Union County Straw Poll

It’s been a while, but here’s the results of a new straw poll from Union County (Blairsville, GA) that was held Saturday evening.

Normally, I just do a cut and paste, but it’s late. It’s the weekend. There were no Sunday sales today, but I went out, so a few comments….

I’m told Dr. Christopher Cates, R-Emory, invested heavily in the straw poll. He still didn’t win. But Bill Stephens placing third (behind Cates and my endorsed first place candidate Tom Graves) is news. It’s the first sign of life from Stephens in a while, and moved Lee Hawkins, (generally accepted in polite company to be the other guy in a runoff with Tom Graves) with a forth place finish.

Nathan Deal won a plurality in his home territory, but was just over 1/3 of votes. Hard to call that a decisive victory. Karen Handel came in second, My BFF John Oxendine third, and Eric Johnson barely edging out Austin Scott for 4th and 5th, respectively.

There appear to be less than postive feelings for incumbents, though two who are unoppsed by serious candidates still poll above 2/3’rds of the crowd. Isakson took 67% of the vote, with Casey Cagle took 68% of the vote. But incumbent Kathy Cox took a bit of a tumble with 28% of those polled.

Sonny’s boy Brian Kemp managed to keep 36% of the party faithful in line (to Doug MacGinnitie’s 57%). Doug continues to impress at grassroots events that are not held in Brian Kemp’s parents house.

Gerry Purcell knocked it out of the park in the Insurance commissioner’s race, with 47%, and the only candidate not in single digits.

Melvin Everson for Labor Commissioner and Gary Black for Agriculture both polled similar to incumbents Isakson and Cagle, with roughly 2/3 of the vote.

The Attorney General’s race continues to be among the most competitive, with Olens beating out Woods 44 to 37.

Full results can be found here. Sock puppets rejoice below.


  1. Henry Waxman says:

    Ic, I think you are dead on with your comments about a tough day for incumbents – Perdue didn’t even get a single vote in governor’s race.

    • HowardRoark says:

      Gotta say, this is a little striking:

      Brian Kemp (I) 36%

      Brian Kemp is about as popular now as he was in 2006 running Ag Commissioner.

  2. Ag Smith says:

    “Sock Puppet” Full Disclosure: I support Gerry Purcell for IC and will be signing up as a volunteer in the 9th District. I wish I could have been at the sold out, packed house event, but no tickets. I did watch Gerry’s speech recorded on a homemade video posted on Facebook (audio good):


    Not surprised by the straw poll results. It is hard to say anything in two to three minutes, but he delivers. The next closest vote getter was “undecided” followed by two “experienced” State Senators.

    Go Gerry!

  3. davidhill says:

    Gerry Purcell is the individual for this job. If you take all his life experiences against all the other candidates it is a clear choice. I know for a FACT he has outworked every candidate in Georgia during this campaign.

  4. NorthGAGOP says:

    Not good for Deal. it looks like his message of make myself richer, while doing nothing else in Congress is getting out. Handel continues to strengthen.

    • Pine Knot says:

      Deal wasn’t there either. He was at another event. That probably explains some. I believe all the other canidates were.

  5. SFrazier says:

    More than half the people there were from outside of Union county as they came in with their candidates. Nathan got almost 100% of the local vote. Nathan also got a huge victory in Haralson county this weekend. Looks like Gingrey and Westmoreland are going to deliver on their promise to carry their districts big for Nathan.

    • ByteMe says:

      So you’re saying he won a fake vote amongst a tiny fraction of the state population. Woo-wee!

      • SFrazier says:

        No, I am saying his district is going to show up in large numbers to vote him in. He one the true Union County straw poll vote. He does not have to buy tickets like the other campaigns. He is starting to pick up a lot of momentum in middle Ga with the same team that won big for Huckabee down here. The same team in Cherokee county that pulled it out for the “Huckster ” are very confident they will pull out their county even bigger for Nathan as well. Lets not forget Haralson county, where he won this weekend with no effort.

        • ByteMe says:

          Ok, so what you’re really saying is that you’re doing your job as a sock puppet as best you can with the materials you have to work with.

  6. PaulRevere says:

    Looks like Deal’s negatives haven’t fully saturated down to the grassroots level. At least in his district.

    Congrats to Doug MacGinnitie on the win. Glad he’s hanging tough despite Sonny’s unfortunate decision. Good for him.

  7. SFrazier says:

    Means, the true grass roots knows that Nathan is an honorable man and has never had his ethics called into question in his 30 years of public service. The allegations that are now being brought up by left wing groups and his desperate opponents are bogus, we will not be fooled…

    • Never having your ethics questioned in 30 years doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have been. It could have been just that he hid his unethical on-goings well enough to not be discovered until now.

