Public Policy Polling on Isakson

Public Policy Polling took a look at Sen. Johnny Isakson’s bid for re-election:

36% of Georgians approve of the job Isakson’s doing in the Senate with 38% disapproving. The 26% of voters who are ambivalent toward him is pretty high for an incumbent Senator, particularly one who was his party’s nominee for Governor 20 years ago. It’s not as if Isakson’s new on the political scene but he hasn’t made a strong impression on his constituents. Democrats are more unified in their disapproval of Isakson (56%) than Republicans are in their approval (53%) and he’s in negative territory with independents at 34/38.
Perhaps because the unpopularity of Obama and national Democrats eclipses any problems Isakson has, he still appears to be in relatively good shape for reelection. He leads a generic Democratic candidate 46-37. He also leads a pair of Democratic non candidates we tested against him just for the heck of it- 47-35 over 2008 nominee Jim Martin and 49-31 over Attorney General and Gubernatorial candidate Thurbert Baker.

Isakson’s numbers among independents say a lot about the current political landscape. Even though he has a negative approval rating with them, they still give him a 48-23 generic ballot lead, a 47-20 advantage over Baker, and a 50-22 one over Martin. They may not be particularly enthralled with Isakson himself but they’d much prefer him to another Democratic Senator.

Crosstabs are available here.

The poll also shows President Barack Obama’s approval rating at 43%, while 54% disapprove of his performance.


    • AlanR says:

      I think it shows a general dislike for anyone in Washington, but a preference for a republican who will likely not behave as badly as a democrat.

      This political environment would be very favorable for Cain.

  1. richie.rashad says:

    Isakson used to be a likeable man but DC changed him…don’t know what is wrong with him now but he is probably hanging out with Saxby too much – (Napoleon complex).

    • ByteMe says:

      Don’t kid yourself. Isakson is doing in Washington exactly as I expected him to do. Be a center-right moderate non-leader. I don’t usually agree with his votes, but he seems quite consistent with the Isakson who was voted Senator 5 years ago.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        Sure. That’s what they said about McCain.

        I think it is kind of funny that the left dictates the criteria for the right’s candidates. The media likes to claim that if a Republican candidate does not win, they must not have been moderate enough. It’s quite clever, because Democrat strategists know that if you have a choice between a center-right moderate non-leader and a genuine leftist non-moderate non-leader, the voters are going to go for the real thing (the leftist non-moderate non-leader). It’s a win-win for the Democrats, relative to what little the Republicans will take away from it.

        • ByteMe says:

          I have no idea what you’re talking about, so I’m guessing you don’t either. I’m not positioning him at all and certainly not part of this fictional “left” you’ve created in your mind. However, maybe my choice of words as to what “expected” meant wasn’t clear. He’s doing exactly as I expected him to do as in “what he’s doing was completely predictable 5 years ago” not as in what I want him to do (as I thought I made clear in the next sentence).

  2. KingWulfgar says:

    Those numbers seem awfully high (on the approval side). Nobody I talk to likes Isakson. He voted for TARP, voted to confirm Holder (of course, his buddy Saxby did too), pushed for reinflation of the housing market–he has a government solution to every problem (to borrow a friend’s line). He’s nearly the most liberal Republican in the Senate.

    If only a real conservative with enough power to win would run against him. If not, maybe I’ll vote for Chuck Donovan.

    • John Konop says:


      If he had not voted for TARP we would have faced a collapse of the economy. In fairness to Johnny Isakson he wanted many more controls in the bill, but we were facing an economic collapse.

      Johnny also proposed a much better stimulus and housing plan than what was passed. He proposed lowering rates for government backed loans on people with equity and were current on their loans for a stimulus package and housing. The concept being the stimulus money would get to people playing by the rules and it would help the housing market by stabilizing it. Also the lower rates would of created increase spending and or investment via credit worthy people having more monthly money.

      And since the government is already on the hook for the loans, insurance and deposit, any rational person would see you have no choice but to deal with the issue.

