Rockdale GOP straw poll results

Via Kellie Pharr and Elizabeth Christian, here are the Rockdale County GOP straw poll results.


  • Karen Handel: 37.3%
  • Eric Johnson: 21.2%
  • Austin Scott: 15.3%
  • John Oxendine: 12.9%
  • Nathan Deal: 5.9%
  • Ray McBerry: 5.2%
  • Jeff Chapman: 2.2%

4th Congressional District

  • Liz Carter: 73.4%
  • Cory Ruth: 16.2%
  • Larry Gause: 9.0%
  • Victor Almanderaz: 1.4%

Secretary of State

  • Brian Kemp: 57.1%
  • Doug MacGinnitie: 42.9%

Attorney General

  • Sam Olens: 60.3%
  • Max Wood: 39.7%

Insurance Commissioner

  • Gerry Purcell: 48.7%
  • Maria Sheffield: 27.8%
  • Seth Harp: 8.7%
  • Stephen Northington: 5.2%
  • Tom Knox: 4.4%
  • Harold Logsdon: 2.6%
  • Ralph Hudgins: 2.6%

School Superintendent

  • Roger Hines: 44.7%
  • Kathy Cox: 43.2%
  • Richard Woods: 12.1%

State Agriculture Commissioner

  • Gary Black: 85.6%
  • Darwin Carter: 14.4%


  1. ByteMe says:

    Kathy Cox is still polling well for some odd reason. Certainly not based on performance. Must be name recognition.

      • ByteMe says:

        With the limited number of Republicans in that district… sure. She’s like this little toy they get to play with for a little while only to have her disappoint like the GOP does every 2 years in that district. I’m soooo impressed. 🙄

        • TheGOPman says:

          Nice flip flop! That wasn’t your quote just a few months ago! How did I know you, just like you liberal friends, couldn’t answer a simple question!

          • ByteMe says:

            You know there are very very few Republicans in that district, right, oh person who advertises himself primarily by party and sexuality?

            So since you’re stalking my quote from “a few months ago”, what was it I said that I flippy floppy on? That no one knew her? Big deal. For all we know the only voters for her there were her family and people living on her block. And when the final votes in that district are tallied… loser by a mile.

            • nursequimby says:

              ByteME…before you doubt Liz Carter’s ability to ‘Yank Hank’ from office, you should step back and look at how foolish he looks to District 4 and the State of GA!!

              • ByteMe says:

                And Republicans who think they can take a “majority-minority” district with white bread are going to look foolish come November. Only person who could lose the district would be Snuggles and even that might be a close race.

                • proudfringe says:

                  The Republicans have a way outside chance in the district. Their best hope to win is Cory Ruth. He’s the most well rounded candidate. Larry Gause maybe the best one on policy positions and solutions but probably couldn’t win in the general.

            • Mozart says:

              “advertises himself primarily by party and sexuality?”

              I could be really ignorant here but I think the correct term is “sex” not “sexuality.” “Sex” is a gender classification (e.g., male or female or…). “Sexuality” has more to do with how GOPman likes to partake in the act(s) of sex.

              So, Byte, do you know something more about GOPman’s sexuality than any of us based solely on this screen name? 🙂

              • ByteMe says:

                Yes, you caught a typo in my usually flawless postings. Clap clap. (Hmm… the lights just went out.)

      • Ambernappe says:

        Jon Konop, and other Georgia voters:
        Roger Hines is the most qualified candidate for Superintendent of Education that I have ever met

        He has secondary and post secondary experience, and is evidently sensible and practical. He has spent a lot of time actually talking to county superintendents and business people who are impacted by the unfortunate state of affairs in Georgia education.

        He also has a real interest in community opinion and presents his three goals of:
        1. Reduce the sad high school dropout rate of 70-71 %
        2. Sensible curriculum for Georgia schools (I understand that the current situation is no advanced algebra or calculus in most GA high schools – only one of other deficiencies)
        3. Preventing Federalization of public schools.

        Check out his website for more.

        • Jeff says:

          You clearly haven’t met Kira Willis.

