1. landon says:

    Quite possibly to use as a campaign issue? Go after vulnerables, like the representative from toccoa falls, and say – “so and so voted against the biggest tax cut in state history” Get seventeen to fall, and you just have to whip your own party to pass constitutional amendments in the house.

    I think that we have not heard the last of reforming Georgia’s taxes this session.

    Oh, and the word is out that sunday sales is getting added to a bill in regulated industries today. Whether it makes it onto the floor I dont know.

  2. Harry, at the very least you’re losing Bob Mumford’s seat, particularly with Obama on top of the ticket (the demographic trends are amazing). So where do the other 8 come from? And remember, these guys survived Mark Taylor, John Kerry, Roy Barnes and Al Gore. You honestly think Obama’s a bigger drag?

  3. Hissy Fit says:

    The House Democrats were going to use the reconsideration vote as a tool for negotiations with the Speaker. That is why there was only one vote.

  4. Yes, Chris. All polling shows Obama’s a much bigger drag than Mark Taylor… man! you’ve really gotta get off those Dem blogs…

    You remind us that those Dems survived Al Gore and Roy Barnes. But you forgot a pretty important piece of the puzzle: those elections were done under entirely different (Democrat-drawn) legislative lines in ’98 and 2000.

    (Nice attempt at a diversion).

    And don’t forget the drag that (likely Dem nominee) Vernon Jones will have on the ticket. And hey–I’ll sure go out on a limb here: he’ll be bigger drag on the ticket than Max Cleland’s liberal votes against our national security interests.

    By the way: will you vote for Vernon in the general election?

  5. Mark, may I have some of what you’re smoking? The only publicly released numbers I recall seeing was conducted after the Georgia primary and it showed:

    McCain 47 Clinton 40
    McCain 48 Obama 40

    Now, I don’t know how exactly you define “bigger” but Obama/Clinton getting 40% is surely higher than Taylor’s 38%.

    Well, perhaps you meant in terms of margin of victory. No, again. Taylor lost by 20% while Obama and Clinton are both losing by half that much in this theoretical matchup.

    Finally, Mark, I know you’re the expert and all, but the court drawn maps currently in place for the House and the Senate were drawn by a non-partisan expert and based on the maps in place pre-redistricting. Of course the court appointed mapmaker made minor adjustments here and there to account for population changes, but for the most part the districts are actually pretty similar to what they were back then…So, if those ’98 and ’00 maps were so good for Democrats back then (and its more or less the same maps now) and now you’ve got Obama, who if he only lost to McCain by 8 points would be the closest Presidential loss in Georgia for a Democrat since 1996, well, your clients might just be in trouble.

  6. Chris,

    Glad to see you guys are looking at polls conducted right after the Georgia primary ended —

    — a MONTH ago.

    The current numbers in Georgia are McCain 51% to Obama 36%.

    Your polling is not the only thing that’s behind, though. I thoroughly enjoyed your explanation of how the early 1990s legislative lines, which were used when Barnes and Gore were both on the ballot, look virtually like the lines of 2008.

    That’s a knee-slapper for sure.

    You wrote, “but for the most part the districts are actually pretty similar to what they were back then…”

    Chris, my delusional friend, are you seriously claiming the lines we use today resemble anything whatsoever the lines during 1998 and 2000 — a decade and multiple redistrictings ago?

    Don’t you remember the now-gone multi-member districts that wrecked the state in 2001? Or the legislators (Mueller, Ladd, Muntean, Paul, Davis, and a dozen more) whose districts just — disappeared?

    Do you have any idea — whatsoever — of what you are talking about?

    Perhaps you are suffering from cognitive dissonance. You are seeing the maps you want to see them and remember them, not as they are. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance)

    And here I thought we were going to have a good duel.

  7. Harry says:

    8 %…are you kidding? 20 – 25% would be more likely. And Snuggles, he won’t provide any lift.