      I have not always agreed with Johnny, but he is one of the brightest politicians I have ever met. And I do like the fact Johnny and his office is very approachable on issues and they do their best to deal with it relative to the situation. And I have never talk to Johnny Isakson on any issue without him not knowing it very well. And he is very self-reflective about pass issues and open about how to fix the problem not defensive.

      • BillinSuwanee says:

        John the assertion that TARP saved us patently false and misleading.

        TARP was a pay-off to political friends and cronies of Hank Paulsen. All evidence shows that credit had not dried and loans were still being made.

        Ben Bernanke funded TARP by going to a Bond broker and writing a check for ~$700 billion. Ben Bernanke created $700 billion dollars out of thin air and Hank Paulsen turned this newly created money over to Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs did not stash this cash in a vault, they turned it over, continued lending, cleared counter party trades, and generally used the non-inflated value of this currency to boost its profits. By the time this money filtered down into the economy, inflation destroyed its original value. The only people that benefited were the politically connected. The election of Barack Hussein Obama changed nothing.

        On February 17, 2009 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009, better known as “Stimulus”, was signed into law. Ben Bernanke for the second time in six months went to a Bond broker and wrote another check for $789 billion. Ben Bernanke created $789 billion out of thin air. This money is flowing down to the states to fund public union constituencies. $1.5 trillion … that is $1,500,000,000,000 of savings/capital that was transformed into debt that could otherwise been used to invest in plant, capital, and equipment to create jobs. The result is rising 10 year Note Yields.

        Treasury Yields are creeping up precisely because government is spending/creating money thereby causing inflation and destroying the dollar. From January 2009 to September 2010 (fcst.) the dollar has fallen 54.69%. The value of your savings, retirement accounts, 401K’s, etc, has fallen 54.69%.

        I-SUCK-son can not win against a Democrat. He’s finished.

        • IndyInjun says:

          King – Isakson is tremendously engaging personally, so the statement that everybody hates him is off the mark. You are right he has rendered more damage on the average Georgian than any terrorist and that those who know it detest his time in office.

          BiS – He most certainly can win against a democrat.

          Thanks for coming on here. It is great to have the kind of original thought, reinforcement , and kindred POV I have read the last few few days.

          John K – Bill is right. TARP was never even used to buy bad assets. Much of it went to pay bonuses. Much of it went to foreign banks. Some of it went to bolster plant assets outside of the US.

          The day after TARP passed, Isakson said there would be oversight . The TARP IG was not allowed to look at the records and they refused to say where the money went.

          He wrote that none would go to ACORN. It did.

          He swore that none would go to bonuses. $15 billion of TARP money went to pay Merrill Lynch.

          Isakson is either a fool or a liar. In either case he is not fit to be a US senator.

      • KingWulfgar says:


        You obviously believe the government is the solution to all our problems, so it’s no surprise you love Isakson.

        Bill covered it nicely already so I’m not going to rehash what he said, but TARP was a travesty and now we taxpayers are stuck holding the bill for huge payouts to all the rich banker friends of GWB and Bernanke. It did nothing to help the economy and paved the way to for the next stimulus package which was even WORSE.

        Isakson is a terrible Senator. The fact that he’s smart doesn’t put him on our (the taxpayers) side.

        • John Konop says:


          What I am is a pragmatic businessman. Ideology does not pay the bills. In life you must deal with the reality of the situation. The number one reason a business fails is the owners and or senior management lie to themselves about the situation.

          You can call me whatever you want, but that does not change the reality of the fact without the TARP bill the economy would have collapsed. As I said the bill could have been done much better in my opinion, yet the reality, if it did collapse tax payers were on the hook for must of the loans……and we would of experienced worldwide economic disaster.

          Sometimes in life we have to make adult decisions. And Johnny Isakson faced making a political & ideological choice or dealing with the reality of the situation. As an adult Johnny realized it was better supporting a bill he knew had some issues, but would avoid Armageddon style economic collapse.