      • SFrazier says:

        I have examined the complaints and they are baseless. A good people of Georgia will not fall for this nonsense.

        • ByteMe says:

          Well, that settles it, then. You’ve examined it and we should all just take your word for it.

          Let me just say: Hmmph.

          • ReaganRepublican says:

            They are nothing but blatant attacks of misinformation and false charges against the best congressman anyone can ever wish for. Georgia’s most conservative district is going to show up in unprecedented numbers to send our favorite son to the governor’s mansion.

            • ByteMe says:

              Sure. We believe you already. Uh huh. That’s the ticket.

              Seriously: the guy’s a backroom-dealer who gets to retire in a few months from political life until he can’t stand it any more and runs again only to have the same ethical problems pointed out and then he gets to retire again. Kind-a like Ralph Reed without the oily feeling you get standing near him.

              • ReaganRepublican says:

                Ralph Reed, are you out of your mind. My guy did not endorse pro gun control Romney. You have him confused with Eric Johnson, he is the one who sold out and endorsed the Reed backed Romney. You are right, Romney and Johnson are very slimey. The 9th district came out big for Cagle, and we will show up in much bigger numbers for Deal. You are a all mixed up, get some sleep or somthing. No one knows their politicians better than the 9th district, Deal is a fine man with integrity and honor.. We would of got rid of him otherwise.

  8. Ludwig Von Beachbum says:

    Does Strategic Vision Polling have any credibility? They telephoned 800 “Likely” voters. Likely voters….hell Mexicans are likely voters. I wish a post thread was started on them. PLEASE!

  9. New political Pro says:

    9th District Congressional Race:

    After attending the Union County Reagan Dinner this weekend, which was a great time, I noticed several things that were mentioned and several things that were not mentioned in the article above. First, I it is apparent that Chris Cates tried to buy his way to a victory ( I heard that he bought somewhere around 100 tickets out of 300 total) and still didn’t win the straw poll. Cates, seems to be trying to buy his way into being considered a credible candidate and this is seen in the straw poll and the numerous billboards and signs that he has purchased along the many crowded intersections and highways of the 9th district. For someone who funneled in about $200,000 of his own money, he has about $100,000 worth of billboards and advertising to show for it. Not to mention that these billboards are going to be costing large amounts of money just to maintain and keep each month. Bottom line is that no matter how much money you have and throw around the people of North Georgia and the 9th Congressional District are going to put someone in office who is one of their own, represents their values, and can listen to their voices and be their next Representative in The United States Congress. Not just some big shot with money to throw around.

    Second, Straw polls in general are not good indicators of who is and who isn’t in the lead of a political race anyway and they usually skew to the side of whichever candidate decided to bring the most people or in the case of the previous Union County BBQ event and straw poll…who brought the most kids with them.


    In this event, it seems that 77% of children were in favor of Tom Graves for the 9th Congressional seat. I wonder what the results would have been if Hannah Montana or one of the Jonas Brothers had been on the ballot…? I didn’t see a section of the poll that would indicate how many kids got to vote in this straw poll but, I would assume that there were some and that this subtracts from the overall credibility of these things in the first place.

  10. steelfist says:

    Chief (ret.) Frank Hooper: Gainesville Policy Department
    Mike Evans Endorsing Lee Hwkins for Congress

  11. Bert Loftman says:

    Icarus supports a fine conservative, Tom Graves. So much for objectivity. I would hope that he would wait until after the candidates file and after he or she has read everyone’s ideas before making conclusions.
    My campaign is entirely driven by issues. I note that conservatives want lower taxes and less government. However, in my 50 years of watching politics, at the end of each decade conservatives lose ground. I have analyzed this and think I have solved the problem of why this happens and how to reverse it.
    The problem is that too many Americans are debtors instead of savers. Debtors are people without savings. They are dependent on others and feel the government should be responsible for their needs and everyone else’s needs. In other words, debtors are liberals.
    Savers have money. They are independent and take on their responsibilities of providing for themselves, their families, their churches, and others in need. In other words, savers are conservatives.
    The reason that Americans are debtors rather than savers is because of what happened in 1913. We took on a European banking and taxing system: the income tax and Federal Reserve Bank. These both discourage saving. I believe that the liberals will continue to win until we reverse the changes of 1913.
    I offer a free bumper sticker about my campaign for the US Congress GA-9 to the first person who can identify the famous European who proposed the income tax and central banking system.
    Thanks, Bert LoftmanForCongress.com

    • ByteMe says:

      The reason that Americans are debtors rather than savers is because of what happened in 1913.

