So you’re telling me there’s a chance!

From Dumb and Dumber (one of the funniest movies of all-time):

Lloyd: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me, you know, ending up together? Just give it to me straight.
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: Not good as in, one out of a hundred?
Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.
Lloyd: [smiles] So you’re telling me there’s a chance!

I feel like that’s what we’re doing here. I keep seeing all of these posts telling me that this is either Roy’s election to lose, or its an uphill battle for Nathan Deal or that Carol Porter is going to be our next Lieutenant Governor. Does anyone else think that there is some grasping at straws taking place here? Someone that I respect told me that if any of the ethical allegations regarding Nathan Deal or Casey Cagle (cough, cough, hurt back) end up carrying some significant weight, that it could sink almost the entire GOP ticket. Okay, I will concede that point. But, isn’t that the one out of a million scenario?

The same friend also pointed out that, despite how you all feel/don’t feel about GOP rule in the state of Georgia, Sonny Perdue’s approval rating is still close to 70%. There are virtually no seats in the State Capitol, currently occupied by Republicans, that have a legitimate shot of being won by Democrats. I’ve never met Roy Barnes or Carol Porter. I’m sure they’re all good people outside of the political arena. So I definitely don’t mean to disparage either of them. And I welcome the chance for them to prove me wrong on this:

The chances of either of them winning their respective elections this year are one out of a million.

But Jace, Republicans are disgruntled with Casey Cagle. They might sit this one out or vote for Porter.” Republicans are always disgruntled with someone. And they always have some sort of empty threat. One time, it was to walk out on Saxby Chambliss at the state convention. Never happened. Or to boo Johnny Isakson. Never happened. Back in 2006, a lot of Ralph Reed supporters said that they would “never vote for Cagle after the campaign he ran” against Reed. Never happened. For all of the outrage I’m told Republicans carry, none of it ever amounts to anything. In the end (and you can say this with ANY political party) when TheMan starts waving the bloody flag, the troops fall in line.

Republican turnout at the polls for the primary absolutely trounced Democratic turnout. Say what you want about the reasons why, but the numbers are what they are. Republican turnout around the country is huge. Even the President’s Press Secretary admits that the Democrats will probably lose the house and possibly the Senate. And we think that Georgia is going to somehow be different? With Jim Marshall and John Barrow as vulnerable as they have ever been, in a year where Republicans are on a mission to derail the Obama presidency by controlling congress, do we really think that Georgia is not going to mirror the country?

But Jace, it’s anti-incumbent not pro-Republican.” Ok, well, how many incumbents in Georgia lost their primaries? Two? I know of John Wiles, but wasn’t their one more? Two. How many GOP house/senate seats under the Gold Dome are legitimately up for grabs by the Democrats? I would be confident in saying, “zero.” Outside of the national political scene, this whole anti-incumbent thing doesn’t really hold water. Even nationally, when you think about it, not that many incumbents lost. More than usual, which feeds the whole “anti-incumbent” craze, but overall it wasn’t that many. This year is an anti-Democrat year, or as some would call it, a Republican year. Plain and simple.

Georgia is a Republican state. It was trending that way when Roy first got elected, and its only become more solidly Republican ever since. Every election year since Roy first got elected, at least one Democratic-controlled statewide office has come under GOP control. Meanwhile, the Republican held statewide offices haven’t changed hands. All anecdotal evidence aside, this year is not looking good for state/national Democrats. Sorry Roy/Carol, but only if this “ethics stuff” with Deal and Cagle ends in criminal charges do you win your respective races.

Roy/Carol: You’re saying like one out of a hundred?
Jace: I’d say more like one out of a million.

74 comments

  1. polisavvy says:

    Very true about Republican turnout. Karl Rove showed that the numbers definitely favored the Republicans in Georgia by approximately 100,000 votes. That’s significant and very telling of what’s coming in November, in my opinion.

  2. fishtail says:

    Dad-gone it Jace!..I was so looking forward to Roy Barnes getting back into the Governor’s office and exposing all Sonny’s crooked deals. That would have been fun, but I guess we will never know the truth now.

