Could Democrats Pick Up Lite Gov and AG?

According to the 11 Alive/Survey USA poll that Charlie posted last week, Democrats are much closer in the Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General races than they probably should be.

Connie Stokes is the longer shot of the two races. Casey Cagle is at 51% while Stokes polls at 40%. Eleven points is a landslide but a two-term incumbent barely breaking 51% is a potentially ominous sign.

Going down the ballot, Sam Olens only leads by eight points over Greg Hecht–49% to 41%.

So could the two Democratic challengers win? I’d say it’s unlikely.

Stokes and Hecht have barely campaigned, if they’ve campaigned at all (I saw a third-rate pamphlet for Connie Stokes outside of Octane the other day so I know she’s “active”. I can’t recall anything from Hecht). There’s been little negative coverage of either incumbent, although that’s changed a lot lately for Olens, possibly explaining his numbers. And this is just one poll, a long ways out from the election.

However, if Michelle Nunn or Jason Carter win, it will be because of massive Democratic turnout and a shift in Georgia’s political landscape. Right now, both Stokes and Hecht seemed best positioned in the polls to ride those coattails.

13 comments

  1. Bobloblaw says:

    The word for this is hubris. The left is famous for it. Just in the last two days there have been no fewer than half a dozen stories that the race to decide the Senate is over. The Dems will hold. But surprise surprise out come two polls from CO showing Gardner up and one from IA showing Ernst up and one showing her tied.

    But your point is well taken. If Nunn and Carter are leading like Landmark claims, and it is because of demographics, why wouldnt the down ticket Dems win too?

    The fact the the Dems have barely campaigned and still poll in the low 40s shows how inelastic politics in GA is and how the parties basically break down by race. GA is probably only behind MS and AL in that respect.

    In fact GA was one of the states where Obama’s approval rating changed least from 2009 to today. Iowa and NH were the states where Obama’s approval rating fell the most. Reason is sad but Ill say it. Blacks support Obama no matter what he does or doesnt do. Where as whites look at results. So a 97% white state like IA where the whites lean center left (Whites in IA voted for Obama at a higher margin than white in CA), will support Obama when they think he deserves it but will disapprove when they think he deserves it as well.

    This is what makes a shift to the Dem party in GA so frightening. It isnt based on performance. It is based on Identity Politics. When GA finally goes Dem, it wont go back. GA wont go from Red to Purple to Blue. It will be like VA, just Red to Blue. No amount of scandal or economic recession will result in the Dems losing power. Identity politics rules. It isnt like states such as OH. When Ohio goes Blue it is because the Dem candidate was a better candidate and won the issues. Same when Ohio goes Red for the GOP. Lots of people in states like OH or IA or WI (who were the Walker/Obama voters? They actually exist according to the MKE JS) vote Dem one election and GOP the next. That wont happen in GA.

    Ultimately If prefer to be in IA, even if it is more Dem than GA. I know in 2020, if the Dem gov in IA is corrupt and incompetent, that person will lose. Not so in New Georgia.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      In my opinion, you had been some making good or interesting points concerning polling. You seem to be coming of the rails though.

      “Where as whites look at results.”

      Well of course that’s going to make blacks want to consider GaGOP candidates!

      The results have been that Georgia has slipped significantly relative to other states in most economic indicators, per capita income, unemployment, etc since the GaGOP took over, with the important exception of the magazine “business friendly” category.

      You seeing VA blue, and IA left center is due to the GaGOP bubble distortion. The IA congressional delegation is evenly split, and its state constitutional officers are about 2/3 GOP.

      And what, no mention of a GOP Governor being turned out of office in GA for cause?

  2. Bob I’ll bet you $100 that either Jason or Michelle wins but the Democrats don’t sweep every office.

    BTW the CO/IA polls are junk. Serious Likely Voter issues – Q Poll with LV also had McCain up 5 going into ’08 in Colorado and Romney up 6.

  3. A true snapshot of an election would include mostly likely voters but also some unlikely ones. When the Falcons play tonight, Matt Ryan is likely to throw a touchdown pass to Julio Jones. He is less likely to throw a touchdown pass to Harry Douglas. But if he does, it still counts.

