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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

6/3/14 AL, IA, MS, MT, NJ, NM, & SD Primary Preview

ALABAMA

AL Governor GOP: Governor Robert Bentley is favoured to win over State Correctional Officer and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George.

AL Governor DEM: Based soley upon name recognition, former Congressman and legendary turncoat(he started out Democrat before switching to Republican, to Independent, and back to Democrat again) Parker Griffifth is modestly favoured over former pro-Basketball player Kevin Bass, though an upset cannot be ruled out.

AL Secretary of State GOP: This race features former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney, Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue, and State Representative John Merrill. Based upon geography alone, McKinney would seem to have an edge, but I'll cop to having no clue the true dynamics behind this one.

AL Auditor GOP: This race features colourful businessman Dale "cattle prod" Peterson, former Public Service Commissioner Jim Zeigler, former Assistant State Conservation Commissioner Hobbie Sealey, and Secretary of State Aide Adam Thompson. My hunch is that there will be a Runoff between Peterson, who has both enthusiasm and name recognition(for better or for worse) propelling his campaign, and Zeigler, who has mere name recognition behind his.

AL-5 GOP: Incumbent Republican Mo Brooks faces a challenge from former Athens, AL, City Councillor Jerry Hill. Brooks is heavily favoured going into tonight.

AL-6 GOP: The leading contenders for the seat of retiring Republican Spencer Bachus are Tea Party-backed Surgeon Chad Mathis, Corporate Executive Will Brooke, State Representative Paul DeMarco, and former State Senator and 2012 runner-up Scott Beason. This race will head to a certain Runoff, with Mathis and either DeMarco or Beason advancing.

AL-7 DEM: Incumbent Democrat Terri Sewell is facing a challenge from former Birmingham City Attorney Tamara Harris-Johnson. Sewell will win, but with maybe a little more difficulty than most expect.


IOWA

IA Senate GOP: This competitive Primary features State Senator Joni Ernst, Energy Executive Mark Jacobs, Radio Talk Show Host Sam Clovis, and former US Attorney Matt Whitaker. If no one candidate gets over 35% of the vote, the Primary will then be decided at a Convention, a scenario which is unlikely to transpir, as Ernst has the momentum and recent polling has her only just short of the pivotal 35% threshold. Prediction: Ernst 39%, Clovis 28%, Whitaker 17%, and Jacobs 14%.

IA Governor GOP: Governor Terry Branstad is heavily favoured over Conservative activist Tom Hoefling.

IA-1 DEM: This one is a multi-car pileup between former State House Speaker Pat Murphy, former US Labour Department Official and 1988 nominee Dave O'Brien, Cedar Rapids City Councillor Monica Vernon, State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic, and former State Utilities Board Member Swati Dandekar. Murphy has the narrowest of advantages going into tonight.

IA-1 GOP: This one's a 3-way fight between 2008 Senate candidate and gun rights activist Steve Rathje, Software Company Owner Rod Blum, and Marshalltown School Board Member Gail Boliver. Rathje must be considered the favourite.

IA-2 GOP: This race appears to be a fight between State Representative Mark Lofgren and former State Public Health Director and 2008/2010 nominee Marianette Miller-Meeks. This one is very much a coin flip.

IA-3 GOP: The three main contenders for this race are State Senator and 2010 nominee Brad Zaun, Secretary of State Matt Schultz, and former Chief of Staff to Senator Chuck Grassley David Young. I give Schultz an advantage based on name recognition, though Zaun cannot be completely counted out.


MISSISSIPPI

MS Senate GOP: The battle royale of the night pits six term US Senator Thad Cochran against Tea Party-backed State Senator Chris McDaniel. Recent polling has shown both men exchanging narrow leads, whilst remaining mired in the low forties. In comes the third, and perhaps defining, factor: The candidacy of Realtor Tom Carey. While he is a sure loser tonight, he has been drawing a high enough level of support that he could trigger a Runoff. At this point, a Runoff seems very likely. Prediction: McDaniel 46%, Cochran 43%, Carey 11%.

MS Senate DEM: This is a decidedly low-key affair, but it has the potential to be interesting nonetheless. This race pits former Congressman Travis Childers against Tea Party Democrat, former Republican, and 2010/2012 MS-2 nominee Bill Marcy. This one could get interesting if there are enough Conservatives so disillusioned with both Cochran and McDaniel that they choose to vote for Marcy in the Democratic Primary. It is doubtful such will take place, though, and Childers is a solid favourite going into tonight.

MS-4 GOP: Centrist Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo faces a challenge from the Right in Hancock County Port Commissioner and former Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor. There is a decent likelihood that this race goes to a Runoff, as there are quite a few other Republicans running. Prediction: Taylor 47%, Palazzo 44%, Others 9%.


MONTANA

MT Senate DEM: The main contenders are interim Senator John Walsh and former Lieutenant Governor(and Walsh's predecessor in that office) John Bohlinger. Prediction: Walsh 52%, Bohlinger 43%, Rancher Dirk Adams 5%.

MT Senate GOP: This race pits Congressman and 2004 Gubernatorial nominee Steve Daines against State Representative Champ Edmunds. While Edmunds may poll formidably(read: 30s), Daines is still the solid favourite.

MT-AL GOP: The main contenders for this wide open race are former State Senate Minority Leader 2012 Gubernatorial runner-up Corey Stapleton, former State Senator Ryan Zinke, and State Senator Matt Rosendale. Stapleton probably is favoured based on name recognition.

MT-AL DEM: Former State House Speaker, former Public Service Commissioner, and 2008 nominee John "backpacking to nowhere" Driscoll and former Congressional staffer John Lewis are battling it out for this race. Driscoll seems to be the favourite based on name recognition.


NEW JERSEY

NJ Senate GOP: The leading candidates are Consultant and 1978 nominee Jeff Bell and Professor, Ron Paul activist, and 2008 Senate candidate Murray Sabrin. This one is a coin flip, as Bell's been out of the scene for over 3 decades and Sabrin may have residual name recognition from his 2008 run, though Republicans are usually pretty averse to nominative Libertarian types.

NJ-1 DEM: In the race to succeed resigned Democratic Congressman Rob Andrews, State Senator and political scion Donald Norcross is the solid favourite over Logan Mayor Frank Minor.