  3. Velasco says:

    Save Erick, Chris Farris, Preston Smith and a handful of PP bloggers, I’ve yet to see the “Republicans that are disgruntled with Casey Cagle.”

    It’s just the same dozen folks in an echo chamber saying, “there just has to be something bad on him”.

  4. Max Power says:

    As I’ve said before, despite the fact that the GOP has ran the state into the ditch and set it on fire the masses will still turn out and vote overwhelmingly for anyone with an R next to their name.

    • Gerald says:

      If this is true, then it makes the residents of “the other Georgia” no better than the residents of the city of Atlanta. As a matter of fact, it makes them worse, as Mary Norwood actually did come within a crucial stumble in the closing days of the race from becoming Atlanta mayor.

  5. Gerald says:

    First of all, if Georgia simply elects Republicans with no regard for their qualifications, competence or character, that does not speak well of Georgians, does it? It makes Georgia’s majority population no different from, say, voters in Detroit. Since Georgia Democrats (on a statewide level at least) mostly lacks the moonbat far left that you see in other states, Georgia voters should select the most capable, competent, honest and qualified person instead of merely voting on party.

    Second, as I stated in one of my earlier comments, Georgia is a Republican state, but don’t mistake it for Lynn Westmoreland’s congressional district. A good Democratic candidate can certainly beat a bad GOP candidate. We already know that Roy Barnes is a good Democratic candidate. Whether Deal is a good GOP candidate remains to be seen. I will say that after a long GOP primary against mostly pedestrian opposition, if the best Deal’s supporters can do is play the “he’s a Republican in a Republican state!” card and talk about Perdue’s approval ratings instead of talking about Deal’s ideas and accomplishments, that’s not a good sign. If Deal thinks that he can coast into the governor’s office because of his political party, he is wrong. Washington D.C. is a mess, but so is this state. If Deal can’t convince voters that he has ideas to fix the mess that is Georgia, he will lose.

    Also, if you don’t believe that Deal has a plan to move this state forward, you shouldn’t be supporting him. Voting for the party instead of the person is no more admirable when you do it than it is when the majority citizens of Atlanta do it, or when the “yellow dog” segregationists who ran the Democratic party before the liberals took over did it.

    • Jace Walden says:

      Dude, I’m not a Republican and I wouldn’t mind if Roy Barnes won. I’m simply trying to add a little historical perspective to all of this crap.

      • Gerald says:

        The history of the world did not begin in 2002 when Perdue was elected. Also, this “history” ignores that Georgia Democrats since 2002 have been snakebitten with bad candidates (Jim Martin, Denise Majette, Mark Taylor) and worse luck. Look, Georgia isn’t a GOP stronghold like Utah or South Carolina. It isn’t that much different from Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee, all of whom have elected moderate white Democrats as governor or U.S. Senator in recent years. If Deal thinks that he can coast in because he is a GOPer and Obama is president, Barnes will batter him on issues and ethics and tie him to Perdue and he will lose. The state was trending Republican in 1998 when Barnes beat a better known Guy Millner, remember? Now it is true … Mitch Skandalakis took down the Millner ticket that year. However, Barnes can use the ethics issues with Deal AND Cagle to his advantage just as he did with Skandalakis.

        Deal is the favorite, but favorites don’t always win. That’s my only point.

        • Jace Walden says:

          Dude,

          Trends change man. The History of the World definitely didn’t start in 2002, but the History of Republican domination of this state had just begun. You guys can say what you want, but it ain’t changing anytime soon.

          • Gerald says:

            “Trends change man.”

            In Georgia, one trend that tends not to change is the fact that bad candidates who run bad campaigns tend to lose. I am still waiting for evidence that Deal is a good candidate who will run a good campaign. Any time you are willing to make the case that Deal is a good candidate who will run a good campaign, feel free to make it. By the way, I am not a Democrat. After Bill Clinton, never again!

            • Jace Walden says:

              Gerald, get it through your thick skull, man: I AM NOT A DEAL SUPPORTER.