      So why did it take until 1981 for the explosion in public and private debt to commence? Could it be… Reagan economics?

        • ByteMe says:

          The “misery index” ran out in about 1983 as interest rates came down and inflation was whupped. Explain the rest of the past 30 years of ever-increasing debt levels — both consumer and public — now.

          • Now?

            Soap operas and night time TV dramas created unsustainable rising public expectations. Actually, I do believe that was a part of it.

            I think it was the transfer of wealth from the depression-era children to the baby boomers. Personal savings began to fall. Without savings there is no capital; without capital there is no investment; without investment there is no profit. Consumption trumped savings and the government’s penchant for discouraging earnings while encouraging consumption helped move us along in that direction.

            We ended up importing capital from Japan (where the personal savings rate was about 4 times the rate of US citizens) and the Japanese also invested heavily in US real estate.

            I do not believe one can look at the increased size of the federal budget without recognizing that it pulls resources away from a productive private sector and transfers them to mostly non-productive entities.

            Finally, nice passive voice rather than give Reagan credit for disposing of the simultaneously increasing unemployment rates and inflation rates under Carter and his Democrat-majority Congress because you sure wanted to nail Reagan in your previous post.

            Have a good day, ByteMe.

            • ByteMe says:

              Reagan didn’t hire Volker. That was Carter and Voker was the one who set the agenda that killing inflation was first and foremost (with Carter’s blessing and knowledge that it might kill his chances for re-election). Reagan started the mindset that deficits didn’t matter so much and that conservation and alt-energy was for sissies. As financial services became more important under Reagan than industrial production, debt became just one more popular way to create more stuff than we could pay for (personally and publicly) and that’s how unemployment went down… we borrowed to put those people to work.

              As a percent for GDP and in relation to population size, the size of our government is not oversized. And money spent by the government DOES go back into the economy to build lots of things like roads, bridges, bombs, countries over in the middle east. Well, ok, not entirely our economy. 😉

              • As a percent for GDP and in relation to population size, the size of our government is not oversized. Obviously you’re welcome to your opinion. I disagree. 🙂

                The argument at the time (which I disagreed with) was that debt didn’t matter because it was owned almost entirely by US citizens so “we owed ourselves.”

                All government funding comes from the private sector. The government takes resources out of circulation and is not efficient (except in destroying roads and bridges with bombs which we do very well).

                Government’s use of resources drives up the cost of those resources, including labor and the cost of capital. Private business has to be efficient and effective out of necessity. There is no such need with government and a very good argument regarding the nature of bureaucracies that it is driven to be inefficient.

              • ByteMe,

                On a completely unrelated note, I have sworn off McBerry threads. I refuse to post there and hope other will join me in also refusing to do so.

                I’ve tolerated him and his soap opera-like indulgences, but the last couple of threads were ridiculous and I think if we post there then we encourage him.

                Anyway, it’s a thought.

                • ByteMe says:

                  I saw that. BB pointed out that we cleared 350 posts on the topic and I’m just embarrassed as heck to have helped.

                  • polisavvy says:

                    I feel the same as you and Ken. No more McBerry threads for me as well. His five seconds are up, in my opinion.

    • Bill Greene says:

      Actually, Bert is pretty much on the money here (no pun intended). It’s always fascinating for me to see people talk about debt not “exploding” until the 1980s; it first started “exploding” in the 1920s, and we’ve had a Fed-caused “boom and bust” cycle ever since. It’s also fascinating to see people talk about inflation being “whupped” in the 1980s, when it never actually stopped: the Fed has been steadily inflating our money supply since its formation in 1913, to the point where the dollar has lost over 95% of its value since that time (just use the calculator at http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/ to see for yourself, which is based on the Consumer Price Index provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

      Bert, I looked at your website, and I’m glad to see you in the race. I don’t know who you are, and I’m not in the 9th, but I’m sending a donation your way.

      • ByteMe says:

        Inflating the money supply is not the same as systemic inflation. That’s an economic theory that’s turned out to be wrong. Although you could say right now with all the money out there we have a HUGE amount of inflation, even if it looks like only 2-4% inflation, just because without all the money, it would look like the dreaded deflation.

        Bill, perhaps you can look at the graphs in this link and tell me how debt didn’t commence its explosive growth in the early 1980’s.


  12. GVilleMan says:

    Well deserved respect to Bill Stephens, I am more and more confident in him everyday. With everything going on in Washington, we need a tested conservative and he is most assuredly that.

    Stephens For Congress

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