The sideshow candidates

Alternately entitled, “The Rumors of Her Demise are greatly exaggerated (by me)”

From Poll vault for GOP candidate ||

“Immigration is a sideshow, gay marriage is a sideshow, abortion is a sideshow,” he said. “You want to get to the bulk of voters, you need to talk to them about pocketbook issues.”

Two candidates are talking about pocketbook issues. Two candidates are talking about which candidate supports gays and approves funding for abortion providers to do breast cancer screenings.

As I was watching TV the other day, it occurred to me. Neither Deal or Oxendine ran a single ad that had anything to do with them or their plans for fix Georgia’s crappy economy. Deal and Ox were spending their money running attack ads against Handel.

I began to think, if the middle bases its decision on who to vote for based on the TV ads, they’ll come out and vote for Handel. The irony is, Handel never had the primary fundraising to make huge media buys, so she can’t rebut the attacks and drive away the middle. Her homophobic & misogynistic opposition ads go so far over the top, they might be helping her with the area of the bell curve she needs to capture.

The trick for Handel is getting out the vote. She’ll be in the run-off. How does she make sure the middle of the bell curve comes out for her in August too?


  1. macho says:

    From a pure machiavellian POV, I can’t believe all Ox’s last week campaign spending has gone to discussing gays. He’s really making an amateur mistake. Not that I’m prone to it, but if he wanted to focus on gays, he should have done that a month ago.

    Voters are dissatisfied and in a rebellious mood. He needed to spend the last week on an uplifting message on how he was going to turn GA’s economy around.

    I think Ox’s focus on the gays is going to bite him in the ass.

  2. macho says:

    I’m starting to wonder if the Ox campaign had the Handel TV ads and anonymous mailers in the hopper, waiting to be distributed in the first week of the Runoff Primary, which may or may not have been a good strategy. Then they panicked, after he started falling in the polls, and moved the Handel bashing, gay focused ads to the last week of the General Primary – which was a colossal blunder. You end up helping Johnson and Deal and the voters associate you with all the focus on gays versus the economy.

  3. Lady Thinker says:

    Your comments are right on target Chris. I wish I had thought of it first. I know I got a mailer that was so full of hate, lies, and propaganda about Karen and gay issues with no talk about the real issues facing Georgia. It made me sick and more determined than ever to support Karen Handel for Governor.

    I don’t approve of any of the gay agendas nor do I want to be around them but I also know we can’t dismiss them like soiled tissue. They pay taxes, they have rights, they have concerns, and they have a right to have their voice heard by government officials and gubernatorial candidates. Their votes count too. Karen talked to them, listened to their concerns, as did Nathan Deal and I am sure the other candidates talked to them too.

    This gay non-issue has been deafening in the media and blogs with the important issues falling by the way side like yesterday’s garbage. The candidates are becoming so engaged in mudslinging that they are dishonoring the very office they are aspiring to take.

    We can’t afford such childish behavior in these troubling times and we need a real leader to pull us out of this chaos. In my heart, I feel that leader is Karen Handel and I hope you will vote for her on Tuesday.

    Karen, if you are reading these blogs, which I doubt you have time to do so, much less having the time to care, please hold your head high and continue your fight. You have thousands if not hundreds of thousands of us supporters who believe in you and are voting for you to bring a calm mind and strong solutions to our state. I expect you to win the Primary for my birthday. You go girl!!!!

    • Jeff says:

      Just a gentle, non-political point:

      You cannot reach people for Christ without being around them. There is, unfortunately, quite a bit of truth in the old saying “the only Bible most people will read is you”.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      I haven’t seem the mailer Lady Thinker, but you’re in an alternate universe if you don’t think Handel was at least courting the gay vote in her run for Fulton County Chairman. Based on the public evidence most people would conclude she was a Log Cabin supporter if not a member.t

      • Lady Thinker says:

        Just because we don’t agree on an issue does not make us from separate universes. You see it one way and I see it another. Like Yin and Yang.

  4. John Konop says:

    This is why OX is in a panic! Second place will be real horse race!

