Bush Blowback in GA-8? Top Secret 9h57m Report Below.

Robert Novak has just reported that Mac Collins stands an excellent shot at winning Georgia’s 3rd Congressional District. Republican voters in Fayette and Henry County will be upset when they go to the polls tomorrow to prove Novak right and find that Jim Marshall and Mac Collins are nowhere to be found on the ballot. In Georgia’s 8th Congressional District, where Marshall and Collins are actually running against each other, I am hearing from Democratic sources that President Bush’s last minute visit intended to rally the Republican troops has actually done the opposite, by rallying African American and core Democratic voters back to Marshall.

I have seen some of the polls in this race, and I can tell you that I was initially surprised to learn that Marshall was more popular among moderate and conservative whites than among liberal voters of all stripes. I finally chalked this up to the conservative voting record Marshall has, and the desire of liberal voters to send someone more liberal to Congress than Jim Marshall.

Well, liberals in Jim Marshall’s district may not be as excited about Jim as they are about the overall prospect of Democratic house takeover, but there is one thing that they can truly get behind, and that is their opposition to President Bush and continued Republican control of Congress. Bush came to the district on October 31st, which was Tuesday of last week, the second day of early voting. I have obtained and analyzed the early and advance voting numbers and have found something shocking: Far from rallying the Republican base to support Collins, Bush’s visits seem to have the opposite effect.

Here’s the proof…

Of all absentee ballots received in the 8th Congressional district on Monday and Tuesday (so mailed before Tuesday) 17.5% were African American. What happened on Tuesday? Well as President Bush was stumping for Collins, disgusted African Americans and white Democrats were in a hurry to mail in their absentee ballots, many of which had been outstanding for weeks. The number of African American returns shot up to more than 24% of all ballots returned!

Another ominous trend for the national Republicans who’ve pinned their “control of Congress” mudflaps on the back of Mac Collins’ campaign big rig was manifesting itself with the early voters. While the AA share of Monday’s early voters was only 15%, it began steadily rising through the week corresponding with Bush’s visit. By week’s end on Friday, nearly 22% of all early voters in the district were African Americans. Democrats and Independents also saw a steady rise.

Nearly 26% of Monday’s early voters cast a ballot in the Republican gubernatorial primary, but by Friday it had declined on average 1% each day, with only 20.12% of early voters casting a ballot in this year’s gubernatorial primary. What about Democratic primary voters? They averaged a healthy 27% for the entire week.

GA-8 was always something of a long shot for Republicans, and conservative American Spectator blogger Quinn Hillyer agrees with me that national Republicans have made a serious strategic error in going after Marshall. I encourage you to read his column, and as Mac Collins is stuck raising debt retirement funds from gullible Republican seniors in Columbus and Peachtree City well after this election is over to reimburse President Bush’s visits to the district ask yourself: have the national Republicans become so morally bankrupt and blinded by ideology and partisanship that they’ve alienated a potential bipartisan ally like Jim Marshall?

While I believe Jim Marshall will continue to do what is right for the country regardless of party, come Tuesday and thanks to President Bush he will enter a third term in Congress with something he hasn’t enjoyed before: overwhelming support not just from conservatives in his district but also from liberals as well. And Mac Collins? He’ll be at Glenn Richardson’s office lobbying the legislature to put Butts County in the “new” 12th district.


  1. As of Sunday, only 10,000 more voters had mailed back their absentee ballots than the total number of absentee votes in 2002. Keep in mind that the state has seen more than 2,000,000 new voter registrations since then.

    I fully expect another 20,000 or so absentee ballots to come back by tomorrow’s mail delivery, which will mean that Sonny and the Republicans have spent, what, $2,000,000 on absentee mail to produce maybe 30,000 additional absentee ballots?

    That’s like $66 per vote. Now even in the wildest dreams of Republican operates, or maybe I should say especially in the wildest dreams of Republican operatives, Democratic turn out of the vote efforts operate much more efficiently and at a lower cost. How much does a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of beer cost? Can’t be $66.

  2. Chris says:

    Repudiate Bush! Send a resounding NO! to his runaway un-American policies.

    Or so they’re suggesting in the latest issue of American Conservative magazine.

    I tend to favor this one most, from the senior editor of the John Birch Society’s New American magazine:
    If you’re content to settle for this — if you believe that unchecked profligacy, open-ended foreign war, and canine subservience to a lawless executive should be rewarded — then by all means, vote Republican this November.

  3. ugavi says:

    Guess it’s true that the republican numbers in absentee ballots are pretty strong. The dems even have to attack the GOTV effort. I would think given the dem opposition to voterid that the dems would be pushing absentee strongly as a way not to have to show an id.

