My Beef With Casey Cagle

“Casey Cagle’s campaign … has run to defeat Ralph. It has not run to beat Ralph. There is a difference. Casey does not need to win to defeat Ralph.


  1. Beth says:

    Well stated. I thought I read somewhere that negative attacks just freeze the voter where they are. They do not bring people into your camp.

    Casey does need to do a better job of defining who he is. He does have the background for Lt. Gov. but needs to do a better job of defining himself.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    Erick, you said this in your 3rd to last paragraph: Ralph can be defeated in the general election by the combined weight of the primary attacks from Casey, the general election attacks from the Democrats, and the attacks of the unrepentant, unconverted Casey supporters who hate Ralph more than they want a Republican elected.

    I don’t quite understand your line of logic here. First, you claim for more than 500 words that the negative attacks on Ralph might not be enough to defeat Ralph in the Primary. Then, with this paragraph, you state that the negative attacks in the General can defeat Ralph.

    Either negative attacks help or hurt the candidate being attacked. Which is it?

  3. Beth says:

    I’m can’t speak for Erick, but you know the republican primary voter is different the the “average” voter in a general election. Ralph has a core base of support in the primamry that will not go away. That base plus a little more, I believe Erick stated 9% would be enough for him to carry the day.

    I don’t believe that his base +9% is enough to carry the day in a general election. As we have seen here on PP there are a number of Reed supporters that the negative attacks have no impact. I think, those same attacks will have a different impact in a general election.

    Just my 2 cents.

  4. rugby_fan says:

    “Either negative attacks help or hurt the candidate being attacked. Which is it?”

    With all due respect you (or I did) miss the point.

    I think what Erick is trying to say is that the negative attacks alone will not defeat Reed in the *Primary*. However, the negative attack *with the other factors* will defeat Reed in the *General*.

    Just my interpretation and belief

  5. GAWire says:

    Erick, that was indeed well said, even though I would disagree with some things, but your point is a good one.

    Here’s the thing … I think we know who Casey Cagle is better than most of our candidates out there, and certainly better than any other LG candidates in the past. I think the same could be said for the office itself: “Who is the Lt. Governor and more importantly, what the heck does he matter?”

    The answer is that the LG matters a great deal, and even more so than ever in this race, b/c Ralph’s candidacy has nothing to do with serving as LG, while Casey’s has everything to do with serving in that role – and that, my friend, describes Casey Cagle better than most candidates for all offices across the state.

    I also want to comment on Beth’s statement about negative campaigning not doing a whole lot for a candidate. There is truth to this, although, not how she thinks (at least from what I perceive in her comment). Negative campaigning is not meant to drive a candidate forward – it is meant to hold the opposition back. Obvious, you say? Not necessarily. The strategy of negative campaigning can only be effective if it is strategically joined with a productive/positive campaign model. Meaning, campaigning negatively is only a relatively small component of the overall strategy.

    Team Cagle has done a good job so far using the negative only as a part of an overall package to introduce Casey as the better option. The key is that they must stick to this, especially moving forward to the Primary – let others do the negative at this point, they did a good job getting it out there – now, focus on the positive.

  6. SouthernConservative says:

    In all fairness and candor, GaWire, you make some good points. But I’d like to throw this out there for discussion, and I really don’t want to get in a pissing match with anyone here. I think this is a great kickoff to a discussion, and I’d like to see it continue.

    It seems to me that to this point, Casey’s sole communications outside his personal campaign email list have been negative. Perhaps the negative communications have come primarily through the mainstream media, but nonetheless, in the minds of the voters, will be attributed to Casey. He DOES communicate his plan/vision to his already-committed supporters, but hasn’t recieved any coverage regarding his plan outside that. The AJC ran one bio piece on him about 6 months ago, but I doubt anyone remembers it.

    Which leads me then to this question: does Casey have the financial resources to continue the negative attacks/stoppage of the opponent, and put forth, in the media, to the mass of primary voters within the donut his vision for Georgia. I don’t think, considering his burn rate/relative fundraising disadvantage, he can effectively compete with Ralph in this area.

    Am I wrong?

  7. GAWire says:

    I think he has already shown his ability to compete with Ralph by increased fundraising, which isn’t that far behind Ralph, and rising poll numbers (i.e. incr name ID) in relation to Ralph’s declining numbers.

    RR was strongest at his announcement. CC has steadily increased.

    To your point, though, I hope the Cagle campaign has saved a lot for the next two months, b/c I can assure you that Ralph is about to come out strong.