          How about we ACTUALLY work on getting back to local schools making local education decisions, rather than the Feds and State dictating what THEY think should be done in the LOCAL classroom?

          • Ambernappe says:

            In my opinion, the best strategy for “getting back to local schools” is “site-based management”. It involves a committee at each school which includes the administration, parents, local business representatives, and students (who are non-voting). There has been a lot of research, but the main thrust is that these people receive specific training, and the administration and others are able to call on other community resources in areas such as finance. This is such a brief description, but I have participated as a chairman at three secondary schools and researched the subject at length. The main difficulty observed by me is that teachers union affiliated faculty are somewhat resistant. That is usually because they have not had an opportunity to participate in such a program. Unlike our grassroots government model, site-based is dependent, in the beginning, on strong administrative approval and cooperation.

        • eschristian says:

          I completely 100% agree with you Ambernappe regarding Roger Hines and had the same impression and love his vision for Georgia’s education system. I feel with his vision he could truly bring up our education system to a much higher level and help students learn and graduate more.

          Also, as a side note regarding goal #3 – I saw Kathy Cox at a Young Republican event right after Obama’s stimulus was passed and she was saying how happy she was that Obama’s stimulus plan passed and that she welcomed the money from the feds. I lost any and all respect for her at that moment. Just because the money is easy is it worth the loss of freedom? For me Roger Hines is the only one in this race that represents the vision and experience to carry through his vision.

          • ByteMe says:

            Yep, let’s cut off all Federal funds being used for our state schools. That’ll help.

            Oh, wait. It’s about HALF the state Dept of Ed. budget. Maybe that won’t help as much as you think.

            • Ambernappe says:

              Many studies have shown conclusively that throwing money at schools reaches a point of diminishing returns.

              As usual, I am not providing references – they are available on Google and other search engines.

              • ByteMe says:

                Many studies and $10 trillion in debt have also shown conclusively that cutting taxes reaches a point of diminishing returns, but you don’t see Republicans or Libertarians ever admit that either.

        • eschristian says:

          Ralph Hudgens was on the ballot (see above and below – he got 2.6% of the vote):

          Insurance Commissioner

          * Gerry Purcell: 48.7%
          * Maria Sheffield: 27.8%
          * Seth Harp: 8.7%
          * Stephen Northington: 5.2%
          * Tom Knox: 4.4%
          * Harold Logsdon: 2.6%
          * Ralph Hudgins: 2.6%

  2. Truthteller says:

    46 people voted based on Chapman’s 2.2% result. (46 x .022 rounded off).

    That would be 17 for Handel out of 46.

    Just a guess…

  3. old political pro says:

    Looks like the gerry purcell/doug macginnitie coordinated campaign didn’t work this time.

    • eschristian says:

      Macginnitie had a trillion signs all around the property and was there with his campaign. Kemp was already committed to another event and his campaign was very limited with no signs. It was pure grassroots effort by supporters that gave Kemp his victory. Kemp is doing a great job as SOS and I predict will continue to do so in the future.

      • HowardRoark says:

        Having one of the event organizers on here stumping for Sonny’s “appointed one” really doesn’t help the credibility of the thing….

        • eschristian says:

          FYI – I am not an event organizer for this event – just a citizen who attended the event. I have no official affiliation with the Rockdale GOP, just attend their meetings from time to time. No problems with the credibility of it from me.

          By the way MYSTERY solved with the volunteer of a campaign with ballots – just got a call a couple of hours ago from the woman with the clip board and what happened was that campaign had problems with GPS and finding the event (most of the campaigns and visitors had the same trouble) so when they got there they went ahead and ate their meals (where they had purchased tickets) – those tickets were for volunteers and staff for that campaign and the person with the clipboard had ballots of those people who were eating and requested that she check the candidates name that they were there for and that candidate only as they were not voting in the other races. Therefore that volunteer checked that candidates name and that candidates name only (there were around 20 ballots and that was it for that campaign and volunteers of the campaign). Mystery solved.

