Gov. Perdue up by 13%

WSJ/Zogby say the race is SP 52.1 and MT 39.3.

A hat tip is in store for Andre who posted it first. Second, I must agree with his analysis.

Money quotes:

What’s interesting is that A.) 52 and 39 only add up to 91, meaning that there is a possibility that 9% of the voters are undecided for the general election.

B.) According to the lastest SurveyUSA poll, Sonny Perdue has a 58% job approval rating, but only 52% of Georgians would vote to re-elect him. That seems a little odd, don’t you think.

I dont’t think this has been a good week for “the Big Guy”. The budget surplus will make SP look good, and SP had some tough words about HOPE. Now this. I don’t think MT wanted to start his campaign in such a manner.

That being said, this poll is quite a big change from the last poll, and today’s poll doesn’t make sense with the trend of MT being close on SP’s heels, so I will wait before I cast judgement about the numbers.

[UPDATE]: Who managed to get a 58% job approval in the latest Survey USA Poll? Sonny did.


  1. RiverRat says:

    Also, FWIW, I believe this is a Zogby “Interactive” poll, where the sample is of self-selected internet users. I haven’t checked to see if these polls are very accurate or credible, but buyer beware. Perhaps some of the data types (Chrisishardcore?) could tell me how accurate Zogby is, or how Georgia non-internet using voters trend – are poor and/or african americans going to be under-represented in Zogby’s internet poll, and are those voters going to trend to Taylor?

  2. I disagree with the budget surplus making Perdue look good. The fact that he cut $1 billion and proposed to cut ANOTHER $123 million from education shows that education is not a top priority. The fact that he is giving $173 million back means a hill of beans.

  3. rugby_fan says:

    Hey Kimberly,

    The surplus will make hum look good because all people will hear is “Budget Surplus”.

    As said above, November is a long time away. I can’t wait. 😀

  4. Demonbeck says:

    Of course, Sonny was straddled with Georgia’s largest deficit and biggest budget crisis in its history as the direct result of the Barnes/Taylor administration. But let’s not let facts get in our way.

  5. rugby_fan says:

    umm…Demonbeck, I appreciate your wit and humor (a great deal) and hope you are not too serious here.

    The constitution says there must be a balanced budget every year. Debt it OK, but a defecit is not.

    A “budget crisis” in georgia is like saying a flood in the Sahara. Can’t happen.

  6. LymanHall says:

    Did anyone notice in Strategic Vision’s poll, a whopping 25% of Georgians have a graduate degree and only 1/3 of Georgians live in Metro Atlanta. I think these numbers are off, as usual.

  7. Demonbeck says:

    Yes, but Sonny inherited the bloated final budget of the Barnes Administration his first year and a flagging economy. He had to make huge cuts his first year in the midyear budget to ensure that the budget was balanced. Those cuts were the direct result of poor planning on the part of the Barnes/Taylor Administration.

    A budget crisis can happen – if the tax receipts are not keeping up with expectations. The midyear budget is a tool that is used to help alleviate any problems that might arise. Sonny Perdue was left with the biggest financial problem this state has ever seen. That problem was created by Roy Barnes and Mark Taylor.

  8. RiverRat says:

    Demonbeck, lets not let the forget the massive rainy day fund that Barnes left. Georgia wouldn’t have gotten through the last few years without the Democrats’ smart leadership. And just how did Sonny manage things? He raised taxes and cut education. But hey, let’s not let facts get in our way.

  9. rugby_fan says:

    Roy Barnes had already made cuts to the budget and had he stayed in office, he would inherit the political capitol of it.

    To say that SP is the sole reason for budget health and that RB was the sole cause is assinine.

  10. “after 120 years of Republican exile from the governor’s mansion, it took Gov. Perdue only about 120 minutes to endorse Georgia’s largest tax increase in memory: $600 million. Tax collections in Atlanta have nearly doubled in the last 12 years, making preposterous Perdue’s claim that either “taxes must be raised or vital services cut.” Perdue has now retreated from the tax-hike blunder, but only after anti-tax Republicans in the state legislature persuaded him that the votes couldn’t be found for his tax grab.”

  11. Demonbeck says:

    And to say that Sonny Perdue cut education $1 billion is equally asinine…Sonny Perdue had to make the hard decisions a responsible leader makes.