              I AM NOT A DEAL SUPPORTER.

              I have no interest in proving to you that he can/will/is capable of running a good campaign. I could care less if he does.

              I am simply trying to call a spade a spade. This is a solid Redstate that is getting even more red, in an election year where the country can’t stand the color blue. Roy is better than Deal. More qualified and more experienced. But he won’t win.

              And that is a fact.

      • drjay says:

        as far as “historical perspective” goes ga has had exactly one gop guv since the 1870’s, i would agree advantage deal, but it more like 60/40 than 1000000/1

    • Jace Walden says:

      As a matter of fact, I would prefer a divided Government with Roy in charge. It just ain’t happening though.

      • B Balz says:

        Like on the divided gov’t part. People keep mentioning how unfair redistricting would be under Roy. To some, redistricting is the big ‘enchilada’.

        I know about the former being generally bad, and don’t know how bad Roy would be on the latter. Historical perspective showed Roy favored Dems, but is not an indicator of future performance.

        I generally do not like the legislature and executive branch to be the same Party.

        • Gerald says:

          What Roy Barnes did with redistricting was cravenly immoral, unjustifiable and unforgivable. I would never vote for Barnes for any office based on what he did in redistricting. Sadly, however, most voters seem to have forgotten what he did.

          • Provocateur says:

            Actually, Gerald, keep in mind that we have a lot of newbie voters this cycle that are clueless on a lot of things.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          I agree, though I think an even smaller split is good, say one house of the General Assembly (not to be confused with even the suggestion that that’s in the foreseeable future).

    • Jace Walden says:

      And one more thing.

      Whether you like it or not (I personally hate it), party identity is the #1 factor in this state in regards to determing who to vote for, even more so in down-ballot races like Lt. Governor.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      I think this was more of a critique of GA (R)epublican voters, than a ‘side-taking’, for lack of a better phrase.

      I went to a Tea Party in Warner Robins in 2008. Granted that I didn’t stay long, but I saw a lot of criticism of Bush and the incumbent GOP gang for the initial round of bailouts. Mostly a lot of petition signing for Saxby and Isakson to vote against future bailouts (which they didn’t heed); It made me smile, but I never really got my hopes up.

      Jace is right. Anger never translates into action whenever GOP hard-core-ists throw out the ultimate trump cards:

      “But those turdy Democrats are gonna win if you don’t support our turd of a nominee.” “We can’t swap out Saxby or Isakson for someone else, or else that new candidate might be weak, and then those l33t hax0r Demokrats are gonna winnnnnnnn! ZOMG! Booga booga booga! They’re gonna git ya!”

      Maybe there were a few who were actually upset enough to do something about it. They voted for the unheard of libertarian Allen Buckley, mostly in protest.

      But Saxby is still there. Isakson will still be there. The GOP voters will still be “angry.”

      • Joshua Morris says:

        Thank state Republican Party organizations, who help incumbents protect themselves against primary challenges.

            • Doug Grammer says:

              I was thinking of Georgia. I can’t help what happens in other states. I think Toomey will win. I’m not sure about the others.

          • Joshua Morris says:

            Doug, I often look back to an April 2007 event in Gainesville, in which Chairman Everhart emphatically stated that “we must re-elect Saxby Chambliss.” I cringed when she said that, partly in disbelief.

            I don’t claim to have any ‘inside’ information on Party activities, but I think it’s clear that the Party assists incumbents in raising cash and building rapport long before possible Republican challengers have the opportunity to consider a primary battle.

            I would much prefer a philosophy from the State Party of ‘we must elect a strong, principled conservative’ to the ‘re-elect the incumbent’ mentality. I know the Party wants to minimize primary battles to save money, but GOP voters are limited in their choices due to this mentality.

            • Doug Grammer says:

              I think she said that under the correct assumption that no one would challenge him in the primary. Had a candidate have already announced their intention to run against him, I doubt that statement would have been made.

              • Joshua Morris says:

                Bear in mind that April 2007 was a full year before qualifying for the race. There was plenty of time yet for a potential challenger to announce. Furthermore, I’m sure it wasn’t the first time she shared that sentiment.