          • Ambernappe says:

            Just as I suspected – there was a lot of idle speculation – oh well , the “human condition”. Thank you for the information.

    • HowardRoark says:

      It would make sense for Purcell to turn his votes against MacGinnitie. I’m sure he was tired of MacGinnite stealing his straw poll thunder. That would also explain a lot in the results, since word on the street was he was purchasing 3 boat loads of tickets. Pretty Machiavellian stuff.

    • ummm-duh says:

      Purcell/MacGinnitie?? Ummm what? Let’s be straight: As far as I know, the Purcell team has never bought phantom straw poll tickets and never will. They bought a total of four tickets yesterday in Rockdale.

      Just because Doug & Gerry are winning all the straw polls doesn’t mean they’re somehow colluding in some grand conspiracy. Did you stop to think that their 12 previous straw polls wins could be a reflection on the strength of their messages?

      I don’t know of any MacGinnitie-Purcell connection/feud/partnership at all. Not really even an overlap in their people. Any suggestion otherwise is really gasping at straws

  4. polisavvy says:

    It is my understanding that the event was nothing more than a fundraiser for Rockdale GOP where the votes were purchased by the campaign willing to shell out the most money. A candidates’ volunteer was walking around with blank ballots. The ballots were supposed to have been given out to people once they purchased a ticket. A straw poll that is bought is not really much of a straw poll.

    • eschristian says:

      I did not witness that @polisavvy while I was there but if so most straw polls are by the ticket and not by the person – it is like an online poll – like American Idol – most votes win.

      You had a very diverse group of people from all over the state voting in this straw poll and if you look at the numbers/trends over all in recent scientific polls I would say that this is definitely showing the momentum and trend from those polls as well. Certain candidates are going up, some are staying the same and others are continuing to decline – that’s politics and campaigns. I feel the results are very reflective of what I am hearing of the people in Newton and Rockdale Counties.

      • polisavvy says:

        Just because you did not witness it, Elizabeth, does not mean that it did not happen. All I am trying to do is point out that straw poll victories gained through ill begotten means should not be touted as reflective of the population of Newton or Rockdale counties. We can debate this all you’d like, however, at the end of the day, a spade is a spade.

        • eschristian says:

          So lets call a spade a spade polisavvy – did you see the Oglethorpe Co. straw poll results? Were those same campaigns running around at the same exact time purchasing large amounts of ballots there in Oglethorpe too? Seems like in a different part of the state similar results (at least at the top) at the same time.

          Oglethorpe Co. Straw Poll
          Handel – 37 votes
          Johnson – 26 votes
          Deal – 24 votes
          Ox – 20 votes
          Scott – 16 votes
          Jeff Chapman – 4 votes

          I still don’t put all my eggs in the basket of straw polls but when the results don’t match the result that you wish, for your candidate, it is a little silly to run around and whine about them multiple times throughout a blog. They are not completely off target because the trends in the true scientific polling overall are headed in the same direction with Handel ascending and Ox descending and others up a little or down a little. I personally am hearing online, in person, and all around in this county and surrounding counties support that is very reflective of the straw polls results. Do I know everyone here? No. Do I know scientifically how all of the people in this area will vote? No. Just like any campaign and any election it will come down to July and November and the chips will fall as they will; until then fight hard for your candidate and quit whining about straw poll results when other areas are having the same type results as well (unless you are going to whine about every straw poll that comes out). I don’t whine when my candidate does not come out on top I just work harder.

          Also, if you were referring to me as an event organizer in the above statement – FYI: I was NOT an organizer of this event. I attended as a volunteer for one of the campaigns and as a citizen. I have no official affiliation with the Rockdale GOP except I go to their meetings from time to time.

          Austin Scott is a good guy and I personally gave him and his campaign a compliment yesterday and multiple times. Do I think he is going to be the next Governor? No. Do I think if he would have chosen to run for U.S. Congress against Jim Marshall he would have won? Yes (as I told him this last May) or at least a better chance than governor this time. Do I fault him for running for Governor? No, as I respect anyone for putting themselves and their families out there in the political arena especially when it is a good candidate with an overall good message like Scott (I do not agree with all of his message or policies but overall pretty good and he appears to be honest and ethical to my knowledge).