          • ByteMe says:

            I’m continually amazed by the number of bloggers who think they understand what was happening in late 2008. To think that letting the 15 biggest banks collapse would have just been an isolated incident with no fallout on the rest of the economy or their own pocketbook or even on the amount the taxpayers would to have had to cover in FDIC payouts is just mind-boggling.

            Perhaps I shouldn’t be amazed.

              • ByteMe says:

                Bill, your posts lead me to believe you don’t understand much beyond cutting and pasting and changing people’s names in a childish way. Why would I even begin to think you might understand something as complex as the world banking system? Seriously.

                • polisavvy says:

                  Byte, I don’t know what happened — my post was directed to you, not Bill. Is it me or does he appear to be one angry man.

            • polisavvy says:

              Some people don’t want to understand and accept what happened. It was what it was and it needed to be corrected. You’ll never get some to understand its importance.

          • BillinSuwanee says:

            John. You are absolutely incorrect. Damn it STOP.

            Paulsen forced bankers to take the TARP money when they didn’t need it. There were many banks that could have bought up the good operations of those banks under duress.

            Paulsen was the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, and it was in his interest to ensure that all his counter party trades through AIG were covered.

            • John Konop says:


              You are factually incorrect. If you even understood the issue, you would know that many banks are still holding assets that are overvalued with the change in the mark to mark rules.

              And as far as AIG you realize they were the insurance guaranteeing the government backed loans. As I said I do not agree with how the TARP was used in many cases ie AIG, but it is irrational to think we could have let them collapse. At the end tax payers would have been left holding the bag.

              I warned about this issue years ago and was called ‘chicken little” when I ran for office. But with that said I realized that once you jump into the pool it is not so easy to just get out.

          • BillinSuwanee says:

            John. We are still on the hook. Not only TARP, but now that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac control 70% of the mortgages in this nation. They are losing billions and you, your children, your grand children, your great children … hell … your families generations from now will be paying.

            Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must be eliminated. All those mortgages sold to private institutions and if the owners can’t pay the mortgage … find a rental apartment.

            • John Konop says:


              FreddieMac, Fanniemae, FHA, VA-LOANS, SBA……we are on the hook for all of them as well as the deposits at the banks. You could make irrational decisions like you are advocating and collapse the economy. I would suggest we make rational decisions and work or way out of the problem without collapsing economy.

              The reason interest rate are low and down payments are high is because banks are trying to strengthen balance sheets to absorb the eventual write-downs. I do not 100% agree how the government is handling the issue, but I do understand the problem. As I stated I was the one yelling about it years ago before it became an issue.

              We are on a plan going real fast and we must change the tires while flying. But guys like you calling for a crash landing are not being rational about the casualties.

          • IndyInjun says:

            Isakson was utterly irresponsible. TARP was a blank check and was used anyway Paulson saw fit. I called Isakson’s office TWICE, having read that bill to tell him so. I also questioned what would happen to funds as they were paid back in.

            Johnny was fooled and has admitted it.

            Every one of his assurances to us the day after he voted for it were violated.

            More recently, Obama used the repayments as one huge slush fund, because there was no restriction on re-spending refunds.

            TARP was used to pull a handful of big banks out of a fire. We would have been just fine.

            All manner of dire consequences were predicted in TARP didn’t pass, but when it was passed, the money was not even used to buy toxic assets.

            Even Johnny admitted that he was tricked.

            • ByteMe says:

              Do you really think Congress would have done a better job of handling the money? ‘Course not. They needed deniability and Paulson and Bernanke gave that to them. Everyone got what they wanted — even you, because your savings are still in the bank — even if they won’t articulate it.

              • IndyInjun says:


                Before it all came anywhere close to ‘coming down’ responsible people evaluated their banks and moved monies to those not vulnerable. Even will pretty massive write downs of assets, there was enough there to maybe not make depositors whole, but certainly enough to make for huge buying power in the aftermath.