    The crisis was created by Roy Barnes and Mark Taylor. Wanna know who solved the Barnes/Taylor budget crisis – the largest budget crisis this state has ever seen? Sonny Did.

  12. The governor justified his approach by insisting the state’s budget gap couldn’t be bridged without a substantial tax increase. As fiscal policy, that’s debatable; as political strategy, it’s indefensible, bordering on insane. Perdue could have wrangled with legislative Democrats to maximize spending cuts, then eventually agreed to modest increases in taxes, reluctantly, in the name of bipartisan comity. Instead, he made sweeping tax increases his initial position, dividing his own party and giving the Democrats the opportunity to paint themselves as the party of fiscal restraint.

  13. Mojo says:

    According to the same poll, Sonny’s approval rating has dropped 5 points and his disapproval has risen 6 points over the past month. Could be a trend. I think it’s worth mentioning.

    Who had their approval rating drop over the past month? Sonny did.

  14. Bull Moose says:

    I support the Governor 100%, but it would have been nice if the money from both the Tobacco Lawsuit Settlement and the Cigarette Tax would have gone to cancer prevention programs and not just into the general budget fund.

  15. commonsense says:

    If you actually look at the survey USA poll Perdue doesn’t seem so hot. Almost half of blacks and over half of pro-choicers aprove of Perdue. All this poll proves is that after a $3 million 2002 campaign and 3 years without major acomplishments most people just don’t know who Perdue is. Whoever goes on air and defines Perdue first will win.

  16. Of course, Sonny was straddled with Georgia’s largest deficit and biggest budget crisis in its history as the direct result of the Barnes/Taylor administration. But let’s not let facts get in our way.

    No, let’s not! The budget has grown by $4 billion dollars on an annual basis since Barnes left office, and Perdue still found room for over $1 billion of austerity cuts to education.

    Imagine there is a state formula that says X number of children * Y / child = $Z total dollars. Every year $Z changes a little but that is what the state has pledged to give to the counties and they have to spend an even greater amount of their own money to meet the Quality Basic Education minimums set up by the formula.

    And so over the years, Perdue found money for golf courses, websites and plenty of costumes (judging by all of his pictures) but even in a year when the budget had grown by nearly 30% since he took office, he still reduced by $173 million the amount the state is supposed to give the counties by law.

    Now we see with the budget surplus it was all a gimmick so he could appear that he was riding to the rescue right before the election. I tell you, I’d be pretty pissed if I was a local county school board and I had already adjusted my budget downwards (or raised taxes) in anticipation of the cuts only to finally get the money I was promised in the first place.

  17. When the same thing keeps getting repeated over and over, I feel it relevant to share other’s thoughts that are similar to mine. Purdue’s “budget surplus”, if that is what you want to call it, is just an election year gimmick just like hosting an after prom party at the mansion looking like a raver.

  18. ugadog says:

    I hate to share the secret of how SP is going to get beat by MT, but I know that Republicans have already deluded themselves into this fantasy world where SP gets elected (intentionally left off re-). Sonny doesn’t stand for anything. Taylor does. In the end, it will cost SP all the money he has right now and he still wouldn’t be able to buy the record that Taylor has. By now it’s too late for Republicans to do anything about it, but just so y’all aren’t too stunned when Taylor beats Perdue, there it is.

  19. Michael C says:

    Taylor stands for himself and for himself only. He rode the coattails of Zell and King Roy. If that is the record he stands on, it is pretty flimsy. Taking the credit for other’s accomplishments is not standing for anything.

  20. blazer says:

    wow, ugadog, you blew my mind with that secret… I better go tell Sonny, because he obviously doesn’t have a chance in Nov. I mean, you just told us that secret.. so.. woohoo Taylor 06….

  21. kspencer says:

    Right now, Perdue’s got the edge, but he’s not got the game in the bag.

    First and probably foremost, if you ask most voters to mention five things they recall about Perdue in office, you’ll almost certainly get one negative (either closing the schools or his ethics conviction, mostly), and an inability to get to five. (Cut taxes. Dropped the state gas tax for a while. ummmm.) In an LtGov this is understandable – LGs don’t DO anything, they SUPPORT getting things done. Especially when a leg votes to strip even more power from the LG position, as happened when the Rs took power. But a Gov is supposed to make things happen.