NJ-1 GOP: Locally-renown Sportscaster Gary Cobb is in a tight fight with former Collingswood School Board Member Claire Gustafson for the right to lose to Donald Norcross in both the Special Election and the General Election.

NJ-2 GOP: Centrist Republican incumbent Frank LoBiondo faces a Primary challenge former Absecon School Board Member Mike Assad. LoBiondo is a certain victor.

NJ-2 DEM: Attorney and political scion Bill Hughes Jr. faces a test from former Obama White House Aide Dave Cole, a test he should pass with only marginal difficulty.

NJ-3 GOP: This one is trench warfare between two carpetbaggers: Former Bogota, NJ, Mayor, 2013 US Senate nominee, and 2009 Gubernatorial Primary runner-up Steve Lonegan and former Randolph, NJ, Mayor Tom MacArthur. This one is going to be really tight. Name recognition and enthusiasm favours Lonegan, while advertising and polling would seem to favour MacArthur.

NJ-12 DEM: This free-for-all for the seat of retiring Democrat Rush "my Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist" Holt has centred around two State Legislators: 2012 NJ-7 nominee Upendra Chivukula and Linda Greenstein. Given that it takes a stinker of a campaign to lose a center-left district in a Liberal banner year the likes of 2012, I would say Greenstein has the edge going into tonight.


NEW MEXICO

NM Senate GOP: Former State GOP Chairman and 2010 Gubernatorial runner-up Allen Weh and former Dona Ana County GOP Chairman David Clements are running for the right to defeat Democratic Senator Tom Udall in November. This race may be somewhat close, but Weh has an advantage due to residual name recognition from his 2010 campaign.

NM Governor DEM: This bloody brawl pits Attorney General and political scion Gary King against State Senators Howie Morales and Linda Lopez, former Magazine Publisher and racist Alan Webber, and former Albuquerque, NM, Chief Administrative Officer Lawrence Rael. The two leaders of the pack are King, with his own name recognition plus that of his father, the late former New Mexico Governor Bruce King, and Webber, with his self-funding capabilities. This one could be an all-nighter.

NM-1 GOP: This race, between Businessmen Mike Frese and Richard Priem for the right to take down Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham, is hard to call one way or another. We'll just wait and see.


SOUTH DAKOTA

SD Senate GOP: Former Governor Mike Rounds is heavily favoured over State Senate majority Whip Larry Rhoden, State Representative Stace Nelson, and Physician Annette Bosworth.

SD Governor GOP: Governor Dennis Daugaard is solidly favoured to win over former State Representative Lora Hubbel.

SD Governor DEM: This race, for the right to lose in November, pits State Representative Susan Wismer against carpetbagging retired State Wildland Fire Suppression Director and former Mission Viejo, CA, Mayor Joe Lowe. Wismer is a modest favourite.

SD Secretary of State GOP: This race features State Senate Majority Whip Shantel Krebs and Deputy Secretary of State and former First Lady Pat Miller. Miller is at least a narrow favourite going into tonight.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

5/20/14 Primary Roundup(AR, GA, ID, KY, OR PA)

ARKANSAS

Arkansas Governor: Republican Asa Hitchinson and Democrat Mike Ross easily won their respective primaries.

Arkansas Lieutenant Governor: Republican Congressman Tim Griffin easily blew out his opposition and is favoured in November.

AR-2: Republican Businessman French Hill won his Primary by a surprisingly large margin and is favoured in November.

AR-4: Republican State House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman prevailed by a modest margin and will most likely win in November.

GEORGIA

Georgia Senate: As was expected from looking at the polls, Millionaire Businessman and political scion David Perdue and Congressman Jack Kingston will advance to a costly(and, judging by their respective advertisements, a childish and tacky one at that) Runoff which will determine who stares down Democratic political scion Michelle Nunn in November.

Georgia Governor: Incumbent Republican Governor Nathan Deal easily beat back two minor opponents for the right to take on Democratic political scion Jason Carter in November.

Georgia Secretary of State: Democrat Doreen Carter easily won the right to lose to incumbent Republican Brian Kemp in November.

Georgia School Superintendent: In very crowded fields, Republicans Mike Buck and Richard Woods and Democrats Valarie Wilson and Alisha Morgan will advance to a Runoff.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner: Democrat Liz Johnson easily won the right to lose to incumbent Republican Ralph Hudgens in November.

Georgia Public Service Commissioner: Incumbent Republican Lauren 'Bubba' McDonald beat out his nearest Primary opponent by a nearly 3-1 margin, and is the heavy favourite in November.

GA-3, 4, 9, 13, 14-Incumbent Republicans Lynn Westmoreland, Doug Collins, and Tom Graves, as well as incumbent Democrats Hank Johnson and David Scott, easily defeated their Primary opposition. They are all unopposed in November.

GA-1: Republican State Senator Buddy Carter and Physician Bob Johnson will advance to a Runoff in this dark red district.

GA-2: Republican Greg Duke easily won the right to face Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop in November.

GA-10: Republican Minister Jody Hice and Trucking Executive and political scion Mike Collins will advance to a Runoff in this dark red district.

GA-11: Republican State Senator Barry Loudermilk and former Congressman and 2008 Libertarian Presidential nominee Bob Barr will advance to a Runoff in this dark red district.

GA-12: Rick Allen won the Republican Primary without a Runoff and will face Democratic Congressman John Barrow in a competitive November election.

IDAHO

Idaho Senate: Incumbent Republican Senator Jim Risch and Democrat Nels Mitchell easily won their respective Primaries. Risch is heavily favoured for re-election.

Idaho Governor: Incumbent Republican Governor Butch Otter won by a narrower than expected margin of 51-44. Given the deep red hue of Idaho, Otter is heavily favoured for re-election.

ID-2: Incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Simpson easily beat back his Tea Party-fuelled Primary opposition, and he has a sizable edge over former Democratic Congressman Richard Stallings in November.

KENTUCKY

Kentucky Senator: Senate Minority Leader and leading 2016 VP prospect  Mitch McConnell handily defeated Tea Party-backed opposition 60-35, and will go on to face a bitter and costly battle with Democrat Allison Grimes.

KY-6: Democrat Elizabeth Jensen easily won her Primary, and will face Republican Congressman Andy Barr in what could shape up to be a competative race in November.