    Handel leaps to GOP lead

    ……The poll of 400 likely Republican primary voters taken Thursday and Friday put Handel in first place with 29 percent of Georgians polled saying she would get their vote. That’s up 6 percentage points from an earlier poll that was partially taken before Palin’s endorsement on Monday.

    The change has left state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, the previous frontrunner, in second place with 22 percent and former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal at 20 percent……

    …..The results of the new Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll showed a shift from a poll the company released Wednesday. That sampling was taken July 8 through July 13.

    The earlier poll had Oxendine the leader with 31 percent of the vote, followed by Handel with 23 percent, Deal with 18 percent and Johnson at 6 percent. On the Democratic side, the poll gave former Gov. Roy Barnes a commanding lead and indicated he could win the primary without a runoff……

    • “Second place will be real horse race!”

      Probably not, since neither Ox nor Handel (nor Deal) like horse racing. A group that is advocating for it’s legalization actually quoted Ox as saying something along the lines of “We don’t need *those* kinds of jobs in Georgia”. Never mind that it would create roughly 20,000 jobs according to their estimates. (Florida has roughly 50,000 jobs relating to the horse racing industry alone.)

      The jobs range from construction at the tracks to marketing to trainers to caretakers to breeders to accountants. From the e-mail I got only Eric Johnson supports horse racing from the GOP governor’s race. Apparently Handel didn’t even want to discuss it… she just said no.

      In the agriculture commissioner race Darwin Carter supports horse racing while Gary Black opposes it.

      Being in the horse business, I’m inclined to vote for Johnson tomorrow. I’m still voting for Monds in the general though as the rest of the field of candidates just doesn’t really do it for me on the freedom and liberty side of things…

      • Lady Thinker says:


        Outside of buying the occasional lottery ticket, I don’t gamble, so please fill me in on your perception of why people could be against horse racing. It seems that the jobs factor alone should garner more support. Do you think people may fear an organized crime aspect to the proposal?

        • LT – I don’t believe people would be against horse racing in Georgia because of organized crime. I believe it’s because of the talibaptist population. You know… the group that didn’t want the lottery in the first place but gladly sends their kids to college on a HOPE scholarship? The group that loves watching the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes (together known as the Triple Crown) but shuns the betting on the race because Jesus told them it was bad. (Never mind that without the betting you’re not going to have those large purses that attract top quality horses to come race in hopes of winning that payout.) I’ve been to a few horse tracks in the US and Canada and go to the Atlanta Steeplechase practically every year. (There’s no legal gambling at the Atlanta Steeplechase but people that think there’s no gambling going on there are fools.) It’s a fun time and if there’s any organized crime around I certainly haven’t seen it.

          • Lady Thinker says:

            Good valid points David. I’ll do some research. Thanks for pointing me in a direction to look.

  5. macho says:

    The irony is, if you’re just going by pure stereotypes, Ox comes across as the gayest candidate. Let’s see here:

    1. An obsession with the Oscar’s so deep that a constituent pays for him to fly to CA every year for glimpses of Elton John and George Clooney.

    2. A huge affinity for fancy wines – beer is so caveman like.

    3. An embarrassing ignorance of Georgia football – chalk that up to point 1.

    4. High pitched voice.

    5. Lack of hunting knowledge.

    6. A final week campaign strategy focused on gays. You know what they say about people who are obsessed with bashing gays.

  6. Tireless says:

    If Handel wins the primary, Barnes wins the general. I’ll either not vote or vote for Barnes. Why support a liberal repub when you can get the relatively conservative democrat? Besides that, Handel has offended pretty much every repub legislator in the state house. She needs to work with those GUYS and the outlook of that happening is slim to zero. Handel will lurch to the left if elected and make a mockery out of an already bloodied repub party. Having Barnes in office will force the state repub’s to lurch back to the right where they never should have left in the first place. Maybe gridlock in this day and age is a good thing.

    • Harry says:

      Wow. Karen Handel IS conservative. Don’t confuse primary season marketing jive for conservative principles. Certain (not all) of the old school guys are mainly interested in lining their pockets. Getting state government to operate frugally and efficiently is not the main goal. I get the sense that Karen wants to shake the system down there.

