Legislative Session and Primaries

See this article from Augusta Chronicle about Cox and Taylor in the upcoming session.  This began to make me wonder if either one of these high-profile candidates will experience a boost from their work in the session, which will end just a few months before the Primary. 

Will Taylor get more of a boost, since he is more associated with the session, or his position so insignificant that no one will see a difference?  Will anyone except those associated with the session hear anything about this?  Is this a non-issue? 

In general, most people don’t even know that the legislature is in session, so here is a question that I am going to throw out there for discussion now, but I will ask it again in a couple of months, in order to re-evaluate:  What kind of an affect, if any, will the ’06 session have on the Primaries?


  1. At this point, I think legislation that doesn’t get passed by the Democrats could potentially be a big deal. Perdue has a history of backing down on legislation and policy when Taylor complains about his stances, so will he want to pass his own version of Taylor’s legislative agenda to shore up that potential attack angle, or will he ignore it and try and say he has a better agenda in the general?

    As for Cox, her theme is that she can do better than both parties. Whether that means new issues (or approaches) that aren’t currently addressed by either party, or choosing certain partisan issues and changing little things about them, kind of a third way we might get a hint of this session.

    Perdue has to make a calculation about which Democratic he expects to run against, and tailor his agenda and style accordingly. That’s probably a tough position to be in, especially with a House (and to a smaller degree a Senate) full of hard right ideologues that will want to flex their muscles instead of defering to Perdue’s re-election needs.

  2. GAWire says:

    One obvious observation from me is that the session will be a campaign policy battleground. By that, I mean that it will be where candidates who are already elected will use it to: 1) show that they are already serving “well” in office; and, 2) introduce legislation that will apply to their sought-offices.

    Case in point, we have already seen that Stephens has introduced legislation related to voting matters, and has campaigned on the idea that he is staying in the Senate to continue getting things done, etc, etc, etc …

    I imagine that Kemp will be playing a role in some Ag-related legislation, if he hasn’t already done so (I haven’t looked closely for that).

    Taylor will definitely be using his legislative role to boost his campaign. Still, this all goes back to the fact that very little of the voting population will actually hear or care about what actually happens in the session, and it all depends on how the candidates communicate (read “Spin”) their contributions to successes in the legislature. Which leads me back to my original point, that much of the policy stuff in this legislation will be more politically-based than in other sessions, but this is fairly typical.

  3. GA I think when Taylor and Cox start going up with television advertisements the voters will start to care about their agenda even if the MSM doesn’t. The downballot candidates will be trying to get whatever little free media they can but they are also engaged in a battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of the elite opinion makers who will have much influence on these races where the candidates won’t be able to afford that much TV time.

  4. GAWire says:

    Good points, Chris – media is a whole new element, that I haven’t thought about much b/c we are far out, but with the amount of money coming in to these Primaries, we should see a lot there. And, I would even dare to say that the MSM might even give the Dem Primary more focus.

    What do you think about Dem ads? Will they be more fluffy, retail stuff (i.e. Cathy/Mark can do more for Georgians as Gov, blah, blah, blah), or stuff based on policy accomplishments (obviously they have to make the accomplishments first)? Is Mark going to come at Cathy saying I did this, that, and the other in the session in his media? What about Cathy’s spots last year, “educating” the public on the SoS office?

  5. I’m sure their respective ads will be about what the pollsters tell them Democratic primary voters want to hear. Clearly for Taylor it is the record of achievement and for Cox it is the new vision for the state. I’m sure people who were polled responded well to both, it will just be interesting to see what they respond better to.

    Another big question mark is who makes up the Democratic primary? Will a lot of crossover Republicans/independants enter the race (probably less likely if there is a heated GOP lt gov primary)? Also, in 2004 about 100,000 cast a Democratic ballot (for local office or whatever) but skipped the US Senate primary. That’s why election night commenters thought more Georgians had voted in the GOP primary for the first time (actually more Georgians voted in the US Senate race on the Republican side but significantly more Georgians “picked up” a Democratic ballot than Republican one).

    Those 100K didn’t have much of an opinion on whether they liked Cliff Oxford or Denise Majette more, but I bet they’ll weigh on on the governor’s primary. Who are those people (my guess is rural good ole boy dems) and how will they vote?

  6. Bull Moose says:

    Priorities should be:

    1. Work on solving social issues surrounding crime.
    2. Create tech educational program for high schools offering an alternative and HOPE for those not persuing a college education
    3. Fix the problem with state prisoners overcrowding county jails and the state FAILING to reimburse counties for the cost of holding state inmates
    4. Get real about decreasing classroom sizes and allowing teachers the freedom to teach
    5. Put the brakes on the “slick” insurance backed HMO Peachcare plan and rethink this to benefit actual Georgians and not big insurance companies

    That’s it for me. Those are issues important to me.

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