OREGON

Oregon Senate: In spite of recent scandals, Republican Monica Wehby prevailed 51-37 and will face vulnerable Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley in November/

OR-1: The latest Republican Primary tallies, with 170/199 precincts reporting, show Jason Yates ahead of Delinda Morgan 43-40. The winner will face Democratic Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici in November.

OR-2: Republican Congressman Greg Walden steamrolled a Tea Party-backed challenger, and will face little difficulty holding his seat in November.

OR-5: Republican Tootie Smith romped in her Primary and will face vulnerable Democratic Congressman Kurt Schrader in November.

PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Governor: Tom Wolf creamed all of his Democratic opposition and will go on to face vulnerable Republican Governor Tom Corbett in November.

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor: Democrat Mike Stack blew away his nearest opposition by a 3-1 margin. He will face incumbent Republican Jim Cawley in November.

PA-8: Democrat Kevin Strouse narrowly won his Primary and will go on to face Republican Congressman Mike FitzPatrick in November.

PA-9: Republican Congressman Bill Shuster won re-nomination over Tea Party-backed opposition by 18 points, a narrower than expected margin. He is a lock for re-election.

PA-13: In an upset, Democratic State Senator Brendan Boyle blew away all his Primary opposition and is a lock in November's election.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5/20/14 Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, & Pennsylvania Primaries: Races to Watch

ARKANSAS

AR Governor GOP: This race features former Congressman and 2006 Gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson and Businessman and 2010 US Senate candidate Curtis Coleman. Hutchinson has a decent edge going into tonight.

AR Lieutenant Governor GOP: Congressman Tim Griffin faces State Representatives Debra Hobbs and Andy Mayberry. While we cannot rule out the possibility of an upset, Griffin should be considered the favourite as of now.

AR-2 GOP: The big contest out of this state tonight pits self-funding Banker and the NRCC's choice cut French Hill against the more Conservative State Representative Ann Clemmer and Tea Party-backed retired Army officer Conrad Reynolds. Hill may have a financial edge, but the outcome is anyone's to guess.

AR-4 GOP: State House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman is facing off against Energy Executive Tommy Moll for the right to run in Arkansas' most Conservative district. Westerman has a distinctive edge going into tonight.

IDAHO

ID Governor GOP: This cartoonish Primary features incumbent Governor Butch Otter going up against State Representative Russ Fulcher, retiree and street preacher Walt Bayes, and Engineer and Motorcyclist Harley Brown. The four of them recently met for a debate, which was largely memorable for its striking resemblance to an audition for 'The Village People on Broadway.' Fulcher will poll formidably(as the only serious alternative to Otter), but Otter will still win 57-31.

ID Senate DEM: This race, for the right to lose to Republican Senator Jim Risch, features Attorney and frequent multi-state candidate William Bryk(who will also lose his Primary to Senator Jeff Merkley in Oregon tonight), Attorney Nels Mitchell, and Website Developer Jeffrey Anderson. Mitchell is the probable favourite for tonight.

ID-2 GOP: This one will get the most attention of all the Congressional races tonight. Incumbent Congressman Mike Simpson faces the fight for his political life against Tea Party-backed Trial Lawyer Bryan Smith. This is the Congressional Primary where outside groups have spent the most, indicating the closeness of the race. Right now, I give Smith the advantage going into tonight based on grassroots enthusiasm.

KENTUCKY

KY Senate GOP: The marquee contest of the night features Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell going up against Tea Party-backed Investment Executive Matt Bevin. Polls have indicated McConnell is ahead by modest margins, and he is indeed the favourite tonight. That said, do not be surprised if this turns into a sleeper race.

KY-6 DEM: Non-Profit Education Group CEO Elizabeth Jensen is facing 2012 State Representative nominee Geoffrey Young for the right to take on freshman Congressman Andy Barr. Jensen is heavily favoured.

OREGON

OR Senate GOP: Surgeon Monica Wehby and State Representative Jason Conger are the main contenders duelling it out for the right to face vulnerable freshman Senator Jeff Merkley in November. Wehby has been hit in recent days with accusations stating that she harassed her husband during divorce proceedings. Normally this would help Conger, but it has also come to light that he was a proud supporter of Cover Oregon(the failed statewide exchange for ObamaCare) and a local bridge project which went nowhere after many millions of taxpayer dollars were spent promoting and planning it. Given the nature of Oregon voting(the state does vote by mail), Wehby should still retain enough of an edge to beat Conger. I'm thinking around 40-37 Wehby.

OR-1 GOP: This race features Vineyard owner Delinda Morgan, Mechanical Engineer Bob Niemeyer, and Pest Control Service Manager Jason Yates. Sources on the ground tell me that Yates has decent odds going into tonight.

OR-2 GOP: Congressman and NRCC Chairman Greg Walden faces a Primary challenge from Tea Party-backed Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum. Walden should be able to hold on.

OR-5 GOP: This race features a brawl between Clackamas County Commissioner Tootie Smith and former Congressional aide Ben Pollack for the right to take on Congressman Kurt Schrader. Smith has name recognition on her side, while Pollack has grassroots support. This will be very close.

PENNSYLVANIA

PA Governor DEM: This one will be the most closely watched Gubernatorial Primary of the night. Former State Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, State Treasurer Rob McCord, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, and former State Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty are in the running to take on unpopular GOP Governor Tom Corbett. Wolf has maintained a sizable lead in the Primary, and should win with ease tonight. Prediction: 48% Wolf, 25% McCord, 16% McGinty, 11% Schwartz.

PA Lieutenant Governor DEM: This race features 5 heavyweights vying to take on GOP Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley. Former Congressman Mark Critz, Harrisburg City Commissioner Brad Koplinski, State Representative Brandon Neuman, Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith, and State Senator Mike Stack are all running. Everything I've heard says Critz and Stack are the leaders of the pack, and that Critz is the narrow favourite for the nomination.

PA-8 DEM: This race features Publishing Company Executive Shaughnessy Naughton going up against Afghan/Iraq War Veteran Kevin Strouse, the choice of national Democrats, for the right to take on GOP Congressman Mike FitzPatrick. Strouse has maintained fundraising advantages, and should be able to put this one away.

PA-9 GOP: Congressman Bill Shuster is facing a Tea Party-backed challenge from Businessman Art Halverson. Shuster is heavily favoured to win.