          I personally think one of his campaign workers (Bart) is one of the hardest working people out on the campaign trail and I like him a lot – I have not seen him whining but just working harder for Scott – perhaps you should do the same.

          • polisavvy says:

            First of all, in no way did I say that you were the “organizer.” I just said that the straw poll was bought. If you chose to believe and feel otherwise, then that’s your choice. I am also not whining because we all know that straw polls are not totally indicative of how the actual voters are going to vote in July. I guess we will all just have to wait and see on that one, right?

            It appears as though you and I are just engaging in a contest to see whose spit stays on the wall. I guess we will just have to wait until July.

            For your information, I do volunteer my time to the Austin Scott campaign on a regular basis. My time is spent on a man who I personally feel would be the best of the candidates as Governor of Georgia. There again, you can disagree all you want — that’s your choice. So, as far as I am concerned, there is no need for any further dialogue. You feel one way, and I feel another — that’s the choices we both have a right to believe.

            • polisavvy says:

              You know, Doug, sometimes you gotta just say “whatever.” In this case, it’s a huge whatever. We will just let them say and think whatever they want; however, we know what we were told by a Rockdale GOP officer. So, WHATEVER!

      • RINO Hunter says:

        most straw polls are by the ticket and not by the person


        I have no problem with how the straw poll was done – that’s RockDale’s RINO’s problem…but the poll being presented here, and no doubt elsewhere as a legitimate, accurate straw poll is disingenuous at best. I suppose someone should tell Jackson County GOP that you should have members purchase their candidate’s win…because as far as I know there wasn’t money changing hands for votes at their last meeting.

        And regardless of the intent and the methods…doesn’t that sound just a little…oh I don’t know….democrat-like? ” We sold tickets as votes….”

        Better wake up, or it’s going to be a long, hard fall.

    • macho says:

      I wouldn’t put to much stock into any straw poll. Don’t assume that one is “scientific” if your candidate won, but is “vote buying” if your candidate lost. It has virtually nothing to do with persuading a bunch of undecided voters with great campaign speeches and everything to do with which campaign happened to pack more of their folks there.

      • polisavvy says:

        That’s my point exactly — they are meaningless regardless of how the votes are obtained. What counts is when the votes are cast on July 20th. That is when the people of all the counties will have their say.

    • Diana says:

      I was also at the event and didn’t see anything of the sort. Were you there and did you witness it?

      • polisavvy says:

        As a matter of fact, I was there with my husband. I know what I saw. My suspicions were reinforced by several other candidates’ staffers and volunteers. Once again, a spade is a spade.

    • RINO Hunter says:

      Well how else would RINO’s operate? ( If you answered ” like democrats” give yourself 10 extra points!)

      Here’s a message to all those die-hard GOP RINOS out there filling up the meeting halls and scratchin’ each other’s backs:

      When you have a man like Nathan Deal in as much trouble as he was/is in and he wins anything, you have problems folks. And Georgia’s RINO Republican party has a boatload of trouble. You’ve got RINO front runners promising higher taxes, soft stands on your 2nd Amendment Rights, politics-as-usual answers….all that plays pretty well at the GOP meetings, but out here in the real world, We the People are fed up with that type of nonsense – from democrats AND republicans.

      The fact is, the political end is near for the RINO population in Georgia. The people outside of GOP-Land are fed up with having a choice between socialist…… and socialist light.

      While you folks down at your local GOP meetings are propping up your RINO candidates, the new conservative movement is gaining more ground than Glenn Beck has hate mail.

      It’s going to take you a while to realize it, but the one with the most money isn’t necessarily going to be the sure-fire winner anymore. The fact is, We the People don’t care how much money you have, how long you’ve been in office or how many favors you’ll promise…….It’s open season( politically) on RINOs and we’re just getting started……

      You all had your chance to get on board with the new conservative movement a year ago – and you turned your backs on us because you thought we were “too radical” or too “out there.” Ironically, we are coming closer and closer to the day that We the People turn our backs on you RINOS and leave your political careers hangin’ in the wind.