                TARP did nothing to preserve deposits, help community banks,and it only further weakened the responsible banks to bail out the Too-big-to fail banks.

                You might have a point as to most folks, but not with me.

                • ByteMe says:

                  You are incorrect, Indy.

                  We’ve been over this before. With the massive amount of leverage, the TBTF banks had not only wiped out their depositors but also some of their bondholders (many of whom were Federally insured pension funds). Removing them from the scene would have done nothing but caused the taxpayers to pay anyway to the tune of several trillion.

                  Community bank depositors are being covered now as we watch those banks slowly tank from the same mistakes. But it’s not happening all at once, which would make the panic much much worse.

                  Sometimes you trade time for money. Because time is the biggest enemy.

                  But you changed the topic again after I called you on it.

                  But you keep yelling into the wind. I’m sure it’s working for you.

                  • IndyInjun says:


                    Is the central problem FIXED?

                    Curing excessive debt by overwhelming it with massive new debt doesn’t seem to be doing anything other than increasing the debt that will default.

                    I am glad you assert that everything will be made whole. The gold market agrees with you.

                    Support the gold market. Vote Isakson.

                  • ByteMe says:

                    Which central problem? Republicans?? 🙂

                    Or the central problem of excess debt leverage in every facet of our world economy?

                    That problem takes years to unwind and it’s definitely happening, yes. Government debt is the only thing that’s currently going in the wrong direction and that was a political choice in the face of an economy on the verge of collapse. The pendulum will swing on that as well.

                    • IndyInjun says:

                      It is a descending, bladed pendulum like the one in Pit and the Pendulum.

                      We are largely in agreement that the REPUBLICANS republicans are a problem.

                      Yeah, Isakson is one of those.

      • newby says:

        Have you ever asked him about NCLB and why he still supports it? He was one of the major sponsors as I recall.

  3. BillinSuwanee says:

    Look at this. I-SUCK-son voted YES to use our money to combat HIV/AIDS worldwide and provide condoms.

    Official Title of Legislation: Howard Berm (D-CA)

    HR 5501: To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to provide assistance to foreign countries to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, and for other purposes.

    -Establishes a plan to prevent 12 million new HIV infections worldwide, provide support care for 12 million who are already infected with HIV/AIDS including 5 million orphans and children, and help countries reach 80 percent of the targeted group with counseling, testing, and treatment (Sec. 101).

    -Allows individuals with AIDS to receive a visa to travel into the United States (Sec. 305).

    -Provides assistance for counseling, testing, and treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV among men who have sex with men and by providing male and female condoms (Sec. 301).

      • BillinSuwanee says:

        John. Why was I born to involuntarily work to fund the prevention of AIDS/HIV in parts of the world I’ve never been?

        Why can’t I offer to give to charity for prevention as I chose?

        • John Konop says:


          It is a disease that is creating economic instability and does have major security as well economic repercussions from just a pragmatic view of the issue.

          • IndyInjun says:

            The world is awash in economic instability.

            Oh, I’ve got it. We will just create $2 Quadrillion in the Fed’s computer and bailout Greece, Spain, Latvia, California, Saturn and Pluto.

            That should cover it.

      • IndyInjun says:

        We are borrowing money from China to buy foreigners condoms, while teachers are being laid off in the USA?

  4. BillinSuwanee says:

    I-SUCK-son voted YES to increase the national debt limit from $9.82 trillion to $10.62 trillion.

    >>HR 3221: A bill to provide needed housing reform and for other purposes.

    -Increases the national debt limit from $9.82 trillion to $10.62 trillion (Sec. 3083).

    -Establishes the Home Ownership Preservation Entity Fund to fund the HOPE (Home Ownership Preservation Entity) for Homeowners Program, which will insure up to $300 billion for 30 year refinanced loans for distressed borrowers between October 1, 2008-September 30, 2011 (Sec. 1402).