    Also, RR might have name ID, but unless it is with his die hard supporters, that name ID is B-A-D! The only people who are really behind Ralph are die hard folks – a lot of religious conservatives, and others typical of low ED turnout. Whereas, Casey has stronger numbers across the GOP base, not to mention already elected officials, of which he is one.

    The name of the game for the Cagle campaign should be GOTV!!!!

  8. Erick says:

    What I mean is that Ralph is at like 42% in the recent poll. If those people aren’t going to leave him by now, they probably never will — so he only needs 9% more of the 22% undecideds to win — that is doable for him.

    But then he gets to the general and there are a lot more voters who have been picking up on the Abramoff stuff, etc., and he’ll be being attacked from Democrats and some Republicans with lingering blows.

    My point is that it seems less and less likely that Cagle is going to kill off Reed by July by just beating him up. Cagle needs to draw in some of the undecideds now too with lots of postive Cagle stuff — and do it before Ralph unleashes his $1.4 million.

    And, keep in mind that there are really only about 4 weeks of good campaign time left — school gets out, Memorial Day traveling hits. Then there is most of June. Then 4th of July traveling hits. Then there is the primary.


    Erick, you off on this one, you and some of the old party liners are going to have to accept that Ralph is damaged goods. I can respect your loyalty,Casey is better known than you think and that will become more evident everyday.CC has not gone negative, but has only restated what is public knowledge yet Ralph will not accept responsibility.Georgia wants someone who’s goal is to promote Georgia not a someone who is only trying to self promote his career. You need to come to some of the meetings throughout the state and witness first hand how Casey is resonating with the average public. Ralph has his die hard money guys but they’re betting on a losing horse.If the CC team needs to go NUCLEAR I’m sure they will, however I suspect Ralpie will fire the first missle and then it will be on…….CASEY CAGLE 06 PUBLIC SERVICE NOT SELF SERVICE

  10. Erick says:

    SouthernComfort, I’m agreeing with you. CC “has only restated what is public knowledge.” But, tell me about him. I don’t know him. I know he is meeting with people and he resonates very, very well. But most voters, even primary voters, aren’t going to attend a meeting with him. He needs to do some ad buys and let us know.

    The man has a fantastic biography. People need to know it.

  11. caroline says:

    At this point, I don’t see Cagle beating Reed in the primary. It seems that Reed has enough hard core supporters to win. Then I guess he drags the entire party down in the general, or so the polls say.

  12. Erick says:

    Hahahaha. From my email regarding this post:

    I just read your bulls**t. Who the f**k do you think you are? You don’t s**t about winning campaigns. Cagle will crush Reed.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence.

  13. Beth says:

    It’s sad when you try to engage folks in an intellegant debate and you get bs like that.

    It would be nice if people focused on the issues and qualifications of a person for an office.

  14. Maurice Atkinson says:

    Erick Erick Erick,,, there is no way that Cagle could achieve the name recognition of Ralph. In fact, Cecil Staton couldn’t if he were running state wide. Ralph has long contrived public history.

    Casey and his staff have been diligent at criss crossing the state meeting with organizations and various groups. In November, not the height of the campaign season, Casey drew a crow of 30 at the Joshua Cup Coffee Shop, at 3pm, not quite prime time for a political event on a Wednesday.

    In February I attended a luncheon downtown Macon, which was a Who’s Who in business and government, more than 70 people to visit with Casey.

    His grassroots organizational meetings have had far better attendance than Ralph’s.

    As to your point, Reed is 9 points up, but his negatives are out the roof. They likely voters have reserved their right to judgement by remaining undecided on Casey. I think this looks promising for Casey. Also, Casey has maintained in the forefront while Ralph has resorted to hiding his schedule and following the governor to his campaign events.

    Keep in mind, as well, more than 200 elected officials have publically endorsed and are working to get Senator Cagle elected as Lt. Gov. Ralph’s campaigning abilities should not be minimized but neither should Cagle’s.

  15. Michael C says:

    Maurice has a good point about grass roots. That is how I became a supporter back in Dec. Its cruch time and I think Erick that you make some very valid points.

  16. Dan says:

    Off Topic

    I have talked to a few prominent flaggers who wish to remain anonymous…

    Isn’t “prominent flagger” an oxymoron?

  17. gopdoc says:

    Very good analysis and I agree with most of it. My biggest beef with Cagle is that he is a hypocrite. There is a good reason he has not tried to talk about himself.

    All he can do is attack Reed. Republicans are not going to elect someone who joins in with the liberal media in attacking someone who has done as much as Reed has.

  18. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    I have a lot of faith in the Republicann voters in Georgia…they will not vote for a corrupt man that will be a hindrence to the Governors re-election. Polls are minisucle at this point..wait untill July 1st then we’ll talk polls.