    Another disadvantage is the taint of corruption issue. It’s mainly a national thing, and frankly other than his ethics violation I don’t think Perdue’s involved in any way. However, Georgians have pretty well internalized that the GOP has a serious problem with corruption since Ralph was such an issue. Thankfully Ralph’s not on the ballot and there are three months to try and scrub that from the collective memory. But it’s a negative, nonetheless. And as stated, Perdue did have that ethics conviction, and we can be pretty certain MT will remind folk about it.

    Another issue – and yes I know I’ve harped on it before – is the fact that there were more Dem than Rep voters in the statewide primary elections. Yes, I know the excuses and reasons, but the simple fact is that in 2000 and 2002 and 2004 there were more R votes. Whether it was party switching or apathy or something else, it’s not the way things were in the power years for the GOP.

    There’s also the problem that MT isn’t a passive opponent. He’s skilled, and he’s been in rough races in the past. Despite the statements of Michael C, he’s been a key player in getting a few things done to which he can point with pride – HOPE being an example. Cox was more likeable, and she polled better against Perdue even up to the primaries, but it’s worth noting that MT’d been making up the difference.

    Oh – before I end, there is one more thing I need to repeat from about a year ago. Sonny won in part because of the folk who abandoned Barnes. Had teachers and flaggers stayed with Barnes, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Yes, I know a lot of flaggers are GOP, but a lot are Dem as well. Same goes for teachers – I know several on both sides of the party line. Barnes lost the ones that vote D, but Sonny hasn’t done anything to bring OTHER ex-Dem supporters into the fold, and he’s pretty much failed to fulfill promises to those teachers and flaggers. You can dismiss any group as immaterial if you want, but eventually those groups so dismissed add up to the margin of difference. Sonny’s not getting the D-Flaggers and D-Teachers he got four years ago. If the R-F and R-T stay home as their D compatriots did four years ago, MT will be governor next year.

    Now, Sonny Perdue has the edge at this instant. I think that were the vote held today he’d be re-elected. But it’s not an edge on which he can sit without worry.


  22. stephaniemills21 says:

    It is not a surplus, it is a campaign slushfund, one that Sonny raised on the backs of our state’s children and taxpayers.

    Each year Sonny, has cut money from education. Yes, there is some fat to be trimmed, as there is in all aspects of government (like SP buying thousands of dollars worth of new chairs for his office), but at some point enough is enough. Schools are stretched to the limit, and something like 180 school districts in the state have had to increase their local taxes to cover what they have not gotten from the state. And do not try to tell me that schools have bloated budgets and too much administrative costs. They have to have administrators to keep up with all the federal mandates (and now the state mandates that SP has put in – what happened to local control?) of the NCLB act, et al.

    It is expensive to educate our children, and I seriosly have no problem with that. If there is one thing that we should not skimp on, or play politics with, it is education. Remember when Toyota decided not to build it’s next car manufacturing plant in the South? The main reasons they gave were high healthcare costs, and and UNEDUCATED workforce. For all the talk of bringing jobs to the state, there is nothing that will bring in more jobs and business than an educated workforce. If an employer has to teach its new employees basic math and verbal skills then we have a problem. It used to be that anyone could get a job on an assembly line, no one cared how dumb they were, but that is no longer the case and if SP wants to gamble with our future like this then he deserves to be replaces. Barnes said it best when Perdue first started to cut the education budget: “I would scrape the gold off the capitol dome before I made those cuts to education.”

    Plain and simple, it is about priorities, and I would like someone to show me where Sonny has made education a priority. And I do not count gimmicks like raising teacher salaries (he needed the votes), or the 65% solution (that takes local control out of schools and hurts the smaller systems the most), or gift cards for teachers (so they can buy stuff for their classroom that they should already be provided with). I want something real.

  23. RandyMiller says:

    I don’t think Georgians are ready to go back to the Pay and Play system that Barnes and Taylor upheld. As for education, Mark Taylors hometown has some of the worst schools in the state. The state can pour all the money it wants into education, but it’s mainly local elected school boards calling the shots and wasting the money. Also, parents have a lot to do with child development. If parents could care less if their kid learns, does homework, and goes to class then the teachers job is a lost battle. Our country’s public school system needs drastic overhaul,
    but there’s little internal fortitude to do this. The best education ideas I heard were from Cox, where some students should go ahead and learn a trade.

