Scott within striking distance of Marshall?

This according to an internal poll obtained by the AJC:

State Rep. Austin Scott is closing in on incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall in Georgia’s 8th congressional district, a poll conducted for Scott’s campaign shows.

The poll shows Marshall leading Scott 44 percent to 39 percent, within the margin of error of 5.7 percentage points.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the poll Tuesday. It was conducted in late July by American Viewpoint, a Virginia-based company that also polls for incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. As it’s an internal campaign poll, the results should be used as a basis for discussion only.



  1. Goldwater Conservative says:

    Those are two very important points, griftdrift.

    How is it that Scott has only raised $250k? I thought he was a bigger deal than that.

    Marshall has nearly $1mil…not to mention the DCCC has the 8th earmarked for as much as another $1mil in independent expenditures.

    I suspect Scott may be attempting to run an insurgency, but as we have seen since 2004 it is not the most effective strategy in non-urban districts.

    Has anybody crunched the numbers on the performance of the top-of-ticket races in the 8th from the primary election?

    • polisavvy says:

      Though this was an internal poll, it is quite significant. When a poll was taken at about this same time of year in 2006, Collins was trailing by double digits. If you will recall, the final was Marshall 50.5% to Collins 49.5%. There is still 87 days to go. And, as we all know, that’s an eternity in politics. Marshall is beatable.

      Another thing of importance and in response to your comment about the money raised by Scott. He raised this money in a span of eleven weeks. He did not transfer any money from his Gubernatorial account. He raised this money the old fashion way — fund raising. Some people have given maxed contributions; however, the vast majority of his money has come from small donations. Further, he out raised Marshall during the last reporting. Also, don’t forget that some of Marshall’s million is probably from his last campaign.

      As far as the insurgency theory you have developed, I believe that he is running on the issues PERIOD. He’s running on an out of touch Congress who is borrowing money hand over fist and ruining the future of our grandchildren. You can call it an insurgency — I call it a very real and common sense approach to appeal to people who are sick and tired of the way things are going now.

      As for the DCCC and it’s money, should this trend continue, and Austin Scott begins to close the gap even more, there is a real possibility that the NRCC could throw money Austin’s way. The closer the numbers, the more attention Austin will attract.

      • maryalice says:

        Thank you Polisavvy!! As always, the truth is the best answer and you made the most important points in your rebuttal. Funny how some folks just don’t research before they respond.
        Thanks again and thank you Jason for your post.

        • Goldwater Conservative says:

          I called it an insurgency for a number of reasons. I have always been impressed with Austin Scott, he is a very talented politician and that is why I was surprised at the low figure he posted. I expect he may have been wanting to keep expectations low and have a powerful 3rd quarter to catch Marshall and the Dems off-gaurd going into the last weeks before the election. Also, he can’t transfer money from his gubernatorial account.

          I really could care less about the poll. The 8th is a swing district of sorts and I expect both campaigns have their own polling results from their own pollsters showing that the race can be very close. Also, nobody runs on just issues. People are a little too smart to believe a freshman congressman can go to DC and make it “in-touch” with the people. All that matters is that the Congressman from the 8th district is in touch with the people of the 8th district. We call it pork spending.

          Mary alice, stop jumping to conclusions about who researches what.

          All-in-all, it doesn’t really matter where Marshall’s money comes from or how much of it was raised last cycle. What matters is how much each campaign has to spend.

          I am sure the NRCC will consider throwing money Scott’s way…it will not be anything like the DCCC for Scott though. The NRCC does not have a whole lot of money and they are already spreading themselves very thin.

          I agree that this will be a close race. It is my opinion that Scott needs to focus more on local issues, but that is not the GOP strategy this year and it is not necessarily helpful for republican challengers in close races. Fact remains that Marshall is well know, well-liked and has voted with the district on every major issue and has brought millions in pork to the district and has significantly more campaign money than Scott.

          If it gets close enough I may even give money to Scott. I have business interests in Macon and it is important that I stay in that congressman’s rolodex…regardless of who it is and what party they are from.

          • polisavvy says:

            Loved your comment about the Rolodex. Pretty funny! 🙂 I really do think that Austin is going to surprise a lot of people. I guess we’ll just have to wait another 87 days and find out, right? As an aside, I’m sure he’d take money from you any day you wanted to send it his way.

            • Goldwater Conservative says:

              What kind of candidate would turn down money?

              I wasn’t joking about possibly donating to Scott though.

              There is a big thing I am certain the PP readers haven’t figured out about me and that is that I am something of a political nihilist (my fancy way of saying I am a political capitalist). I could care less about issues…access is what is important. Obviously there are some lost causes. Paul Broun, for example, is a retard and I do not trust him to be intelligent in Congress. After the past few years, all things considered, who could?