  8. Mark, I was in court when the judges told the special master to use the previous map (the one in place in 2000) as a guide for drawing the new map. Take Bart Ladd for example, Democrats eliminated his district and sliced up Dunwoody into two new districts for 2002. But when the 2004 map was released, I’ll be damned if the new SD 40 didn’t look an awfully lot like the old one, so much so in fact that Bart Ladd ran for the seat again. OK, so he lost to Dan Weber, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t basically the same seat.

    Care to share your polling source that shows McCain leading 51-36? Even so, Obama’s only 4 points below where Kerry was while McCain is 7 points short of Bush. How do you explain that?

  9. Oh and Mark, care to tell me which party’s primary had more voters participating in that bastion of Republican trending-ness, HD 80?

    Oh well I’ll just answer the question for you. In the 4 precincts north of Peachtree Rd, the “Republican base” of this district, about 54% of voters chose a Republican ballot. In other words, only 8 Republican voters for every 7 Democrats. Not much of an advantage. In the precincts south of Peachtree Rd, Democratic primary voters outnumbered Republicans in every precinct, even formerly Republican Brookhaven, and in many of the precincts (particularly the ones near Buford Highway which you once told me is trending Republican as apartments are torn down and new condos are built) the D’s outnumbered the R’s by a greater than 2 to 1 margin.

    So allegedly North DeKalb is “trending Republican” but unfortunately the actual voters there haven’t gotten the memo. For reference, Republican primary voters outnumbered Democratic ones in those precincts north of Peachtree Rd 2-1 just 10 years ago. Some trend.

  10. StevePerkins says:

    1) I don’t trust for a heartbeat any poll saying that McCain’s at 51% in Georgia already. Just a couple of weeks ago the GOP grassroots were portraying him as the anti-Christ. That would represent some SERIOUS bandwagon-hopping even by Georgia standards.

    2) However, I don’t think that either Democratic candidate ultimately has a shot at Georgia. They may get a few rural counties outside of Fulton and DeKalb.

    3) Primary turnout is interesting for pundits to talk about, but I haven’t seen any evidence that it translates into general election results. The Dems were more excited about their field this year than the Republicans were about theirs. Doesn’t mean that Georgia rednecks are going to vote for a woman or black man.

  11. The other thing about McCain being at 51% (if he is), we’ve historically been told that because of the institutional advantages still in place for Democrats in many parts of the state, the Republicans will only do well when they have a top of ticket candidate cruising to victory, ie Bush in 2004 or Perdue in 2006.

    2004 ushered in a long overdue re-alignment for the Republicans, but in 2006 they gained no Congressional districts, no State Senate districts and netted only 1 new House district (despite at least 5 retirements from Democratic incumbents in swing districts). If Obama or Clinton could end up with 44 or 45% statewide, that might be enough of a boost to win some close districts in the “swing” parts of the state, and could definitely put some Democrats over the top in trending metro districts.

  12. Chris, I’ve really go to meet you for a beer some time. Guinness preferred. Someone’s got to get you out of the Matrix.

    The reason no Senate seats were picked up: the GOP has won most everything possible to win (though JB Powell is weak). You know full well that there are virtually no swing districts left in the Senate for us to gain in the first place.

    Congressional- the Democrats picked up dozens of seats across the country, yet none here. You guys didn’t even post mentally competent candidates against Republican congressmen. Further, while Burns did lose 49-51 to incumbent Democrat Barrow, the GOP was losing across the country. Why so close in a tidal wave Democrat year?

    State House–I’ve been openly critical of the incompetent way the GOP operatives ran targeted races in 2006. I agree with your premise that we should have picked up more there. In fact, most GOP activists in the state has said the same thing.

    But there are quite a few winnable seats: Jenkins, “45K” Jamison, and Crawford are likely gone.

    Dems Terry Johnson, Black, Cheokas, Powell, and maybe even Marin are vulnerable to well-run campaigns, though some may be even more vulnerable in 2010.

  13. On your reference to North DeKalb: I agree with your premise that Obama might do better than some other Democrats there. Good point. But your premise that North DeKalb becoming more Democrat over the next 10 years is just not likely as more affluent, better educated homeowners move into the district.