    Also, a question for the MT fan club they can’t seem to answer. How mush is MT’s insurance for all kids in Georgia going to cost? And how will it be paid for?
    The answer is our taxes. Istead of trying to teach personal responsibility this insurance scam seems to say go ahead and have kids you can’t afford, the state will pay for ’em with money that grows on trees!

  24. bird says:

    Just a thought in response to RandyMiller, healthcare for kids and personal responsibility are completely compatible. Kids can’t choose their parents. And, until around the ages of 18 or so, kids can’t really do much to provide their own health insurance. But kids need health care.

    So, in regards to children with indigent parents, either they won’t get healthcare or the hospitals will have to pick up the tab gratis. Either way is unfair. And, unfortunately, the children will probably get substandard care, i.e., lack of routine doctor visits and preventative care, and the hospitals will get stuck with the bill for emergency room visits. The state is following the only responsible course by guaranteeing health care for children whose parents cannot afford it. This protects the child who did not have any responsibility for her situation and the hospitals trying to run a business.

    If you are concerned with parents not exhibiting personal responsibility, well, MT’s plan wouldn’t provide them health insurance. You also seem to suggest that people will be choosing to have kids because they know that they will get free health care. I’m not a master of the nuance of human interaction, but I don’t see a couple about to engage in unprotected sex pausing to say, ‘wait, if I/you get pregnant, how will we pay for this child’s healthcare.’

  25. Mojo says:

    There is a tired refrain in America, and that is a strange, continuous ambivalence towards taxes. RandyMiller states, “How mush is MT’s insurance for all kids in Georgia going to cost? And how will it be paid for?
    The answer is our taxes.” So, according to RandyMiller, it is better to maintain that loose change it will cost for each child in Georgia to be covered by insurance. I mean, taxes are evil, right? All they do is pay for highways, stoplights, law enforcement, courts, military personnel and technology, education, national parks, biomedical research, etc. Taxes are so horrible that they keep our society functioning. I mean, I’d rather get that 99 cent double cheeseburger at McDonald’s than offer insurance to Georgia’s children, but, then again, that is the American way.

  26. RandyMiller says:

    Yes Mojo, beleive it or not, Joe Q. Public is still concerned about taxes. And while the overwhelming majority of us don’t mind our tax dollars going to infrastructure, medical research, and most of all the brave men and women who wear our uniforms, many are concerned (not always opposed) when it does go to more and more giveaway programs. The socilaized medicne of the dems may be the answer, but we all need to know the cost. And I have serious doubts it’s value equates to that of a hamberger.

  27. jacewalden says:


    Excellent analysis, well thought out. I am voting for Sonny Perdue, but that’s not to say he couldn’t have done a better job. He has work to do, but it’s not an uphill battle, and it’s a battle he can and most likely will win.


    I would agree also with your analysis on education. I think education has been Sonny’s weak point. However, I think the problem isn’t a particular governor, it’s the public education system in general. I know that sounds like a patsy, but public education is failing our students nation wide, not just in Georgia. Throwing money at the public education system is like buying stock in a failing company–no one wins. So, the question is, if Sonny had not cut education spending, would it have made a difference? I think the answer is “no”.

    I think the public might be more receptive, at this point, to the idea of school vouchers, and eliminating all school/education related taxes…would you be in favor of that?

  28. stephaniemills21 says:


    You are right, our public schools are in trouble all across the US. We are falling behind almost all other industrial nations (hell, even some third world ones at that) in science and math. Our students are coming out of schools with a lack of knowledge and skills that is already hurting us and is going to become very serious in the not to distant future. But is the answer to throw out the baby with the bath water? I do not think so.

    I attended public schools all across the US (my parents liked to move around a lot) and was lucky, for the most part, to attend schools that were ahead of the pack. I had access to music and art education, honors and advanced placement courses, science labs with new technology, foreign language and other interesting electives etc. I was also lucky in that I had parents who supported and pushed me toward getting a good education (something that, sadly, too many parents fall short on). But that is not the case for so many students in Georgia. You can attend schools in Cobb county that even blow my mind in their offerings of classes, technology, and facilities, but go down to Charlton county (random choice of county) and you see the exact opposite. The students down there do not have access to AP and honors classes, or high tech equipment in their science labs. Those schools are doing the best that they can to get by with what they have, and in turn are failing not only their students, but the state as a whole.