PA-13 DEM: This one is a 4-car pileup, with former Congresswoman and Clinton in-law Marjorie Margolies, State Senator Daylin Leach, State Representative Brendan Boyle, and Physician Val Arkoosh running to replace Gubernatorial hopeful Allyson Schwartz. The Clinton association should be enough to guide Margolies to a narrow win in this Suburban Philadelphia district.

5/20/14 Georgia Primary Rundown

GA Senate GOP: This is where all the statewide and most of the national action will be taking place tonight. In the running are Congressmen Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, and Jack Kingston, self-funding Businessman and political scion David Perdue, and former Secretary of State and 2010 GOP Gubernatorial Primary runner-up Karen Handel. This race has been very fluid and the 'battle lines' rather muddled. Kingston started out the frontrunner, with the more Conservative candidates(Broun/Gingrey) polling formidably. Since then, Perdue has gained a solid foothold and seems likely to coast to a Runoff. Kingston, who seems to be imploding, and Handel, who is remarkably incapable of selling her product to a Primary electorate, are bashing each other to pieces for the coveted second place slot, which leaves open the possibility of one of the more Conservative candidates(again, Broun/Gingrey) slipping into the second slot. The only guarantee is that there will be a Runoff with David Perdue and his many millions of dollars on July 22.

GA Governor GOP: This one has not gotten the attention it deserves. Not surprising, given that this and every other Primary race has take a back seat to the Senate Primary. This race pits incumbent Governor Nathan Deal against Tea Party-backed Dalton Mayor David Pennington and State School Superintendent John Barge. While Pennington has been running a very issues oriented campaign, Barge's run has been quite inexplicable, seeming mainly to serve as a candidate for that rare breed of Republican educator who dislikes Governor Deal(both Barge and Deal supported and presided over the implementation of Common Core). All this having been said, neither man has caught on with the voting public, and Deal is likely to coast to re-nomination with over 60% of the vote.

GA Secretary of State DEM: This race pits Oglethorpe Mayor Gerald Beckup and former Lithonia City Councillor Doreen Carter. Polling gives Carter a sizable edge, and that it how the race should go tonight. Carter 62-38.

GA State School Superintendent GOP and DEM: This race, on both sides, is an electoral equivalent to a multi-car pileup on Spaghetti Junction. These races is the fluidest of the fluid. The leaders of the GOP pack seem to be Ashley Bell, Mike Buck, Nancy Jester, Fitz Johnson, Kira Willis, and Richard Woods. The seeming leaders of the Democratic pack seem to be Denise Freeman, Alisha Morgan, and Valarie Wilson. Who emerges and advances to the Runoff is literally anyone's guess.

GA Insurance Commissioner DEM: This race pits former State Representative Keith Heard against former DNC official Liz Johnson. Polling has given Johnson an edge, but that edge has narrowed a bit. I expect Heard to pull an upset tonight.

GA Public Service Commission GOP: Incumbent Lauren 'Bubba' McDonald faces strong challenges from Lavonia lawyer Doug Kidd and Hall County Commissioner Craig Lutz. Kidd is guaranteed a first place slot, and McDonald might not even make it to a Runoff.

GA-1 GOP: This race pits State Senator Buddy Carter against State Representative and 2010 GOP Gubernatorial candidate Jeff Chapman, former USDA official and 2010 GOP Agriculture Commissioner candidate Darwin Carter, Surgeon Bob Johnson, Physician Earl Martin, and Venture Capitalist John McCallum in a race to succeed Senate candidate Jack Kingston. Buddy Carter is a virtual lock on first place. The question is who will get second place and advance to the Runoff with him. The likeliest bets seem to be Chapman, Johnson, and McCallum.

GA-2 GOP: Former Lee County School Board Member Greg Duke and retired educator Vivian Childs are fighting for the right to take on Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop. Duke appears to be a modest favourite right now.

GA-3 GOP: Congressman Lynn Westmoreland is facing a challenge from Businessman Chip Flanegan. Westmoreland is favoured, but an upset is not out of the question.

GA-4 DEM: Congressman Hank Johnson faces a strong challenge from former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown. Johnson has not been posting impressive fundraising numbers lately, which leads me to believe that Johnson's support going into tonight is softened. I would say there's a slightly better than even chance Brown pulls off an upset over Johnson.

GA-9 GOP: Congressman Doug Collins faces a challenge from retired Army Brigadier General Bernie Fontaine. While Fontaine may get more support than people expect, Collins remains a heavy favourite going into tonight.

GA-10 GOP: This race pits Trucking Executive and political scion Mike Collins against Baptist Minister and 2010 7th district GOP Congressional runner-up Jody Hice, State Representative Donna Sheldon, Attorney Gary Gerrard, Businessman and 2012 Primary loser Stephen Simpson, former Columbia County GOP Chairman Brian Slowinski, and USMC Reserves Colonel S. Mitchell Swan in a race to succeed Senate candidate Paul Broun. The race is essentially a 3-way fight between Collins, Hice, and Sheldon. The only certainty about the runoff is that Collins will be in it.

GA-11 GOP: This race pits former Congressman and 2008 Libertarian Presidential nominee Bob Barr against State Senator Barry Loudermilk, State House Majority Whip Ed Lindsey, former State Workforce Development Evecutive Director Tricia Pridemore, Businessman Allan Levene, and retired Army officer Larry Mrozinski in a race to succeed Senate candidate Phil Gingrey. This race seems to be a 4-car pileup between Barr, Lindsey, Loudermilk, and Pridemore. It is unclear who will emerge for a near-guaranteed July Runoff. My prediction is the 2 will be Loudermilk and Pridemore.

GA-12 GOP: 2012 runner-up Rick Allen is facing off against 2008 nominee John Stone(who, with inflated AA turnout under old district lines, lost 66-34), State Representative Delvis Dutton(the candidate of national Republicans), Businessman Eugene Yu(who dropped down from the Senate race to this one), and Nurse and 2010 Primary candidate Diane Vann for the right to challenge Democratic Congressman John Barrow, a top target for Republicans in 2014. The 2 who will likely advance to the Runoff are Allen and Stone, as neither Dutton nor Vann has caught on and Yu has had some egregious campaign finance violations come to light in recent weeks.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Day at the Races(4/18/14), Part 2: Endorsing David Pennington for Georgia Governor

On Friday, April 18, 2014, I had the opportunity to attend two political meet-and-greets held around my area. The first one was hosted by Republican Congressman and US Senate candidate Phil Gingrey. The second one, which I will now document, was hosted by former Republican Mayor of Dalton, GA, and Gubernatorial candidate David Pennington, who is primarying incumbent Republican Governor Nathan Deal.