    Also, funny how you assume all 20,000 ballots that you say will come in are dem. That’s a realistic assumption

  4. atlantaman says:

    I keep looking at weather.com’s radar and see a massive thunderstorm coming – it should cover the entire state of Georgia.

    I wonder what this will due to turnout. I know conventional wisdom is that it favors Republicans.

  5. Ugavi, I made no claim as to what kind of ballots the 20K outstanding would be. I just am saying that I’m looking at the data and I’m seeing that total absentee ballots are only about 30,000 (total) higher than they were in 2002. In a state with 5,000,000 registered voters and with Sonny spending millions of dollars pushing white voters to vote absentee, I’m not sure you can make a claim that Republican efforts this year have dramatically increased their advantage with these voters above and beyond their traditional advantage.

    Atlantaman, we’ll see about tomorrow. My prediction: rain is bad for incumbents, if it is bad for anyone. That could certainly explain 2002 and the torrential downpour of that year.

  6. me says:

    Hey, guys, this just in from the 7:10 hour tracking numbers —

    80% Think ugavi is off his rocker;

    20% think he’s going to jail for opening ballots early, because that’s the only way he could know how the earlies / absentees voted!

    I’ll write more as I drink more. I don’t give you guys enough credit. Making this stuff up is HARD. It’s HARD WORK!

  7. ugavi says:

    Cox is predicting that about 2,000,000 people vote. If the number is 50,000 that’s 2% of the vote. Not bad.

    What traditional advantage? This was a blue state before 2002.

  8. me says:

    Wow, that means 40,000 is 4% of the vote. And 80,000 is 8% of the vote. Of course we still have NO CLUE as to whether those folks are Republicans or Democrats, but it just proves that MATH IS HARD!

  9. ugavi says:

    220/221 what ever it takes.

    2% 2.5% 3% still an advantage. Don’t forget Taylor is playing for a run-off at this point. The 2.5% makes it tougher to get there.

  10. me says:

    Hey, University of Georgia Audio-Visual Imam,

    Chrisishardcore tells you how many blacks or whites, or Republican / Democratic primary voters have voted. Those are things he can know, though I don’t fully agree with him as to whether they mean ANYTHING. You claim to know how many REPUBLICANS have voted — and you couldn’t do that even if you DID have data! Most of these folks don’t have Republican or Democratic histories anyway. And we don;t have party registration in Georgia.

    But, hey, facts are stupid things, right?

    Thanks for writing. Keep those cards and letters comin’!

  11. ugavi says:

    Sorry for not being specific, I was talking about republican primary voters. As far as meaning something, they are normally pretty good indicators for how people will vote in a general.


  12. ugavi says:

    Math, facts they are both stupid things. If you add the 2.5% drop off in dem voter turnout, to the 2.5% absentee ballot advantage – what do you get? Around 5%. I know it’s no science, but I like it.

  13. me says:

    Doesn’t sound like that squares with Chris’s actual numbers. What say you, Chris?

    (Also, why exactly is it y’all think that the early electorate is interesting? Why is it you think they’re anything but the same ol’ voters voting earlier?)

    Whatever. All those Bibb and Houston voters are Perdue/Marshall tickets anyway. For Collins to win, he needs tremendous turnout in the northern counties and for Marshall to tank in the SOuth. Marshall owns the Macon market.

  14. GetReal says:


    The 12 midnight tracking numbers just came in and there’s a massive move to Garrett Michael Hayes. Get ready for drug legalization.

    Thought you’d want to know.

  15. me says:

    GR –

    Wow, man, thanks!

    That legalization will really help the great majority of the PP’ers deal with Wednesday!

    -Not You

  16. Maurice Atkinson says:

    I cannot conceive that the Bush visits would have a negative effect. Both were upbeat, pointed and challenging. Nearly 20,000 people left these visits on a mission. The opposition had no rallying of the troups other than a few locals and pundits.

    We’ll see tonight.

  17. pvsys says:

    I don’t buy Chris’s arguments. Why? I agree that a Bush visit increases that passions of the far left, but I’d argue that these are the types who would have definately voted Democrat regardless of Bush’s visit.

    Also, there are plenty of other possible explainations for those various shifts in percentages that Chris points out. His own interpretation could be a total fantasy for all we know because it includes various assumptions which might not be totally true in this case.

    For example, is it possible that Bush might have pursuaded some of the African Americans to vote Republican? I think that might be especially true given the combo of Bush’s visit and John Kerry’s recent embarrassing statements… especially when you consider that Kerry’s statements probably hurts the Dems in military towns like Warner Robins… so perhaps some of these African Americans were military folks who were swayed by Bush and turned off o the Dems by Kerry and then decided to vote Republican!

    –Rob McEwen

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