      That rattlesnake we carry on our flags for democrats and republicans alike to see – that’s not a threat…..that’s a promise.
      You RINO’s keep playing politics, and when you’re done you’ll wake up to see that you are no longer needed to bare the burden of conservatism and preserve liberty for future generations.

      Thank God Ronald Wilson Reagan didn’t live to see what the Republican Party has become. If he had though, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind having a little TEA.

  5. Rick Day says:

    You guys aren’t projecting a front runner like the Dem’s are. Your polling is all over the place. You got more fractures in your party than Mr. Glass (Elijah Price: Google him)

    But I’m sure you can get a majority to rally around the winning primary candidate. Once you figure out who it is. After the runoff. That cost me and my fellow taxpayers $$.

    Who will probably get edged by 1% by Lib’rl Fearless Leader Barnes.

    Great job on ethic’s reform, guys. It is now your Achilles Tendon (Google it)

  6. Aggressive Opinion says:

    This straw poll didn’t mean crap, as with most of the straw polls conducted by these party events. Someone said there were some 400 ballots cast, which means there probably wasn’t more than 75 people at the event that didn’t work for a campaign casting ballots. If what some are alleging is true about purchasing ballots, then shame on ANY campaign that engaged in this behavior.

    • polisavvy says:

      That’s exactly what I am saying — they don’t mean crap. What counts is July 20th! PERIOD!! Purchased straw polls is exactly the kind of behavior exhibited by Democrats (ie. busing to polls on election day).

        • Ambernappe says:

          God forbid those snarky old folks relinquish the right to vote just because of giving up their driver licenses !

          Having driven MANY senior citizens to the polls in the past,
          and encouraging my children to do the same when they were able, I am very aware of the gratitude of our elders to continue to participate in one of the primary rights of citizenship.

    • polisavvy says:

      I can assure you that the votes cast for Austin Scott were cast by actual people who were in attendance. Unfortunately, others can’t say the same.

    • AubieTurtle says:

      Ox’s number are only low because he emailed his supporters to ask them to vote for him at the Los Angeles County Natural Law party meeting. But come election day, all will see the true level of Ox’s support when he is elected governor of Alabama.

    • Diana says:

      The crowd wasn’t paying attention to Oxendine when he was speaking and he had maybe 2 people clapping for him in the audience (campaign workers in Ox t-shirts). Austin Scott had far more appeal and response from those in attendance.

      • GALisa says:

        I was in the audience wearing my FairTax shirt — not an OX campaign shirt, or even a sticker — but I clapped when he asked who likes the FairTax.

  7. Bulldog1 says:

    Why is it, when one does not like a straw poll result they question the integrity? I agree the final poll that counts is on election day. However, straw polls are good indication of the feelings of voters at a particular event or place. These feelings can and are very helpful to those who are paying attention in the campaign camps. I have seen 2 staw polls on this site from 2 different geographical locations questioned by people posting. However, observing the 2 results I am seeing some similar results in the statewide races which run contrary to what the media is reporting about who the media thinks is the front runners.

  8. Doug Deal says:

    A contact of mine has told me that one of the operatives for a campaign individually bought a wad of tickets and was allowed to cast them without having people there to actually vote them. I do not have corroboration on this, so I will not mention the campaigns, but this seems to be less than the level of worthlessness that most straw polls are known for.

    I do not like straw polls in the first place, but to allow a single person to cast more than a single vote is a little ridiculous. I would love if the someone out there could get the raw vote totals and compare them to the number of votes cast.

    • polisavvy says:

      Somebody that would rig this is obviously the person who won; therefore, I would like to think that Ms. Handel did not know that this was going on. If so, it flies into the face of everything she allegedly stands for and campaigns against.

      • Ambernappe says:

        Do not want to add to your confusion, but how would Mrs Handel be aware that this was happening if it was not happening ?