This meeting was held at a local restaurant. I arrived a little before the meeting started. I sat apart from the crowd, as I was planning to eat dinner and hadn't any questions I really wanted to ask(was more there to listen and observe). After some opening remarks from campaign workers, Mr. Pennington got up and introduced himself.

One of the first things he talked about was our states' population growth, which is one of the fastest rates of growth in the country. He also brought up the fact that we have one of the highest tax rates and unemployment rates in the country and are also rated near the bottom of the pack with regards to education quality. He emphasized his opposition to Common Core(which Governor Deal and State School Superintendent John Barge both support and implemented statewide), adding that education is up to local school boards, teachers, and parents. He pointed out that schools today have gotten so bad that students grade-watch their professors and teachers change the answers on kids' tests and pass them.

These education practices leave future members of our work-force sorely lacking in skills, which translates into higher rates of unemployment and poverty. A statistic he cited was the employment-to-population ratio in Metro Atlanta counties over the past 20 years. Citing the counties of Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett, he pointed out that the employment-to-population percentage averaged from in the high forties to 50% 2 decades ago, while they now average in the low forties and high thirties. An observation Pennington noted in his jobs and employment discussion was the fact that, with a majority of the 'quality' jobs centred in and around Atlanta, the lack of jobs in the rural, outlying parts of the state is the reason that Atlanta traffic is amongst the worst in the nation. One of his major points was that Atlanta moved Georgia's economy forward from the 70s to the 90s, and that Georgia's economy has suffered with Atlanta's economic atrophy.

At this point, somebody asked Mr. Pennington a question regarding the Chamber of Commerce. Pennington emphatically stated that, as a small businessman, he did not associate himself with the CoC. Teeing off of that, he emphasized the fact that he is not a professional politician. He is a small business owner who put himself forward to the Citizens of Dalton when he saw a failure of leadership in the city. He talked about how he, over the past 6 years, cut taxes and licensing fees city-wide and gave his salary to charitable purposes(which he promised he would do as Governor. He credited his policies with i,proving Dalton's economy, even as the rest of Whitfield County lagged behind.

Mr. Pennington also referenced a recent quote from Governor Deal which stated that tax reform in GA was 'dangerous.' This quote runs contrary to Deal's claims while campaigning in 2010. In 2010, he campaigned as a supporter of the FairTax(a tax system Mr. Pennington is supportive of), complete with the endorsement of then-Congressman and FairTax mastermind John Linder. Sometime in the past 9 months, Georgia became one of the few states to enact the 'Amazon Sales Tax,' which taxes items sold on the world's largest online shopping venue. This is in addition to all the other high tax rates Deal has enacted and retained in his tenure. Another quote, perhaps unsurprising, from Governor Deal which was cited was one, spoken at a rally at the local 'Achasta' golf course, which bashed the Conservative grassroots(a comment made as 'Conservative' Senate candidate Karen Handel looked on).

The final points Pennington made pertained to the political ramifications of the Primary Election. He proclaimed that the Conservative movement is dead of Republicans re-nominate Deal and that Democrats will win if Deal is re-nominated. He cited the fact that Democrat Jason Carter has his grandfather Jimmy's friends, Hollywood, the mainstream media, and national Democratic organizations behind him. He has a near-infinite money supply trucking in, and he can go on the air attacking Deal over ethical issues, including, but not limited to, his associations with the car auctioning company Copart(which Pennington has stated is to Deal what Watergate was to Richard Nixon). He also said that Georgia is gone if a Democrat wins because of the population growth, mainly in the minority community, and the fact that Republicans will be seen as having been given their chance{even though the last two GOP Governors(including the cousin of leading GOP Senate contender David Perdue) are former Democrats}. In explaining why the Conservative movement would win by nominating him, he touted his record as Dalton's Mayor as a tax-cutting, ethical Conservative, which is a stark contrast to Governor Nathan Deal. He emphasized his belief that, by articulating his Conservative beliefs before the state electorate, he would be able to, with the energy of the grassroots behind him, defeat Democrat Jason Carter in November.

After the meeting ended, I got the chance to pick up campaign literature and meet both the candidate and his supporters. I mentioned being impressed with what I had heard and indicated I would be supportive of the campaign. About a week and a half ago, I cast my early votes for Pennington, Paul Broun, School Superintendent candidate Mary Kay Baccallo, and Public Service Commission candidate Craig Lutz. I hope that people will consider supporting Pennington as the Conservative and electable alternative to Deal and John Barge.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Day at the Races(4/18/14), Part 1

On Friday, I had the opportunity to attend two political meet-and-greets held around my area. The first one was hosted by Republican Congressman and US Senate candidate Phil Gingrey, and the second one was hosted by former Republican Mayor of Dalton, GA, and Gubernatorial candidate David Pennington, who is primarying incumbent Republican Governor Nathan Deal.

I arrived about a half-hour after the Gingrey meeting commenced, so I missed most of the introduction. The only thing I learned from those last few minutes of the introduction was what I saw from my seat, which was fairly close behind the speaker: That he dyes his hair black. After completing his introduction, he opened himself up to questions. The first serious question pertained to ObamaCare, which he vowed his every effort to repeal, and, on this subject and throughout the meet-and-greet, voiced his commitment to the rights of the states, local municipalities, and businesses to choose.

When asked about term-limits, he indicated his support for term limits, though expressed some question as to how many terms representatives and senators should be limited to, mentioning maybe 6 terms for representatives and 2 for senators. He also said that he is going to Washington to work, and if he has not worked in his first term, then he will go home. If he has worked, then, as he said "Lord willing," he might seek a second term. Asked about tax reform, he affirmed his support for the "Fair Tax."