                To me, it just demonstrates a philosophy that is exclusionary against non-incumbents. In the best interest of the People, I believe this should change.

                • Doug Grammer says:

                  If anyone was scared off of running because of what Sue said in Gainesville, they have no business in the US Senate. Had someone qualified and the state party given money to Sen. Chambliss, your statement would have merit and I would agree with you.

  6. greencracker says:

    Every reporter & Dem operative in the state is going to be laser-focused on Deal & Cagle in the next few months. IFF there is anything, I think it’ll come out.

  7. Gerald says:

    By the way, whatever happened to Melvin Everson? How did he lose 70% to 30%? I would sure like to see some commentary on that.

  8. I don’t really care to see any of our nominees win to be honest. I wouldn’t hire any of them to run a corner store. But I do think the rumors of the GOP’s demise in Georgia have been greatly exaggerated. Georgia still a very red state and voters lack the capacity to process much beyond what can be put on a bumper sticker. (I) and (R) will do more to pull votes than all the TV, mail, and earned media you can generate.

    There are some ingredients for a Democrat perfect storm. Thurmond, Barnes, Porter, Hodges are all very credible candidates and the GOP ticket looks like a casting call for “Dinner for Schmucks” But it will take a lot to bring those ingredients together. Longs odds of it actually happening.

    • Gerald says:

      No rumors of the GOP demise. The GOP is favored, heavily actually. And in some races (i.e. Thurmond-Isakson) the Democrats have no shot. But the GOP can blow it if they misplay the ethics issue and fail to propose an agenda for this state.

      • Jace Walden says:

        Gerald WTF???

        If that’s your position, then why are you arguing with me in the thread above? I’m saying the exact same thing!

  9. Ron Daniels says:

    See Lester Maddox, Ellis Arnall, and Bo Calloway Election. At a time when Republicans had no chance in this State, one almost made it. And had it not been for dang-blasted loyalty oaths, one would have. We’ve had three people claim to be Governor at once, a Governor who was Governor and Senator, and a slew of another anomalies. Is something possible – sure; probable not. I’m still waiting on someone to confirm whether or not Porter likes Alf – I seriously want to know.

    That aside, strange is par for the course sometimes in this State and certainly this cycle when both main parties candidates fall outside of what the “typical” Governor of Georgia conforms to. They’ve beaten the odds already to some degree.

    Can Barnes and Porter win? Sure. Will they both win? Unlikely. But politics is a game of chance to begin with. If Barnes and Porter have no reasonable chance whatsoever, why don’t we just forgo the next few months – shut the whole operation down and save everyone some tax money that could be pumped back into the budget?

    “Sorry, Jace, I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought. “

    • Jace Walden says:

      If Barnes and Porter have no reasonable chance whatsoever, why don’t we just forgo the next few months – shut the whole operation down and save everyone some tax money that could be pumped back into the budget?

      Really, Ronnie? You’re resorting to the “well let’s just cancel the election if it doesn’ matter” argument? REALLY? Aren’t you a lawyer, or at least close to being one?

      That is the most un-legit argument out of the whole bunch. Sure, they could win….BOTH could win. I actually conceded that point, so I’m not sure who you’re trying to convince.

      My point is, it’s an extreme uphill battle for both of them. And they have to have, as BC said, a perfect storm of stuff happen. Sometimes on this site, we front-pagers get so caught up in the what-ifs, that we never address the “probably will”.

      • Ron Daniels says:

        If that’s your stance then I really don’t see what is really irking you with someone saying they have a chance.

        Possible – yes. Probable – no.

        But what’s the point of lecturing everyone if we are all just playing theory ball anyway? Do we need to attach disclaimer to all the posts that mention possibilities indicating the remote-ness or un-remoteness of their likelihood?

        I’d say Barnes has a better chance at being Governor than John Monds. I’d say Porter has a better chance at being Lt. Governor than some past candidates. Does that matter at all? They are credible challengers. Barnes has better odds than a million to one as of right now, just because Deal hasn’t defined himself for the general election yet. PAC money will roll in and change that I’m sure.