        I did not see any sign of anyone handing out ballots, and the the ballot box was being closely observed. This is speculation obviously directed at the Handel campaign and it unfortunate that the accuser does not make his name public. Secrecy is behind so many of our current problems in the way voters perceive government.

        By the way, the Veteran’s Park in Rockdale County is a real monument to those who have died in order to keep Americans safe and maintain our rights to freedom of speech – including untruth.

        • polisavvy says:

          When staffers from several campaigns see campaign volunteers from certain other campaigns walking around with actual wads of ballots, and, at the end of the day, more votes are cast than actual attendees, it does raise suspicion. I know for a fact that staffers from certain campaigns did see this because they told me so. I have absolutely no reason to doubt what they said. The votes don’t add up.

          As far as the issue you raised about secrecy, had the ballots been hidden from plain view that would be a secret; however, the ballots were most definitely in plain view. Secrecy? Come on, you can do better than that, can’t you? Is you name really Ambernappe? Seems like you enjoy secrecy yourself.

          As far as whether or not Ms. Handel knew about this would need to be addressed by someone who actually works for her campaign. I would certainly like to think that she did not know anything about it. If not, then I am terribly disappointed.

          • Ambernappe says:

            Excellent idea. I was under the impression that that is the way they are done until we were given ballots with our lunch tickets.

        • polisavvy says:

          As an aside, I need no preaching from you about anything to do with Veterans. I hold them in very high esteem being the daughter of a retired Marine who served in three wars, plus a family history that goes back to Battle of Hastings. No preaching is necessary! I like to feel that the Veterans actually fought for the side of truth.

          • Ambernappe says:

            Then we have a lot in common. re: the military interests. I do work in the Handel campaign, and the name is borrowed from one of my cats.

        • Jeff says:

          Well, “Ms. Leading” (read that fast) DOES have a habit of banning legal voters and openly violating regulations to do whatever the hell she wants. And that was while she was IN office. Now that she ISN’T bound by the ethical and legal restraints of being in office….

          • Ambernappe says:

            To what, specifically, do you refer – banning legal voters ? The Voter Registrar website specifically defines “legal voter”.

            And what is this about “now that she is out of office”? I would believe that she turned in her key.

            It is difficult (impossible) to provide a rational response to
            what has been described earlier as idle speculation.

    • Aggressive Opinion says:

      Rockdale County Republican Party Straw Poll April 10, 2010 = Sold to the highest bidder.

      Enough said.

  9. Aggressive Opinion says:

    I too have been doing some digging about these results. Apparently an official with the Rockdale Co. Republican Party, when questioned about ballots being cast en mass by campaigns, said, “Well, this is a fundraiser.” Again, this is hearsay; but if true, diminishes the validity of the straw poll and makes those touting its results look like fools. Straw polls that are bought are bogus. I’m sure we can all agree on that.

    • macho says:

      They are all really bogus. It’s just whatever campaign can pack the place with the most staffers and roving volunteers. I’m not sure how the fee being charged affects the bogusness of the process.

      They only way to make them less bogus, is to limit them to the residents of the given county.

      • Groundpounder says:

        If you have time, could you please explain how that works, it is not clear from the reading. Thank you.

  10. Jazzman says:

    Straw polls don’t matter in the end, The Purcell team and Doug Team can win these polls any way they want to in the end all that it proves is their message is working well with hardcore GOP and other campaign staff.

    I mean Purcell blew though his own personal loan and was not able to raise much even with most of his competitors were banned for raising a dine.

    As Doug’s campaign he is a nice guy and has great ideas but I don’t see him winning out in the end. He would have done a great job in the state house though

    • MariettaLegal says:

      Actually Jazzman, looks like Mr. Purcell raised around $28K in the last three weeks (not too bad) with more donors. I think he has been working more on a strong ground game initially while self funding. He also has strong Tea Party support (where I met him) and one of the really big 912 groups, so his reach is beyond the GOP. Looks like he is bridging GOP, grassroots and independents fairly well.

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