The most pointed question asked was one regarding House Republican leadership and how they are not digging in against Obama. Gingrey started off by talking about the likable personality of John Bohener and what a nice guy he is, equating him with the popular kid at a college fraternity who all the kids want to be like. He emphasized the need for real leadership, citing Tom DeLay as an example. According to Gingrey, DeLay wasn't dubbed 'The Hammer' for nothing, and that sometimes you don't need nice guys on your team if you want to get things done. Gingrey also expressed both his elation over DeLay's recent exoneration and sadness for the fact that he is now broke and has to start his life over again.

Teeing off of his remarks alluding to college fraternities, he reminisced over his college days, talking about how he and some friends of his got to see then-Senator Barry Goldwater speak and how this was a political revelation for him. He added that while his Liberal professors may have flunked him for his views, they never tried to warp his mind. He also explained what kind of a candidate he would be. He would try to be honest and straightforward with the people. He emphasized where he stood on issues, and also joked about how various news and media outlets have misrepresented things he has said. He concluded by saying that politics is not about whining about how one is treated by the media, and that people must stand firm and fight.

Around this time, somebody who had a child with cancer and was fighting with her insurance company was brought in to tell her story and to ask Mr. Gingrey questions about ObamaCare. Mr. Gingrey expressed his sincerest sympathies to her, re-affirmed his commitment to repealing ObamaCare, and gave her his card(he is a medical doctor) in case she needed to see a doctor in the state. I roughly and perhaps vaguely summarized because I don't really feel right airing one's personal information in a public forum.

Mr. Gingrey was asked about the prospect of a Constitutional Convention and whether or not he thought such would be hijacked by un-Constitutional types. He stated that he was encouraged by what he was seeing out of the move to force a convention and that he would be supportive of such. He also expressed favourable sentiments toward Dr. Ben Carson.

A lady asked him about foreign policy, and he was pretty well schooled on the subject. She talked extensively about the Muslim Brotherhood and the many threats posed by that organization. Mentioned was the fact that the government has members working for and advising them on various matters, which would explain the government's labelling these military base shootings as being "workplace violence." Political correctness was also brought up, as well as the nostrums about Christianity and Islam co-existing together, which, for that to happen, would involve one religion fundamentally changing its principles to conform with the other. In responding, Gingrey acknowledged the concerns broached and emphasized the need to strike a fine balance between maintaining the civil liberties of Americans and taking necessary actions against the terrorists.

Soon afterwards, the meet-and-greet concluded, with Mr. Gingrey thanking all of us for coming out to ask questions. I picked up a few stickers and soon had the opportunity to shake Congressman Gingrey's hand. I asked him if it was OK if I quickly asked a question{I had been silent throughout so I could hear him speak and listen to his answering of questions(which narrowed my prospective questions down considerably)} He obliged, and I asked for his stance on the education initiative "Common Core." He stated his complete opposition to Common Core, emphasizing the need for local control of school curriculum. He also said students should spend at least an hour-and-a-half on homework. After answering my question, I wished him good luck and went on my merry way.

Before the meet-and-greet, I was firmly supportive of Paul Broun. After listening to Gingrey speak, I am giving the most thorough consideration to both men(I will not support Karen Handel, Jack Kingston, or David Perdue). Stay tuned for part 2, where I chronicle the David Pennington meet-and-greet, which was held later that day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

BIG NEWS: John McCain(R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham(R-SC) to Wed



In a big development which has shaken the political world to its core, Senior Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have announced their plans to get married, a move which culminates several years of intense courtship. The marriage is slated to take place on the dock of the San Francisco Bay on Easter Sunday.

"Always ones to glorify the Lord," quipped an excited McCain, having just come from breakfast at the Senate cafeteria. "This has been a long time coming, my friends, and I couldn't be happier. He's my true soul mate." Asked about his wife Cindy and how she was taking it, McCain took a moment to clear the air: "We both wanted to be in the White House, so we tied the knot. There isn't a whole lot more to it than that. I know it sounds bad, but everybody's doing it these days. Just ask my friends Bill and Hillary Clinton and Anthony and Huma Weiner!" Asked about the future of that relationship, McCain added that he had "politely asked for an open marriage." "I hear she and Senator Cruz(R-TX) are an item these days," quipped McCain before giddily leaving for a Senate meeting on nuclear arms warfare in the age of Putin.

When asked for a comment on the news, longtime McCain confidante and former US Senator Joe Lieberman(I-CT) issued the following statement: "Words cannot express my happiness for John and Lindsey, having both found love in their golden years. Having introduced them, I can tell you that it was love at first sight. From the intimate discussions about neo-Conservative foreign policy to the exhaustive discussions about fine wines and Napa Valley sunsets, there was a definite connection between the two. A certain chemistry, if you will. I saw how those two bonded over episodes of 'The Care Bears.' I was regaled with the stories of how John would carry Lindsey on his shoulders so that he could see the floats in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I heard those two sing 'Do ya, do ya want my love?' every Friday at the Congressional karaoke night. I saw how those two interacted when they were campaigning together in 2008 and when they were campaigning in 2012 for Governor Bionicle...erm, I mean Mitt Romney. Tee he he. Those two are just priceless. Again, I just cannot tell you how happy I am for them."

Former Congressman Barney Frank(D-MA), himself a gay man, had a few congratulatory words as well: "I always knew their socially Conservative talk was all just a bunch of bluster. Those two have something I wish more people had: Openness, honesty, and love. I wish that more of our Republican friends would come out of the closet. It really is a liberating feeling, and who knows, maybe with a little more gay liberation there wouldn't be so much congressional gridlock."

Vice President Joe Biden offered his support: "There is nothing that I've ever seen in these stone halls that is more beautiful than what I see coming from those two. Going against the grain of cruel, cold-hearted society, you see a man willing to risk everything in raining love down upon another man. Neil Young can talk about screaming and bullwhips cracking all he wants, but he's got nothing on those two!"

Senator Chuck Schumer(D-NY) dishes out the sordid details: "Let's face it: The gentleman from South Carolina always was John's boy lollipop. The things I have heard about those two! Their rooms are the absolute bane of the Congressional cleaning service. I once found myself in there around 1 AM one unfortunate Sunday morning. It looked like a dirty bomb had gone off in there! Numerous articles of clothing, candy wrappers, Wham! record sleeves, towels, and teddy bears strewn about all over the place. And people think we're all just a bunch of boring, uptight squares!"