    -Provides that the mortgagor and the Secretary for Housing and Urban Development each receive 50 percent of the appreciation value for each eligible mortgage insured under the HOPE program if changes occur to the property value 5 years after the loan is taken over by HOPE (Sec. 1402).

    -Allocates $3.92 billion in grants to States and other units of local government to redevelop abandoned and foreclosed property and $180 million to the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, given that at least 15 percent of the $180 million be provided to housing counseling organizations that provide services for loss mitigation to minority and low-income homeowners (Sec. 2305).

    -Establishes a Housing Trust Fund to be used to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low and very low-income families (Sec. 1131).

    -Establishes the Federal Housing Finance Agency, with regulatory authority over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Banks, and the Office of Finance (Sec. 1101).

    -Sets conforming loan limitations for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a maximum of $417,000 for a single-family residence up to $801,950 for a 4-family residence, adjusted annually (Sec. 1124).

    -Raises the limits on the size of the principle mortgage obligation that is eligible for insurance for most homeowners, up to 115 percent of the local area median house price for single-family homes (Sec. 2112).

    -Increases conforming loan limitations in areas where the average house price is over 115 percent of the housing price index (Sec. 1124).

    -Increases appropriations under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act from $70 million to $100 million for the fiscal year 2009 (Sec. 2901).

    -Increases housing benefits for specially adapted houses for disabled veterans from $10,000 to $12,000, with increases each year tied to the residential home cost-of-construction index (Sec. 2605).

    -Changes the limitation on the sale, foreclosure, or seizure of property owned by service members from 90 days to nine months after their return from military service, and limits their interest rates to 6 percent during service and one year after their return (Sec. 2203).

    -Provides first-time home buyers with a tax credit of up to $7,500 for residences purchased on or after April 9, 2008, which the home buyers will repay over fifteen years following their purchase (Sec. 3011).

    -Expands home ownership counseling eligibility to include people who have a reduction in income due to divorce or death, or who have an increase in expenses due to medical expenses, divorce, unexpected property damages not covered by insurance, or a large property tax increase (Sec. 2127).

    -Allows a real property tax deduction on the amount of state and local real property taxes paid during the taxable year of up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for joint returns, applicable to taxable years beginning in 2008 (Sec. 3012).

  5. BillinSuwanee says:

    Official Title of Legislation: Sponsor Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

    HR 5140: To provide economic stimulus through recovery rebates to individuals, incentives for business investment, and an increase in conforming and FHA loan limits.

    – Allows a tax credit in 2008 of an amount equal to an individual’s net income tax liability or $600 (or $1,200 for a joint return), whichever is less (Sec. 101).

    – Allows at least a $300 tax credit (or a $600 credit for a joint return) for taxpayers who have a qualified income of at least $3,000 (Sec. 101).

    – Defines “qualified income” as earned income, social security benefits for seniors and tier 1 railroad retirees, and certain veterans’ compensations and pensions (Sec. 101).

    – Allows a $300 tax credit per child (Sec. 101).

    – Denies eligibility to undocumented immigrants (Sec. 101).

    – Appropriates an additional $266.31 million for the Department of Treasury, to remain available until September 30, 2009 (Sec. 101).

    – Increases the limits on the maximum original principal obligation of mortgages for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and for the Federal Housing Administration (Sec. 201, 202).

  6. GOPGeorgia says:

    After Bill posted: “I-SUCK-son can not win against a Democrat. He’s finished,” I stopped paying attention to him.

    It doesn’t bother me that much that he slanders his name. Well, it does bother me just a little. He can disagree with Senator Isakson all he likes and talk about specific bills and what he didn’t like about them. However, he should show a little respect for the man in the office or at least for the office. I disagree with President Obama quite often, but I rarely refer to him just as Obama. He has earned the title and the respect that should go with it. I could call him by his middle name all the time, but it’s not the proper thing to do.

    Other than playing with Senator Isakson name, the main reason I didn’t play attention to what he had to say is that he has no grasp on reality. The Dems don’t have a serious contender and all things being equal, Senator Isakson will win in a landslide.

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