  19. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    My appologies, I type fairly fast and hit submit before proof reading my comments most the time..therefore my spelling is not the greatest..I know it gets on Bill Simons nerves but Im sorry (lol).

  20. Jack S says:

    I’m sure casey doesn’t read this site, but just in case, I hope he hears this. Ignore this ridiculous “I’m in love with ralph” rant.

    Ralph is the modern day antichrist. He speaks boldly of values while shoving money in his pocket.

    And he is a nasty campaigner. Do not forget what he did to clint day, and john mccain, and so many others.

    Quite frankly, you’ve been too lenient with this guy. If you show mercy to a wretch like him he will stab you in the back.

    Hit him and when he falls down hit him again. Hit him relentlessly until this thing is done. Don’t listen to the cowards and butt kissers. Destroy this fraud.

    Don’t stop till its done. That’s the patton political strategy.

  21. bowersville says:

    Jack S,
    I don’t know about the antiChrist part but I do believe the money changer analogy, he will shove money into his own pocket for the sake of moralality. Last I read, he netted 4+ mil from the tribes to stop internet gambling. I guess we need a modern day treaty to stop the sale of beads and blankets, but if we do that, Ralph & Jack cannot make a living. Kick Ralph while he’s down? By all means, yes! I like the old way of doing things, “carry him out on a rail.”

  22. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Jack is a little more anti-Reed then I am, but I have to agree that Cagle has been so clean in his campaign tactics compared to what Ralph Reed did to McCain and Day..Karl Rove even said in ’99 that Reed was to dirty in his campaign tactics and would be a liability on the Bush campaign, he was the mastermind behind the idea to accuse McCain of having an “African Love Child”…when the McCain family was so generous that they adopted a little girl from South East Asia…not even African in the least. That had to be the most dispicable campaign tactic in political history and Ralph Reed was the man behind it. I was very tempted to vote for McCain over Bush because of it, but I didnt because I knew that the then Governor Bush did not authorize or condone that disgusting attack. Ralph Reed certainly dosnt deserve a clean race, but Cagle will not stoop to Reed’s level..he is a man of principal and understands there are some lines you just dont cross. But Reed as a behind the scenes man was not affraid to cross them, and now it’s catching up with him.

  23. landman says:

    Erick,once again you use your position on this blog to rip Cagle and then dont have the BA*** to mention the fact that you are biased in this race.You really are a joke.

    Joel is a good friend and I know him well and he doesnt need a wannabe from Macon telling him how to win a race,trust me.You just stick to proping up Ralph and kissing Cecil’s butt,things you are good at and leave the heavy lifting to the Pro’s.

  24. larry smith says:


    Since you have no experience with campaigns of this size, let me point something out for you:


    Let’s say you’re Casey (or Ralph for that matter) and you’ve got 2-3 weeks of media. Why in the hell would you start buying it now? Do you think people win campaigns by having NOTHING ON THE AIR in the final two weeks?

    Second question … absent spending that money, how is Casey supposed to “introduce himself now?” Think newspapers will pick up press releases talking about how great he is? Or, maybe he could just drive around and shake a couple million hands?

    Your post read like a campaign manual from a Leadership Institute seminar. If you can address the above issues, I’ll be marginally more impressed with your political savvy.

  25. jackson says:

    What I find interesting is that I got 2 emails from Casey Cagle campaign in last week talking ONLY about issues. I have never got one from Ralph Reed. Only his On The Road thing and annoucements about his fundraisers (which, by the way, how did he get my email address? I never signed up for his stuff…Is this true for anyone else? Did he take the list from the Georgia GOP when he was there? Just a question.)

    Aside from that cool gambling site he did and the follow up emais, why is Casey Cagle being so negative? Its almost ridiculous.

    I agree with Larry, what else is he supposed to do. You complain he is spending money on websites and whatever, but if Larry is right, how the heck can he do a TV ad now?

  26. Maurice Atkinson says:

    landman, no point in trashing someone. Erick made some legitimate observations from his vantage point. He just called it as he saw it, which is a far cry from what some of the posts have been.

    jackson, “””Aside from that cool gambling site he did and the follow up emais, why is Casey Cagle being so negative? Its almost ridiculous. “”” Seems to me that Ralph is as slick as Slick Willy. He knows how to campaign, give people what they want to hear and blame the “liberal press” on everything else. It pulls the sympathy factor. People want to believe the best in a person, given the fact he has built this “perception” of who he is. The question should be, Who is Ralph Reed?


    Anyone going to the golden isles this vacation season will see billboards of CC on the way down, seems as if the Cagle team has a plan and are working it….

Comments are closed.