Does Unity Begin Today for the Georgia GOP?

July 23, 2014 10:26 am

by Tim Darnell · 43 comments

That seems to be the message, as Gov. Nathan Deal, Senate nominee David Perdue and Georgia GOP chairman John Padgett are holding a media event at 11 am Wednesday.

The event is being held at the party’s state headquarters in Buckhead.

Analysis: Party leaders know they need to unify the GOP base if Perdue has a chance of defeating Michelle Nunn in November. As expected, the GOP senate runoff was brutal and bloody, as is virtually every high-profile, high-stakes runoff. The 2006 Democratic gubernatorial race between Mark Taylor and Cathy Cox resulted in the destruction of two political careers and a cakewalk for Sonny Perdue’s re-election.

General consensus among Republicans is that Perdue has some fences to mend and wounds to heal, if he’s going to attract the conservative, Kingston/Handel constituencies. Those voters have to be enthused enough to go vote for him in November. If they don’t, Perdue faces the prospect of a loss exactly like the one Mitt Romney endured: enough Republican votes out there to win, but not enough being cast.

And there’s another candidate in the race, Libertarian Amanda Swafford. Peach Pundit contributor Jason Pye told me last night on Newsradio 106.7 that if Swafford siphons enough conservative votes from Perdue, we’re looking at a runoff, in which Georgia voters will hold the fate of the U.S. Senate in their hands.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Choosy Mothers Choose Jiff July 23, 2014 at 10:33 am

You thought there was gloom here when McCain and Romney lost?

Wait until you get a rising star D in the Senate. She is so clean she could be POTUS in 8 years.

Or a liberal SCOTUS judge? Bwahhahaa…

Like 2008 and 2012 you are going to look back in 5 years and still be puzzled as to how you lost control of the country.

Next time, try a more secular approach to solving problems. Seems to work better, imho

Bobloblaw July 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

You realize she is polling in the mid 40s which is what Dems normally get in GA. This means that the undecideds are people who almost always vote GOP…always. If it goes to a runoff, well Perdue wins by 10., bot the 16 Saxby won, but still comfortable.

Bobloblaw July 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

Let’s also remember something else. Not a single poll showed Perdue leading going into the runoff. He won despite zero endorsements from the party. My prediction is he will over perform again.

Chris Huttman July 23, 2014 at 11:29 am

Not a single poll *you* saw.

Bobloblaw July 23, 2014 at 11:40 am

usually published polls are somewhat accurate. They may not get the margin right, but they pick the winner 95% of the time.

Chris Huttman July 23, 2014 at 11:58 am

At the very least the poll that Perdue released showing him leading was correct. I’d trust a campaign pollster over a media pollster anyday as the incentives for a campaign pollster to continue earning a living (having his candidates win) doesn’t exist for media pollsters.

Additionally, many polls showed a 1 or 2 point race. Though it’s very unlikely those were “correct” in the sense that they usually had Kingston on top and he likely had the momentum meaning he wouldn’t have been leading before electiond ay.

John Vestal July 23, 2014 at 11:37 am

Only one “f” in “Jif”. I even called the P&G helpline once 30+ years ago to ask why. Don’t recall the exact response except I know I felt it was unsatisfactory at the time.

There may have been alcohol involved (not with their response, though).

Bobloblaw July 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

“””Next time, try a more secular approach to solving problems. Seems to work better, imho””

That is a fundamental misunderstanding of what is happening in states like GA, NC and VA. These states are turning blue (VA is solid blue now) because of identity politics caused by more minorities. Minorities dont vote GOP regardless if the candidate is Sarah Palin or Susan Collins.

I can attest to that because I lived in a state where in the 1998 Govs race the GOP candidate was to the LEFT on social issues of the Dem candidate. Among whites, the voting patterns flipped. Lake Shore Liberals voted GOP, Downstate, the GOP stronghold voted Dem. Minority voters? They voted Dem. They didnt care about issues. They were loyal to the Dem party even if the Dem candidate had the social platform of Ronald Reagan.

In a state like IA, OH, PA, MI, WI where demographics arent changing rapidly, the party that wins state level races is the party that ran the better campaign, won the debates, had the better candidate etc. In states where Identity Politics rules like the new VA, that is irrelevant. They vote Dem period. Even if the Dem candidate makes Nathan Deal look like clean. That is why the GOP will win PA and MI in a presidential election again before they win VA.

Chris Huttman July 23, 2014 at 11:59 am

Well fortunately no candidate will make Nathan Deal look clean this year.

Bobloblaw July 23, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I think Pat Quinn is your new best friend.

The Last Democrat in Georgia July 23, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Virginia is not “solid blue”. The highly-populous DC suburbs of Northern Virginia are blue while most of the rest of the state is pretty darn conservative to the extent that the GOP holds a 68-32 supermajority in the VA House and a 20-19 advantage in the VA Senate.

Dave Bearse July 24, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Agree. Apparently even colors are shifting right and red. Dems swept the three VA statewide constitutional office because of a combination of corruption and an incompetent candidate selection process that put some crazy on the ballot.

