marshall, in particular, is popluar in his new district, a district that now includes all of Bibb County. While the newly added portions are strong republican areas, I believe that he polled at 54% in the HD 137 district (Graves’ district). I’ll go out on a limb here and wager that Marshall will carry the newly added areas of his home county. He has done a good job of representing the people in his district, and I think they’ll send him back. Mac Collins can take the VP to Warner Robins, but Jim Marshall only has to point to his consistent support of the military in general, and his substantive, bi-partisan work to protect the base that is so vital to the economy in Middle Georgia. Collins may win on style points, but Marshall wins this round on substance.

  7. How is Barrow vulnerable? He was one of only two Democrats in the entire country to defeat an incumbent Republican congressman. Now he is the incumbent running against the same guy. The tables are turned, although now Barrow has a lot more going in his favor than the previous time. Burns is an accidental Congressman. He turned out to be pretty formidable, but he lucked out seriously in 2002 by running against Champ Walker. He’s the kind of guy you expect people to talk about for state Senate, but Congress? Only because he happens to have been there before.

    Marshall’s district is much better for a Republican, but Marshall is in a much stronger position than Barrow personally with the voters. Most of the new areas to his district in Bibb, Houston and the surrounding counties are in the Macon media market, where they have read and watched stories for years about the work that Marshall has done as Congressman and prior to that mayor. And I think most of the PP Republican Macon readers will agree that compared to the current mayor he looks pretty damn good in hindsight.

    My guess is that your average north Bibb/Houston Co resident who wasn’t in Marshall’s old district thinks he is their Congressman already. So it’s like he’s the incumbent for upwards of 70% of this new district, and even the Colquitt/Southern parts of the district that are new have seen him before when he ran against Saxby in that old 8th district.

    So that leaves Collins with less than 15% of the district that is new to Marshall and Collins’ “home” territory. But a large percent of that new area is in Newton County, which is fast growing and doesn’t much resemble the district when Collins last ran for it (2002). Plus, Newton like much of metro Atlanta is trending Democratic, with Kerry getting nearly 45% of the vote in 2004.

    The way the trends are shaping up nationally, I’d be more concerned about some of the Republican Congressmen in Georgia getting credible opposition than I would be with these two longshot races.

  8. Decaturguy says:

    If I were a Republican running in a close district, I’m not so sure that I would want Bush or Cheney to come to town to support me. And I think that is going to be the problem for Republicans in 2006. And that is true even here in Georgai.

  9. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    Mac wins all the counties north of Bibb. The counties south of Houston go for Marshall. The contest is in Bibb and Houston. If the Vets and military living in Houston come over to Mac, he is in. Its a hill to climb, but Mac and his help can make it.

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