Catching up with Senator Graham, this reporter noted an uncharacteristically sprightly vibe about the Senior Senator from SC. Waving me over, we talked about a few things on the Senator's mind on this important day. On the pen he carries in his hand: "This is something Johnny gave me. It's the same pen Bob Dole gave him just before he died. It is something which I treasure immensely." When asked about why he only just now decided to tie the knot with Senator McCain, he cited the recent decision by Jan Brewer, the Governor of McCain's adopted home state of Arizona, to veto legislation which would have granted businesses the right to deny services to gay couples. "This just seemed like the right time," said Graham. Regarding future Presidential aspirations, he stated "not until 2024, as Johnny and I are both ready for Hillary." Asked if his sexual orientation would serve as a hindrance to his aspirations, Graham opined "What you must remember is that some of the big figures within the Republican Party have been, in one way or another, the gay man's best friend. Just look at Ted Haggard, Joe Paterno, George HW Bush, Abraham Lincoln, and Larry Craig. These beloved Republicans have done more to advance the cause of gay liberty in America, so yes, I do believe that I can gain acceptance with the grassroots and the mainstream Conservatives and Republicans."

In another development, Senator Patty Murray(D-WA) used the news to announce her engagement to Congressman Paul Ryan(R-WI).

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bellweather Counties in Georgia Elections



Georgia. It is seen as being one of these states(along with Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas) which is trending toward the Democrats because of the changing demographics. In no other area is such population growth more prevalent than in the Atlanta Metropolitan area. For the most part, the Suburban Atlanta counties(Cherokee, Cobb, Coweta, Fayette, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Henry, and Spalding) vote Republican, while Clayton County, DeKalb County, and Fulton County are fairly reliably Democratic. Republicans usually do well in the largely rural Northern and Southern(save Macon) areas, while Democrats run up the score in Eastern(Augusta) and, to some lesser extent, Southwestern(Albany and Columbus) Georgia. The real fight has been fought in the Suburban Atlanta counties. Having taken some time to comb through GA elections from the past few decades, I have determined that the 3 counties which have historically tended to give us an idea of who is winning in state and federal elections in the modern era(1960 onward) are the Suburban Atlanta counties of Douglas, Newton, and Rockdale(though this one has become decidedly less swingy in the past several rears). Granted, these 3 counties have been known to sometimes get it wrong on Election night(sometimes 1 of the 3, sometimes 2, and sometimes all), so this isn't by any means a perfect means of gauging how an election is going. Carrying counties in a statewide and federal election is just as significant as carrying a state in a Presidential election. Perhaps even more so, as one has to carry certain counties in order to win a state in a Presidential contest. As they say, "All politics is local." It is my hope, though, that this(perhaps lengthy) rundown will help one to perhaps understand the dynamics at plat and to get a feel for how things might go on Election Night.

To gauge how a county might vote in a state and federal election, one does have to consider the demographics of said county. A county which has a majority of blacks and/or hispanics and a lower median income and percentage of married couples is exponentially more likely to vote Democratic than is a county which is majority white and has a higher median income and percentage of married couples. With all of that in mind, here are the demographics of the counties of Douglas, Newton, and Rockdale, as calculated by the 2010 Census and with the addition of some recent(upward) population projections.

Douglas County: 52% White, 39% Black, 8% Hispanic/Latino, 1% Native American. 28% of residents are under age 18, 9% are from ages 18 to 24, 33% are from ages 25 to 44, 22% are from ages 45 to 64, and 8% are age 65 or older. Douglas County's median age is 34. 59% of households consist of a married couple, while 24% have co-habitating partners and 13% have a female as the primary breadwinner. The average household income in Douglas County is around $51K. Median family income is $54K. Males have a median income of $38K, versus $28K for females. Douglas County's per capita income is $21K. 6% of families and 8% of the population is presently below the poverty line. Douglas County has a estimated population of 134,000.

Newton County: 54% White, 44% Black, 2% Hispanic/Latino. 28% of residents are under age 18, 9% are from ages 18 to 24, 32% are from ages 25 to 44, 21% are from ages 45 to 64, and 10% are age 65 or older. Newton County's median age is 33. 59% of households consist of a married couple, while 22% have co-habitating partners and 14% have a female as the primary breadwinner. The average household income in Newton County is around $45K. Median family income is around $50K. Males have a median income of $37K, versus $26K for females. Newton County's per capita income is $19K. 7% of families and 10% of the population is presently below the poverty line. Newton County has an estimated population of 102,000.

Rockdale County: 46% Black, 41% White, 10% Hispanic/Latino, 2% Asian. 28% of residents are under age 18, 9% are from ages 18 to 24, 31% are from ages 25 to 44, 24% are from ages 45 to 64, and 9% are age 65 or older. Rockdale County's median age is 35. 62% of households consist of a married couple, while 22% have co-habitating partners and 12% have a female as the primary breadwinner. The average household income in Rockdale County is $54K. Median family income is $60K. Males have a median income of $41K, versus $29K for females. Rockdale County's per capita income is $22K. 6% of families and 8% of the population is presently below the poverty line. Rockdale County has an estimated population of 86,000.

Having touched on present demographics, I will now get into the past election results which have led me to my conclusion of these 3 counties being historical bellweathers for how the state will go. I'll start off with the Georgia Presidential elections from 1960-2012 and then go to statewide elections from 1988-2012(I tried, but I could not find any county-by-county map of the election results for the years previous). The statewide offices which I will choose to cover are those of US Senator, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Public Service Commissioner, State Judgeships, and, in only one instance, the race for Insurance Commissioner.

GEORGIA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

In 1960, John F. Kennedy carried all 3 counties as he carried Georgia in his successful Presidential bid. In 1964, Douglas County backed Barry M. Goldwater on his way to a statewide win, while Newton and Rockdale Counties backed the ultimately successful re-election of Lyndon B. Johnson. 1968 saw Southern Son and notorious Alabama Governor George C. Wallace carrying all 3 counties on his way to an easy win statewide and regionally. Richard Nixon won all 3 counties as he rolled to a re-election victory statewide and nationally in 1972. Favourite Son Jimmy Carter carried these 3, not to mention every other county in the state, in his successful campaign against President Gerald R. Ford in 1976. Douglas and Rockdale Counties backed Ronald Reagan, while Newton County backed President Carter as he won the state while simultaneously losing in a national landslide. All 3 counties backed President Reagan, who won the state's electoral votes and re-election over Walter Mondale in 1984. All 3 backed George HW Bush, who would win the state and the election over Michael Dukakis in 1988. Douglas and Rockdale counties backed the unsuccessful 1992 re-election campaign of President Bush, while Bill Clinton won Newton County on his way to winning the state with a plurality. 1n 1996, Bob Dole won all 3 counties and Georgia's electoral votes in his ultimately unsuccessful campaign. George W. Bush carried all 3 counties and the state of Georgia in 2000, as well as in his 2004 re-election campaign. All 3 counties voted for Barack Obama's successful 2008 campaign and 2012 re-election campaign, even as John S. McCain and W. Mitt Romney won statewide.