    My point about the trend of the district has little to do with Jacobs himself. Jacobs’ district, whether he wins or loses, becomes more Republican over time. The movement from Gwinnett and Cobb (and others) back into DeKalb and Atlanta and inside the perimeter will likely result in more Republican voters there.

  14. ChrisIsHardcore (to distinguish the Chris’s), actually Landmark’s own internal polling is 51.6-36.1% conducted on March 4. I had not seen the SurveyUSA.

    We regularly poll Georgia (Ran 5 of them last week for example). It’s not an advocacy poll — those are real numbers.

    NOW for the important stuff: taking up Chris Farris on his idea.

    Both Chris’s: how about Barnacles on the Gwinnett-DeKalb border (Peachtree Industrial and Tilly Mill) next Wednesday. They have Guinness, and Doraville needs the sales tax revenue.

  15. Chris says:

    Alas, Wed nights are my babysitting nights. I can’t make it becuase of the children (well child).

  16. Clint Austin says:


    A question: why was the 2006 House effort “incompetent” when Georgia Republican House candidates picked up over half of all the Republican pick ups for State House candidates – in the entire country?

    You’re a good consultant. No need to rail on other folks’ efforts, especially when the facts don’t bear it out.


  17. StevePerkins says:

    Mark, in your Mar. 4 poll… was “undecided” one of the three options presented, or did you only mark that if the person responded that way on their own accord. If those numbers are true, then polls are pretty much a waste of money… Georgia on any given day pretty much supports “whichever Republican leads the national polls”. The “Romney-to-Fred-to-Huckabee-back-to-Romney” crowd went from lambasting McCain to jumping aboard his bandwagon in RECORD time.

  18. Clint, no one is “railing” on you. But we definitely disagree on the results obtained given the amount of money spent.

    The Party in 2006 did a great job the raising money needed to win. However, the fact that not one single Democrat incumbent was defeated is clearly a failure of results.

  19. Steve, yes, undecided was an option. 51.6 McCain, 36.1 Obama, 12.3 Undecided. 750 active voters in the state.

    Yes, there’s no real question that the GOP will take Georgia. We regularly conduct polls asking voters what their thoughts are on issues such as transportation initiatives, liquor by the drink, tax reform, etc., and throw in questions like the one you are asking about.

  20. Bill Simon says:


    The fact that there were more Dem presidential preference primary voters than GOP PP primary voters doesn’t mean a thing.

    Your Dem vote turnout could, for all you know, be the maximum density of voters that might even turnout for the General itself, while the GOP’s non-primary voters could turnout in the General as quite the significant number.

    In short, looking at primary turnout is only relevant for that moment in time. I doubt there is any reliable correlation of any significance between the two point-in-time elections.

  21. drjay says:

    its been pointed out several times that the dems alomsot always have higher primary turnout in ga–in 1988 it was like 600k to 400k in favor of the dems–in a year both races were still being actively contested at the time and it certainly did not translate to dukakis being competitive in november…

  22. Clint Austin says:


    I don’t think you’re railing on me, even though we assisted in picking up two formerly Dem-held seats in the House – which was one-third of the national GOP total on election night.

    We also helped win the two hardest-fought incumbent defenses in the state (in two districts that ought to have elected Dems, our guys won with over 55% of the vote).

    However, your comments were aimed at all GOP operatives involved, and there were quite a few very good ones (Walker, McElhannon, others). You’re painting with too big a brush, and I think you know it.

    Question: can you name a single GOP legislator who defeated an incumbent Dem – in the entire South? In the nation?

    Georgia held out strong for the GOP in 2006, but the national tide was still so strong for the Dems that it just made it tough to beat an incumbent. It is an arrogant consultant who thinks he has the magic wand to overcome what the people want, and even in GA they were not thundering for Dems to be run out of office, just showing a GOP tilt…


  23. Bill Simon says:

    OooooooohhhhhHHHHhhhhhh…Consultant fight! Consultant fight!

    Oh wait…this will be boring, cxome to think of it. Consultants only know how to fight each other if they are running a candidate against the other one’s candidate as a proxy for a REAL fight.

    This will be more like watching a food fight played with Twinkies and Hostess Snowballs. Yawwwnnnnn….

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