        So what is your point if we shouldn’t dismiss Barnes and Porter as credible threats? I’d hazard to say right now that Casey Cagle would win – he could have back problems. A candidate could die, that has happened after all, we could sit here all day and run through “Could happen” and “Might happen” – it is likely that Cagle wins and that Deal wins.

        This won’t be a cakewalk for anyone. That’s what I’m trying to convince you of. I really don’t have a point outside of that – besides the fact that Ghostbusters is a better movie than Dumb and Dumber. =)

        • Jace Walden says:

          It will be a cakewalk, Ronald. It will.

          Not saying that there isn’t some one in a million back problem or sweetheart deal which will result in criminal charges. But that’s what it is, a million to one.

          But this is gonna be a cakewalk for Republicans.

    • redrock says:

      Ron:

      I was joking about ALF yesterday. I seriously doubt Carol Porter is a lover of all things ALF like yourself.

  10. Joshua Morris says:

    “One time, it was to walk out on Saxby Chambliss at the state convention. Never happened. Or to boo Johnny Isakson. Never happened.”

    Funny you mention that. I remember very well sitting in the back forty at a GOP state convention in Gwinnett and seeing Saxby get booed for mentioning his support of an amnesty program for illegal laborers. Johnny hasn’t got the guts to get up in front of a GOP crowd and say something dumb like that.

    Republicans are fairly well behaved at official events, unless you say something that clearly rubs them the wrong way.

    • Jace Walden says:

      Yeah, you’re right. I do remember reading that Saxby got booed. But nothing close to the “walk out” that everyone was allegedly fired up to conduct at the state convention. Still, a lot of empty threats that never amounted to anything.

  11. bowersville says:

    When White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs answers a specific question in a precise measured way about the GaGOP nominee for Governor the day after the primary runoff something’s cooking.

    IMHO, just like professional athletes looking ahead at the end zone instead of concentrating on catching the pass, the ball can be dropped.

    It’s foolish to discount anyone, even Roy Barnes in red Georgia..

    • Gerald says:

      The national Democratic party wants the Georgia governorship back in the worst way. To them, it would represent the only bit of great news on what is otherwise going to be a horrible evening. The national Democratic Party will be heavily involved behind the scenes, and Barnes will not lack money, volunteers or whatever else he needs.

    • B Balz says:

      I agree, the tea leaves have not yet aligned. To me, we can already see the rhetoric on the wall.

      Unless I am missing something, the OCE report, at worst, may show a violation of House rules and not even a misdemeanor. Not saying it is right, or any of that, just not illegal.

      We know Roy was a top down administrator, and with a $1Bn hole in the budget, is that what we want? Education is the biggest budget area, thus, will be cut AGAIN, even harder.

  12. Quaker says:

    When Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 he predicted that the Democratic Party had lost the South for 50 years. It’s been 46 years. Of course, the old Southern Democratic party was more like a third party. Unlike their Republican successors, they ran the state without being bound to the ideology of the national party – in other words, they were a party by and for Georgians. Much of the legislation introduced in the General Assembly since the Republican take-over has been “cookie cutter” bills drafted by national Republican ideologues and roughly shaped to fit (or sometimes not) Georgia’s constitution.

    • Harry says:

      “Much of the legislation introduced in the General Assembly since the Republican take-over has been “cookie cutter” bills drafted by national Republican ideologues and roughly shaped to fit (or sometimes not) Georgia’s constitution.”

      Those “cookie cutter” bills were long overdue, but unfortunately the GOP legislators haven’t done much else to reduce and reform state government.

  13. Harry says:

    The above question was supposed to be directed at the discussion about why Melvin Everson lost the labor commissioner nomination.