              You are right. We have 87 days to see who will win…a lot can happen.

              My own examination of the climate indicates Marshall will win reelection. If that assessment changes I will cover my bases with Scott, no big deal. I only wish he took on some primary debt so I could donate more than 2400…not to mention the fact that paying off candidate debts is a good way to stay in their good graces.

              • polisavvy says:

                Loved your comment about Broun! Agree with you on that one. You’re rather comical about your whole “cover my bases” attitude. Let’s keep in touch about this one and see what it’s looking like around the middle of September. I’m sure he’d take money off your hands now if you are just dying to spend some. 😉

              • analogkid says:


                You’ve espoused your political nihilism before, and while I think most people on here find it objectionable for being “anti-democratic,” it indicates (at least to me) a pragmatic acceptance of the findings in Freakonomics; that is, that the winner of any given election most frequently has the largest warchest because he or she is perceived to be the most likely to win, not that elections are “bought.” I am curious to know if you’ve read the book and if you disagree with any of their findings on that issue. Thanks.

    • SFCWallace says:

      In the 2008 Primary, Dems out number Reps 2-1 in Bibb Co. This year Reps out numbered Dems by 10%. In Houston Reps beat Dems 4-1. Before anyone goes ape on me only looking at Bibb and Houston, I know there are more counties in the district but these are the 2 largest and I think the only 2 “whole” counties in the district. The problem with the 8th is not Reps turning out, it’s Reps voting for Marshall. McCain won the District by 10%, but so did Marshall. 33% of Bibb county McCain votes went to Marshall as did 25% of Houston Co. ones. I have Scott winning Houston 53%-47%, and losing Bibb45%-50%, and winning the District 54%-46%…realizing that my statistical model is streatched across four and a half sticky notes.

    • Big Mack says:

      I have watched him with a great deal of interest for a long time. He has had significant opposition during his political career and Tift county is by no means a lock solid Republican county like Lee or Laurens. He has never lost an election. I think that Jim Marshall will regret paying the filing fee because Houston county is solidly behind Austin. Houston is the county that beat the General in the last election, even though he lived there.

    • Harry says:

      The KKK, firehose, and police dog commercials may air, but will they produce turnout for a white man’s re-election? Just wondering.

      • griftdrift says:

        Please cite examples. I travel frequently in the 8th and in 2008 the only radio commercials I heard from Jim Marshall was the ones citing Rush Limbaugh.

        Try living in the real world Harry.

        • Harry says:

          I’m not saying they are airing now, but they may air by some group on the weekend before the election, and the Marshall campaign may retain plausible deniability.

          • Pretty believable for those of us who remember Marshall going negative on Rick Goddard just before the November election in ’08. I think Marshall’s campaign even claimed the ads that accused Goddard of favoring illegal immigration. Not exactly truthful stuff.

            • B Balz says:

              Going to be difficult to mount a credible negative campaign against Rep. Scott, unless it is done ‘sotto voce’.

              • polisavvy says:

                So, I guess it’s not done very quietly if Marshall is trying to mount a campaign against Scott by asking for Scott’s mom’s divorce papers from open records, huh?

                • Doug Grammer says:

                  Congressman Marshall is hurting himself with that move. It will get messy…. sort of like digging up a cactus with your bare hands to throw at your opponent and hoping you hit him.

                  • polisavvy says:

                    And hurt him it should. What’s the point in that? I’m just still scratching my head over the relevance of the divorce papers and Scott’s political campaign. I heard Austin Scott say that Marshall had requested those documents and, at the time, thought WTH does that have to do with the price of eggs? Any idea as to the purpose?

                    • griftdrift says:

                      My guess would either be oppo research or misdirection. Keeping your opponent off balance. It’s cheap, easy and no exactly honorable. Then again, this is politics.

                    • polisavvy says:

                      I don’t think it’s necessarily going to put Austin Scott off balance — if anything it could arouse his competitive spirit. It is a very cheap (and by that I mean tacky) thing to do. And, it most definitely is not very honorable. You know grift, this is the part of politics that bothers me the most. If you can’t find a way to bring down the candidate, then go after his mom (or some other family member).

                • B Balz says:

                  You made my point. There is no nice way to beat Rep. Scott, he is a credible, intelligent, man with impeccable ethics.

                  And he took on an Army Ranger. So guess what–there will be some stuff going on, maybe a whisper campaign. No, it is not nice, it is tacky, and that’s all there is to it. And I am not condoning it, justifying it, or placing any sort of value judgment on these tactics. People play to win, and that means bare knuckles.