    Schools should be the end-all be-all of modern society, because from education everything else is possible. They should be cherished and supported, and the students in them as well. If a school is failing its students, you should not say, “well, lets close that school” or “lets cut its funding until it gets better.” That will not help or cure anything, only exacerbate and create more problems.

    And vouchers do not solve the problem either. Right now private schools are already full and at many there are long waiting lists. Private schools get to pick and choose thier students and through that process are only getting the best and the brightest. If private schools had to take any and every student they would not be doing nearly as well and would start to show the same problems you find in our public schools. The private schools would become stretched to the limit, and what would the answer be then? Send them to another private school? I just do not see that ending.

    I am not suggesting that one just “throw money” at schools, and do not think anyone really does, but cutting their funding is not the right step. We should be looking at new ways of reaching our students, trying new techniques, emulating what is good and eliminating what is not working. But how is a school supposed to do that when they do not even have the money to buy textbooks for every student. Or close schools because they cannot afford the gas to run the busses. To me, that is setting up schools and students for failure. If the state does not see their education as a priority, then how are the students supposed to see it as a priority in their own lives?

    To me, it is about vision, and I see Sonny’s vision as one that is incompatible with educating our children. He always talks about running government like a business, and that is fine when one is talking about the DMV, but not with schools. His cuts to education have made a difference. Year after year he has pushed back lowering class sizes in the lower grades, even though study after study and test case after test case has shown that smaller class sizes help students learn and stay on the right track. Schools across the state have had to cut foreign language classes when it has been shown that studying foreign language increases students’ abilities and future. And these are just two effects that we can see right now. Who knows what the long term effects might be? Right now, I see his vision as throwing our students under the bus, as him experimenting with their futures as well as yours and mine. Yes, changes need to be made, but i do not think we should sacrifice a generation of students to see if his starving off public education is the answer. That only puts us further behind. Not a risk that I want to take.

    It seems the new “vogue” thing to do is to attack public education and use buzz words like “government schools.” But I would put money on it that most of the folks who read this blog attended public schools, and by and large, most of us received a decent education. We make good points and argue them fairly well. But why then do so many of us attack that which helped get us to where we are today. To me, it seems that we would rather help fix and improve, not destroy them.

  29. Jeff Emanuel says:

    I think the tell-tale sign is the lawmakers themselves, who also talk about the need to “fix and improve” the government schools, and fight against school choice (especially that which includes private/parochial schools) — yet send their kids only to private schools.

  30. stephaniemills21 says:


    I do not know how much Taylor’s plan to insure children is going to cost, but I can throw a couple of things out there.
    1. Children are the cheapest group of folks to insure.
    2. No one out there is going to have a child because they thing the insurance benefits will rock.
    3. Offering children healthcare for prevention will cost less in the long run than paying for their emergency care when they get sick.

  31. bird says:

    Actually, George W.’s Department of Education just did a massive study and showed that public and private schools fare about the same.

    See the story here (for purchase only):

    Also, from someone that transferred from an East Cobb public school to a private school to start high school, I was on par or ahead of my peers. Just one case though.

  32. blazer says:

    Duh a Cobb public school is better than a good many private schools… If the state school system had the funds and scores that cobb has… no one would be whining about education in GA…

  33. duluthmom says:


    Great article. Private schools point to high scores as an indicator of success however the study showed that socio-economic status and environment were far more important factors than private versus public by comparing the data in a meaningful way.

    Quote: “Students in private schools typically score higher than those in public schools, a finding confirmed in the study. The report then dug deeper to compare students of like racial, economic and social backgrounds. When it did that, the private school advantage disappeared in all areas except eighth-grade reading.”

    It was also interesting that several in the article noted the lack of publicity surrounding the final report is a clear indication that this was not good news for fans of vouchers. If the report had proven that private education was superior, it would have been in the spotlight.

    On a personal note, I’m another real world example that private does not necessarily equal better. I was a product of public high schools in Texas (also low in state by state rankings) but went to a private Catholic University in the north. Most of my classmates came from private high schools and certainly believed they had a superior education; however, I (with my lowly public education) managed to consistently outperform them.

    I believe in the public school system (which obviously isn’t perfect), and not just because I teach in a public school. My husband and I have the means to privately educate our children but deliberately choose not to.

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