      • Provocateur says:

        Sure. And Handel didn’t take $25,000 in bribe money from the Diebold lobbyists to break her 2006 campaign pledge to promise to get a verifiable voting system in Georgia. Oh, wait! She DID!

        • ready2rumble says:

          If somebody bribed Handel, it would be massive news. Who would pay to keep existing voting machines vs buying new ones. In case you missed it, the state has had massive budget challenges.

    • Ambernappe says:

      Do you believe that, once elected governor, the state legislature bccomes the new constituency of the elected individual ? I pray not ! It is to be hoped that the governor will interact well with the legislature, but he/she serves on behalf of the entire state. There are times frequently (as in NOW) when I feel that currently elected officials should not be able to vote for one or two cycles after their most recent service. By definition, that would include the most recent whose terms have concluded. If you are interested, please refer to Robert’s Rule of Order re: Board determining its successors.

  7. sofnbc says:

    What Chris and others continue to ignore, or choose not to report on is the momentum Eric Johnson is getting. Eric is pulling the seniors, middle age and middle roaders that are tired of the mud slinging. It is evident in areas like Cobb and Fulton where he is making strong showings. Eric is putting his plan out there and the voters are starting to see that he is the right choice. Many of the folks that I talked to on the phone yesterday said they were supporting Eric because he is offering solutions in his ads and is not slinging mud like others candidates are in their ads. You would think campaign managers for the other candidates would steer their candidates away from mud slinging. Voters want to hear how someone is going to fix the problem, not an endless stream of media, print ot TV, that continues to blame others and offers no solutions.

    • macho says:

      At this point everything is fluid. I could see a scenario where Eric makes the runoff and Ox comes in 4th.

      • Ambernappe says:

        OK, I am confused. The only time win/place counts is in the primary. What in the world is 4th place ??????????

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Johnson proposes to exempt industry from state taxes on electricity—can anyone name a more ridiculous government tax policy than subsidizing fossil-fuel energy consumption?

      • macho says:

        I’m actually surprised to head that industry is paying tax on electricity. Being an old accountant I didn’t think manufacturers paid sales tax on raw materials. The idea is you pay sales tax only on the finished product, so consumers aren’t paying sales tax on an embedded sales tax – which almost becomes a VAT.

        I’d be interested to hear if any other states are taxing electricity on manufacturing. If not, then it would put Georgia at a disadvantage as far as creating manufacturing jobs.

    • Ambernappe says:

      Eric Johnson did sling mud last night (Sunday) where he was wrong about the aims of Georgia Right to Life. Their only target is not abortion, but in-vitro fertilization. Please google for the definition of IVF.

  8. Three Jack says:

    all my legislator friends kept saying, ‘handel will fade, she has no chance’. many of them endorsed deal even though he is a lying, liberal crook. i can’t wait to see these folks again after the primary, expecially if deal weasles his way into the runoff.

  9. AnyoneElse2010 says:

    I am neither for or against Karen, but is everybody ignoring the fact that Karen was the FIRST republican to go negative. She hasn’t said one positive thing for a couple of months now. I will support Karen if she pull out the nomination, but most of you guys are letting her off the hook for being negative while you bash the others for being negative.

    Gay rights, abortion policy, economic policy, or immigration policy are big deals for many people. Don’t assume yourself to be so high and mighty that you can tell what the people of Georgia care about. Some people have morals, religious or not, that steer them one way or another on these issues. Just because you don’t care about it doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t or shouldn’t. The economy is number one in my book, but I won’t look down on a person who cares deeply about gay rights or abortion policy. Either way they are American’s/Georgian’s and have a right to care about these things.

      • analogkid says:

        Not true Doug. I’m consherned about losh of other issues… like Sunday sales. [hiccup]

      • “You left off Sunday sales. For some on here, it’s their ONLY issue.”

        I don’t think it’s anyone’s ONLY issue on here. It’s just the simplest most common sense issue that exists for which the legislation has already been written. Unfortunately we have had a Governor in power who believes it’s his dictatorial duty to veto letting the citizens of Georgia decide for themselves.