  4. David C says:

    Barring a real scandal that gets you on the front page of all the papers, or some billionaire challenger who can afford to drop thousands of ads to get people to pay attention, Georgians generally won’t vote out incumbent statewide officers because they don’t care enough. None of the Democrats who held Light Gov, AG, Agriculture etc. on January 1, 2002 ever got voted out by a challenger even as the state went redder and redder. Republicans just won open seats. Someone with a broader knowledge of Georgia history can probably help me on this-has an incumbent in any of those posts ever lost a general reelection?

      • David C says:

        I pretty clearly meant statewide posts other than Governor/Senator. Given that unlike the Governorship those offices don’t come with term limits, you’d think there’d be more elections where incumbents stood for reelection (Zell and Mike Bowers holding Lt. Gov and AG for 16 years, for example).

  5. Spacey G says:

    Somehow throughout most of 2014 I’d completely forgotten we have even have a Lt. Gov and a Lt. Gov’s race in Georgia. Thanks for the reminder. If there’s any one thing that motivates folk to get to the polls it’s surely a Lt. Gov’s race.

  6. Bull Moose says:

    Georgia is headed in the wrong direction right now. The irrational position of rejecting Medicaid expansion or at least offering some sort of alternative to the Feds the way other Governors have, is having a real cost to Georgians across the state.

    There are people who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. These aren’t deadbeats, they are people who are working and trying to move forward in life. Because Republicans refused to even acknowledge these people, they have no choice but to continue to seek medical assistance at the most expensive point of service – at the emergency room. That expense is absorbed by county taxpayers, through higher property taxes, and by higher premiums on the rest of us. There is a reason why insurance premiums in states that have accepted medicaid expansion have gone down!

    In some communities, because of the funding changes and Republicans refusal to offer an alternative plan to the Feds the way others have, the hospitals have closed up and patients have to drive hundreds of miles for medical care.

    In GA, the Republicans have cut education funding to the bone. The Republican response is that more money isn’t the answer. Well, when you don’t have money to open the doors, pay the teachers, or provide books for all the students; what, if not money, allows those things to happen?

    The GOP in GA has jumped the shark! I used to think the Republican Party was the party of reform, honesty, and transparency, but since 2010, the Republican Party that I’ve seen in Georgia is one that I don’t recognize. I say that with all due respect to some people whom I hold in high regard. Across the board, with some limited exceptions, the Republican leaders of this state are more interested in their own special interests or the interests of their major donors than they are the greater good of all citizens. It really is a shame.

    We need people serving who truly want to serve the citizens of Georgia and not the special interests. We need problem solvers in office, not people who just want a title. As a state, the burden of carrying along almost 25% of the population in poverty is expensive. We have got to get serious about life long learning and opening the doors of opportunity so that everyone can have a chance to participate in Georgia’s future.

    I have faith in Jason Carter, that when elected Governor, that he’ll be able to provide the leadership and build the coalition to tackle these issues. I believe that Jason has a real heart for public service and I think Georgia will be all the better for his service!

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Medicaid expansion doesn’t work long-term. I get tired of saying it, but see South Carolina. The state legislature fought the former governor to force his hand into taking Medicaid stimulus money and years later they’re having problems adjusting because the Feds set the rules on the eligible poverty level. That’s just the way it works when strings are attached. Eventually those strings get tangled around your neck and you choke.

      Deal may not do anything, and many folks have a problem with that, understandably, but Carter, if he is a typical democrat, is likely to take all the ‘free money’ from D.C. he can possibly get and leave Georgia on the hook with hands tied for many years to come. If it has to be one or the other, I’ll take the do-nothings over the do-harms.

  7. NoTeabagging says:

    Did Carter put Stokes on the ticket to bolster support from certain demographic groups? And yes, I do mean gender and race. Sorry, but such discussions are already in various campaign tactic threads here on PP.

    Personally, Connie Stokes is a deal breaker (not a Deal breaker) due to her DeKalb Commissioner record. It does seem most likely that a voter, making a choice for Governor, will simply pick the same ticket Lt. Gov. without much thought. Perhaps that is why the Gov. Lite candidates are more visible. Just riding the coat tails of their respective Governor candidates.

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