    • drjay says:

      i’m not sure, but honestly i’d be shocked if more the 4 in 10 primary voters knew he was black…maybe it was different in metro but there was no radio or t.v for that race, everson showed up at several gop events, but those tend to attract the same few dozen activists that always populate those events, and those folks probably knew who everson was already…having said that, i too would be curious to find find a way to assess the possibility

      • drjay says:

        for what its worth ,the drop off from the guv race to the labor race was about 150000 voters and everson got trounced in every county, he did not win a single one…

  14. janna says:

    Good essay Jace but it assumes the average voter is as turned in and research-oriented as the average PeachPundit poster. They aren’t. The Gov race is going to boil down to who says the right things on TV the most often. People have short memories and most won’t be able to tell you anything that Barnes did as governor other than he came up with a gawd awful flag. Except for hard core flaggers, that’s pretty much a non-issue now.

    Barnes made a great tactical move by being in Valdosta when Obama was in ATL. People in my neck of the woods are still talking about it with much fondness. As long as Roy continues to distance himself from Obama and keeps saying the right things on TV, he has a very good chance.

  15. fishtail says:

    A Handel insider is saying that Sonny Perdue brokered the deal for Karen Handel to concede the election to Nathan Deal. She will also campaign for Deal. In return, Nathan made a promise to name Handel as the DOT Commissioner. That would set Sonny up for his new gig representing CINTRA, the Spanish toll road developer that he will be working for beginning in January.

    • Harry says:

      This rumor actually increases my chance of voting Deal. Karen Handel would be dynamite as DOT Commissioner. She would blow that place wide apart.

      • fishtail says:

        If true, what’s the difference in what Sonny/Deal/Handel are up to and what Rod Blagolevich is on trial for right now?

        • B Balz says:

          Blago is alleged to try to sell the seat. Helping your allies and being friendly is different.

          I agree with Harry.

    • Provocateur says:

      Fishtail, you just keep on spinning yarns. Are you ever going to tire of it?

      Yesterday it was the claim that Deal was going to pay-off Dan McLagan and Rob Simms. Now it’s appoint Handel as DOT commissioner.

      What will tomorrow’s claim from you be?

  16. Scott65 says:

    I can only speak for myself…I voted for Cagle, not a chance in hell now. Carol Porter is a charismatic candidate, and I wouldn’t write her off by any means. Cagle is about to be the beneficiary of some really bad press fueled by $$$ coming from outside the state. Deal is a birther, a crook, and a liar. If the ‘R’ is more important to you then the substance of the candidate …go for it. You’ll get what you deserve if he wins

  17. TPNoGa says:

    Gotta be honest, I am more excited about Scott vs. Marshall.

    At this point, I am taking a break from the Governor’s race. After Tuesday’s disappointment (for me), I need to step back and relax for awhile.

    • TPNoGa says:

      Maybe I’ll vote for Deal, maybe Barnes or maybe even Monds. Time will tell. I’ll worry about it later.

  18. Progressive Dem says:

    Deal and Cagle have home field advatage. Barnes and Porter will have a more respectable chance than any past statewide Democratic candidates since Perdue won, but more Georgians self identify with the GOP. The Democrats can win if they run error free campaigns (Deal and Cagle are much more likely to make a gaffe), if they focus on current conditions that worsened under GOP leadership (transportation, education and economic development) and if the ethics problems continue to be issues in the fall(requires outside intervention from OCE or media).

  19. Georgia Judge says:

    Jace,
    This was a good post and I think its dead on.The overarching fact is that Georgia is not a red state its a VERY RED STATE,and it will prove to be more RED after November.There is a much better chance that R’s will run the table statewide than lose a statewide race.Some of you may want to create a crisis,but its just not there.Its all in the numbers and the numbers are staggering if you are a Dem and looking at a path to victory.

    Roy is Roy and he is in a box,run away from Obama and lose the African American vote,run with Obama and he is toast with whats left of moderate Dems..he looses by 20 points.

    Carol Porter..give me a break this whole two Porters running statewide gimmick is a joke.The fact that she is the Dem Candidate proves two things the D’s have a very short bench, and Thurmond is much smarter than her because he knew better.The more powerful Dems arent even supporting her.She loose by 20 points

    The toughest statewide race will probably be the Attorney General race,but I think Olens pulls it out.

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