View from Brookhaven July 23, 2014 at 10:33 am

Perdue would probably be wise to stay far away from Deal.
No guarantee that the ethics issues sink him, but why take the chance?

Will Durant July 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Expect any picture of Perdue and Deal together to appear in a PAC attack just like the Obama/Nunn ones or even the photoshopped Perdue/Obama ones done by Kingston’s PAC.

Party loyalty to him has been negligible to this point, why risk getting any of Deal’s dirt on him.

BuddyFreeze July 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

Interesting take on a possible runoff with Perdue and Nunn. If that happens, I’m wondering if it will be reminiscent of the Chambliss runoff in 08, where that race was nationalized to control the senate. Hate to say it, but that atmosphere would guarantee a Perdue victory for sure!

NorthGAGOP July 23, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Were Pennington, Barge, Kingston, Handel, Gingrey, Broun, Grayson, Gardner, and others invited to the “unity” event?

NoTeabagging July 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm

LOL. Handel is making the Kool-Aid. She is such a good “Party Girl”. Anything for the “Good of the Party”, especially endorsing opponents that character assassinated her.

Step right up losers. You may have been scum of the earth two days ago, but your party needs you. Suck it up, take a swig, and try to convince everyone all those nasty things you said about your opponents aren’t true anymore. That’s how the game is played.

NorthGAGOP July 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm

What a unity event.

In this election cycle the GOP had a very diverse set of candidates. Pennington, Barge, Gardner, Grayson, Handel, Bell and Johnson. You had insiders Pridemore, Shelton, and Dutton. Diverse in their age, race, gender and views.

You hold the unity event in a small dark conference room with Padgett, Deal and Perdue. All old white men. According to the AJC Kingston was invited (another old white man).

Where were YR Chair Meagan Hanson, CR Will Kremer or any of the diverse set of candidates mentioned above?

The GOP had a very diverse set of candidates, what is the party going to do to unify them?

Dave Bearse July 24, 2014 at 9:55 pm

With the exception of Gardner, who wasn’t even a major candidate, their positions are peas in a pod, so I’m not sure where the diverse comes in, or was that intended as deadpan humor?

Bridget Cantrell July 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm
notsplost July 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Substitute the opposites of two those three words, would that disqualify the candidate?

Mind you I don’t plan to vote for any of the three in those picture, just being ornery.

mjones July 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm

“conservative, Kingston/Handel constituencies”

I think it would be a mistake to classify the Kingston/Handel folks as the “conservatives” and the Perdue voters as the “moderates.” As Party junkies we tend to look inward and forget we represent a very small portion of the voting population. To be sure, Kingston took almost half the runoff vote, and work will need to be done to bring them into the fold, before the election. But, as much work will be required in reaching out to the establishment Republicans and Chamber of Commerce types that overwhelmingly backed Kingston.

Keep in mind, Georgia GOP runoff voters aren’t the most moderate people. Perdue actually outperformed in the contested Congressional primaries where the most conservative candidates won. Many of the same people voting for Loudermilk and Hice voted for Perdue. In the 1st Congressional District, where Kingston won, Buddy Carter, who was the establishment, chamber-backed, more moderate candidate, won.

My point is that Perdue did figure out how to connect with many conservative voters.

Dave Bearse July 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Work to bring them into the fold?

Who are you kidding? They’re already there. The only work would be to get some of them to the polls. It would probably be more productive to forget about a few percent to focus on a much bigger more mushy middle, except that’s now much more a chore given documentation of the campaign to date.

It remains to be seen when the GOP will breakaway from a cycle requires moving ever rightward to energize the base to turnout. I think the GaGOP is four years away.

General Jack D. Ripper July 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

“The 2002 Democratic gubernatorial race between Mark Taylor and Cathy Cox resulted in the destruction of two political careers and a cakewalk for Sonny Perdue into the governor’s mansion.”

I seem to remember 2002 being a contest between Barnes and Perdue where Perdue had to face Linda Shrenko and Bill Byrne. I think it was in 2006 when Perdue was running for re-election (Sonny did) that those two destroyed each other making what would already be an easy re-election for an incumbent easier.

Dave Bearse July 24, 2014 at 10:12 pm

I noticed that error in the Peach Pundit Daily newsletter, but the post read 2006 by the time I followed the link here, perhaps changed because of you’re bringing to attention.

PegM July 23, 2014 at 7:13 pm

In the second paragraph, “Perdue has some fences to mend andwounds to heal”. If he wants to attract Kingston voters, he should take a page from Kingston’s book and act like you care about the little guys and gals who are the grass roots and envelope lickers. As much as you might not believe it, they are the king makers. Ride a pony for a while, not the high horse.

Harry July 23, 2014 at 7:43 pm

That’s very true, Georgia voters very much appreciate a measure of genuine populist humility. David Perdue is not exactly the example of populist humility but maybe that’s OK as long as he avoids making inappropriate remarks and is seen mixing it up at political functions. I’d recommend Perdue not hang out too much at Lake Oconee or Sea Island. The Axlerod crew will attempt to cast Perdue as elitist, show imagery of Sea Island and try to make of him what they did to Romney. It may backfire though. Georgia voters know how to deal with such bs.