  10. Dickson says:

    I think Karen will be aided by the crap ads — my wife and I have both had good naps rudely and irritatingly interrupted by robo calls from candidates — she said “I’m not voting for any of them” (maybe she will anyway) but I’m sure much of the potential electorate is ticked over all the crap and will simply stay home

    • Provocateur says:

      After you receive more than 3-4 robo calls, chances are you will not recall the source of any of them.

    • hannah says:

      Which is the objective. If the universal franchise can’t be undone, the next best thing is to minimize the turn-out by any means possible. Disgusting the electorate with sleazy behavior and sexual innuendo is one strategy. Election day is much too late to discourage, depress and disenfranchise the voters. The effort has to be constant and on-going, year in and year out.
      “Send in the clowns”

      • Ambernappe says:

        You talk objective – I talk explicit. To date you have not replied in a manner specific to the questions at hand. If you believe that your comments are aimed at convincing readers of the superiority of some other political psychology, forget it. Posters here, while not always agreeing, do seem to hold the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States in high regard. If your ideal is Alinsky, forget it. Your real theory would be appreciated. In case you do not feel that Southerners might not understand, think Vanderbilt, Andrew Jackson, Howard Baker……….We understand.

  11. Comfortably Southside says:

    Karen Handel gets my vote because she is the only person that has recent time in County Government. The boys in the Gold Dome preached how they have cut their budget and reduced the size of government. What a joke, all they did was force the counties to raise taxes to support the numerous un-funded State mandates. They believe that Georgia Counties have massive dollars in reserve and they can just “absorb it”. I point to the backlog of prisoners to go to less and less State Prisons, I point to the County Extension agent and it’s massive loss of funding only to hope that Counties step up to the plate and pony up more, I point to the massive cuts in mental health and closure of State mental hospitals that force Counties to pony up more, and the best one by far: “We in the State DOT will only cut the right-of-way grasses twice per year, we are offering a contract though that each County can sign so that they can cut their own portion of it”. What a freakin crock.

    That’s why Handel gets my vote. The State must work with Georgia Counties to come up with solutions to Georgia’s problems. Georgia Counties are still in fact the service delivery arm of the State yet they are treated like infidel’s who don’t have a clue about what people need and don’t need.

    • Lady Thinker says:

      Excellent post! Also the cuts to teachers for counties to absorb and the Georgia Crime Lab is so backlogged in processing cases for court from lack of funding that some judges are threatening to let people out of jail.

      Forsyth County is holding four people who committed murders in 2006 and they haven’t been to court yet! I hate to see these drug murderers back on the street.

    • Provocateur says:

      Three years in county government? That’s hardly enough time to figure out where the potty is.

      And, then she bails-out of it? Must be because it was too challenging for her….only to then skip to another job for only 3 years before she leaves that one.

      Yeah. Consistency. Good qualifications.

      • macho says:

        The only candidates who didn’t “bail-out” were Oxendine, so he could keep shaking insurance agents down, and Chapman, who doesn’t have a chance of being elected, but seems like an ethical guy.

    • r130211 says:

      Thanks for your terrific post! All of the folks under the Ga. Gold Dome think they know best and can run the counties and cities from their legislative offices. Just how many of them have even served 3 years on the local level within the last 10 years to have any idea of what it takes to provide the services the people in those communities need and desire? They certainly get upset when the federal government forces the states to pay for unfunded mandates.

      You may have just convinced me to vote for Karen Handel. Your post and those awful negative flyers about Karen Handel that went out the past couple of days have certainly influenced my decision. I’ve waited until election day to cast my vote because I could not make up my mind because the field of candidates ALL have their negatives this time around.
      That said, I will admit I would vote for ANYONE

      • r130211 says:

        Sorry, hit the wrong key. Meant to say I would vote for anyone EXCEPT the OX.

        Also, this reply is in response to Comfortably Southside’s post. I’m a frequent reader, not a frequent poster.

  12. NoTeabagging says:

    Voters should call the campaign offices directly and tell them we don’t want to see any more attack ads. If they do not respond to voters calls and emails that should give you a clue how accessible they will be to ‘the people’ if elected. After all, they hounds us lies on TV ads, tabloid mailers, and repetitive, annoying, impersonal robocalls. Most of these calls block Caller ID information so we can’t call them back. Think about it.

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