                  • BB,

                    Marshall’s staff (note Jim doesn’t have the stomach for it personally) has already called Austin a “career politician”. Ironic in that in a single MONTH as a US Congressman, Marshall makes almost as much as Scott does as a part-time Georgia legislator in a full YEAR. And, Scott has a real job and owns a real business while Marshall is a full-time politician.

                    So, I’m afraid Marshall is already testing the waters of negativity.

                    • polisavvy says:

                      And, if things such as “career politician” and irrelevant open records requests are all Marshall (or his staff) can put out there, well, good luck with that one.

    • polisavvy says:

      It IS all about common sense. If you don’t have it, you don’t spend it (much less borrow the future of our grandchildren — some already born, others not even thought of just yet). I have always felt that if we don’t learn from history, it will repeat itself. Apparently no one has learned a thing. I believe Austin has a real common sense approach to the economic issues facing this county. The issues which appear to be number one in the minds of most Americans.

      • Goldwater Conservative says:

        That being said, polisavvy, Marshall has given no indication that he doesn’t get it either.

        “Most Americans” do not matter. Only those that can vote in the 8th matter as far as this race is concerned.

        That actually goes for the rest of the US as well. Common Sense in America is reelection. The great Republican Principle. I elect my representative in Colorado. You elect yours in GA. So on and so forth.

        To advocate common sense economic solutions is to advocate the state planning of the economy. That is not how things work here in the US. It makes sense to encourage the government to have a hand in the economy as far as regulating the various sectors of the economy as well as updating regulatory infrastructures.

  2. polisavvy says:

    Are you saying that the people of the 8th aren’t “Most Americans?” I live in the 8th and I certainly think that I think like “Most Americans” when it comes to the free spending going on all around us. As far as your whole common sense means reelection, well that totally escapes me. Care to explain so I understand exactly where you’re heading with this one? Thanks, GC.

    • polisavvy says:

      Not yet. It’s coming though. They are just going to be running ads against Marshall. Austin’s campaign will benefit from the ads; but, that’s as far as the NRCC’s involvement has gotten at this point. I really am looking for the NRCC to interject itself big time in the 8th soon.

  3. EverythingZenX21 says:

    It looks to me that Mike Keown has a better shot at ousting Sanford Bishop than Austin has in replacing Marshall. With the recent cap and trade votes, the Bush tax-cuts expiring, and the health care vote – people in the 2nd CD are MAD. Polling shows that with 53% name recognition vs. 95% name recognition, Keown is only 6 points behind as well. People don’t have to know how to pronounce Keown’s name, they just know they don’t want more of the same.

  4. slyram says:

    Harry, these two aren’t run of the mill White guys. Marshall did well as mayor in Macon but that was a while ago. Middle Georgia wants to keep a military guy around because that helps keep the air force base off the BRAC list. On the other hand, Marshall’s relationship (or lack there of) with the White House could be a double edge sword.

    Austin is a bright young man who navigated the primary season without coming across as bitter as some GOPers. He seems committed to winning by pointing out the facts on policy rather than frightening people—the national debt is actually scary. The Handel-Deal race tells us that any campaign can come down to a few votes. That few might be diehard Obama supporters who vote none of the above because Marshall would repeal the healthcare reform changes. It could be people in the southern part of the district who like their guy like the people in Macon like Marshall.

    I think the balance could be people who will watch Barrow and Bishop battle hard and think Marshall isn’t helping his fellow Blue Dogs. Mrs. Regina Thomas is still exploring her write-in options and I understand her. Newt, Delay and Armey never let members pick and choose votes so why should the Democrats. If the 8th is a red seat, let it go and give that DNC money to candidates who fought the good fight for the team. If President Obama says we need Marshall, he continues to get our community. If not, all bets or off and the electorate needs to be “informed.”

    • macho says:

      Good points. I think Marshall’s main selling point is protecting the base from BRAC. He can give that perception, although he probably carries little weight with the Dem caucus and the Prez, due to occasionally bucking the party. He remains in a permanent box.

    • polisavvy says:

      Isn’t Robins AFB still the main U.S. operating base for the E8 Joint STARS? Also, isn’t it expected that Robins AFB is posed to become a mega-base in the 21st century? I think that Austin Scott is fully aware of the importance of Robins and its future. He is quite capable of protecting the interests of that air base and will be very vocal in the need for Robins to become a mega-base.

        • polisavvy says:

          Exactly. It’s more about building up RAFB to become a mega-base. You are correct, Robins AFB will go nowhere. Scott realizes this and the importance of making sure it does continue to grow.

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