The Last Democrat in Georgia July 23, 2014 at 11:51 pm

The problem that the GAGOP really needs to worry about is any potential fallout from Deal’s ethics issues spilling over onto Perdue, particularly with Carter reportedly leading by a 2-1 margin with female voters who will also be strongly attracted to Nunn.

Harry July 24, 2014 at 12:31 am

I bet these two contests go negative real quick. Both sides will see it that way in order to win.

The Last Democrat in Georgia July 24, 2014 at 1:02 am

With the presence of Obama’s Chicago-bred political advisers in these races (Axelrod & Co.), negative is an absolute guarantee as they’ve already started on Deal and it is an absolute certainty that they’ll start with the Romney-style attacks on Perdue.

xdog July 24, 2014 at 7:31 am

Forget the anti-Obama rhetoric–not that state gopers will. Given that both races look competitive, Ga donks are energized after 10 years of irrelevancy. Add on the high stakes for US Senate control and the campaigns were always going to be focused, expensive, and mean.

troutbum70 July 24, 2014 at 9:34 am

PegM,
It’s a shame you actually believe that line of cow manure that Mr. Perdue doesn’t care about the little guys and gals, grass roots and envelope lickers. Mr. Perdue went after the voters that mattered. He does care, you just didn’t see it because you were for Kingston so you wouldn’t know. There’s a defined number of “activists and envelope lickers” throughout GA. They can’t win you an election. The election was won by going after the voters you don’t see at a Saturday morning breakfast. Mr. Perdue was never on the high horse. He was the one being attacked on a daily basis for being successful and having a track record of being in the business world. Not 32 years as an elected official; longer than Kingston has been alive.

PegM July 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm

that “line of cow manure” is my opinion. That’s how I saw him in interviews, debates, and in commercials. It’s also a takeaway opinion from a guy that came out of no where, never ran for office before, was never seen at any state, or county conventions, who decided he was so superior that he could just run for one of the highest offices in the land at first go. I’m not wearing blinders, if he shows a real compassion for the people he represents, and I mean all the people, not just CEOS, I’ll sing a different tune. The first constituent call to his Senate office will tell the tale.

Lea Thrace July 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm

So he should have run for dog catcher first then worked his way up to Senator?

Dave Bearse July 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm

No. But notable public involvement, or service beyond a nepotistic appointment would be useful.

There’s merit in government operating as if the people were customers, but it’s over-rated.

Bull Moose July 24, 2014 at 12:17 am

Hey, let’s get together and pose with the guy under investigation by the FBI! We’ll get the Chairman of the political party being sued for civil rights violations to be in too! Make sure someone get’s a picture!

What genius came up with this?

The Last Democrat in Georgia July 24, 2014 at 12:29 am

Likely one of the same geniuses who seem doggedly determined to do whatever it takes to help the GAGOP blow an overwhelming advantage in Georgia politics.

Harry July 24, 2014 at 1:04 am

Just to keep things in perspective, there’s at least one other governor with far higher profile ethics bad press
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/nyregion/governor-andrew-cuomo-and-the-short-life-of-the-moreland-commission.html?_r=0

“Pull it back.”

NorthGAGOP July 24, 2014 at 9:35 am

Bull Moose the same genius that suggested you go on MSNBC

troutbum70 July 24, 2014 at 9:24 am

So “general consensus” is that Perdue has to mend some fences? That’s funny!!! I think it’s more like every elected official and political bigwig that backed Kingston publicly in such overt gross fashion as was seen, needs to come to Perdue and kiss his ass!! David Perdue went after the endorsements that mattered, the voters of Georgia. He doesn’t have any wounds that need to heal and he doesn’t need to go to anyone to heal their wounds. They can get on the Perdue team and work towards November. Thanks to Gingrey, Broun and Kingston for setting back any clout and pull the Georgia delegation had on the hill with their egos convincing them they belonged in the US Senate.

NorthGAGOP July 24, 2014 at 9:36 am

The arrogance of team Perdue continues

Ken July 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm

First, it doesn’t work that way. The “envelope lickers” won’t be sending fliers and making robo-calls to Mr. Perdue asking him to please accept their votes in November.

Second, there is a difference between voting for a candidate and actively supporting a candidate. Guess which one means more to an election? The GOP activists will almost all vote for Mr. Perdue and many of us will actively work to see him elected, but he does, indeed, have fences to mend. I hope his close advisors are more aware.

Dave Bearse July 24, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Yes, but it wasn’t just egos, the stage was set when the Tea Party declared Saxby too liberal for Georgia. Three GOP Congressman dumped, and perhaps the Senate seat itself lost too.

Gingrey’s political career is over. I think Loudermilk more conservative than Gingrey, but an even farther right newby won’t help Georgia or the national GOP.

Broun is history too, but the crazy isn’t missing a beat. A xenophobe is just the thing for the GOP big tent outreach, where Hice will carry on Broun’s example of what the GOP Tea Party base is all about.

Kingston currently doesn’t have anywhere to go. It’ll be tough for Deal to find him six figure state job—all the choice posts have been handed out—but at least Deal will be off that hook if Sonny’s cuz comes up short.