STATE & FEDERAL ELECTIONS

1988

In race #1 for the Public Service Commission, Democrat Bobby Pafford carried Douglas and Newton counties on his way to victory over Republican John F. Collins, who carried Rockdale County. In race #2, Newton County backed Democrat Bobby Rowan in his successful campaign against Republican Jerry Brittingham, who carried Douglas and Rockdale counties. In race #3, Douglas and Newton counties backed Democrat Cas Robinson in his victorious effort against Republican Horace Hartley, who carried Rockdale County.

1990

In the race for Governor, Democrat Zell Miller carried Douglas and Newton Counties on his way to victory against Republican Johnny Isakson, who carried Rockdale County. All 3 counties backed Democratic Lieutenant Governor Pierre Howard in his landslide win against Republican Matt Towery. In race #1 for Public Service Commissioner, Democrat Mac Barber swept all 3 counties in his successful bid against Republican Jim West. In race #2, Democrat Bob Durden swept all 3 counties in his landslide win against Libertarian Elizabeth Goldin.

1992

General Election-In the US Senate race, Democratic incumbent Wyche Fowler carried Newton county on his way to finishing first in round 1 against Republican Paul Coverdell, who carried Douglas and Rockdale counties. In the race for Public Service Commissioner, Republican Bobby Baker carried all 3 counties on his way to finishing first in round one against R-turned-D John F. Collins.

General Election Runoff-In round 2 of the US Senate race, Republican Paul Coverdell again carried Douglas and Rockdale counties in his successful bid against Democratic Senator Wyche Fowler, who again carried Newton County. In round 2 of the race for Public Service Commissioner, Republican Bobby Baker again carried all 3 counties in his winning effort against R-turned-D John F. Collins.

1994

In the Governors race, Incumbent Democrat Zell Miller carried Newton County in his tight re-election bid against Republican Guy Millner, who carried Douglas and Rockdale counties. All 3 counties backed Democratic Lieutenant Governor Pierre Howard, Democratic Secretary of State Max Cleland, and Democrat-turned-Republican Attorney General Mike Bowers over their respective opponents(Republicans Nancy Schaffer and Keith Maloney and Democrat Wesley Dunn). In the race for Insurance Commissioner, Republican John Oxendine carried all 3 counties in his narrow win over Democratic incumbent Tim Ryles. All 3 counties backed Republicans David Baker and Stan Wise over Democrats Earleen Sizemore and incumbent Bobby Rowan.

1996

Democratic Primary Election-In the Secretary of State Special Election Primary, Lewis Massey carried all 3 counties in his landslide win against Marion Freeman. In race #2 for the Public Service Commission Primary, Tim Ryles carried all 3 counties in his win over Donna Blackwood.

Republican Primary Election-In the US Senate Primary, Guy Millner carried all 3 counties on his way to a first place finish in round 1 against Johnny Isakson. In the Secretary of State Special Election Primary, David Shafer carried all 3 while narrowly coming in second place to Willou Smith in round 1. In race #1 for the Public Service Commission Primary, Republican-turned-Democrat-turned-Republican John F. Collins carried Newton and Rockdale Counties in his Primary win over Bill Hembree, while getting trounced in Douglas County. In race #2 for the Public Service Commission Primary, incumbent Democrat-turned-Republican Bob Durden carried all 3 counties in his Primary win over Franklin Barnes, Bobby Burns Sr, and Bill Reedy.

Republican Primary Election Runoff-In the US Senate Runoff, Guy Millner carried all 3 counties in his win over Johnny Isakson. In the Secretary of State Runoff, David Shafer carried Douglas and Newton counties in his win over Willou Smith, while narrowly losing Rockdale County.

General Election-In the US Senate race, all 3 counties backed Republican Guy Millner as he narrowly lost to Democrat Max Cleland. In the Secretary of State Special Election and in race #1 for Public Service Commissioner, Democrats Lewis Massey and incumbent Mac Barber carried Newton County in their successful campaigns against Republicans David Shafer and John F. Collins, while losing Douglas and Rockdale Counties. In race #2 for Public Service Commissioner, Republican incumbent Bob Durden carried all 3 counties in his narrow win over Democrat Tim Ryles.

1998

Democratic Primary Election-In the US Senate Primary, Michael Coles swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Jim Boyd. In the Gubernatorial Primary, Roy Barnes carried all 3 counties in his first place finish in round 1 against Lewis Massey. In the Lieutenant Governor Primary, Mary Oliver carried all 3 counties in her first place finish in round 1 against Mark Taylor. In the Public Service Commissioner Primary, Anna Hargis carried Douglas and Rockdale counties in her narrow win over Hal Crawford, while losing in Newton County.

Republican Primary Election-In the Gubernatorial Primary, Guy Millner carried Douglas County on his way to victory over Mike Bowers, whilst losing Newton and Rockdale counties. In the Lieutenant Governor Primary, Mitch Skandalaks carried all 3 counties on his way to first place in round 1 against Clint Day. In the Secretary of State Primary, John McCallum swept all 3 counties in his Primary win against Charlie Bailey. In the Attorney General Primary, the counties broke in 3 directions. Douglas County backed first place finisher David Ralston, Newton County backed third place finisher Stephen Boswell, and Rockdale County backed second place finisher Kip Klein. The election advanced to a Runoff(round 2) between Ralston and Klein. In the Public Service Commissioner Primary, incumbent Bobby Baker swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Dan Carpenter.

Democratic Primary Election Runoff-In the Gubernatorial Runoff, Roy Barnes swept all 3 counties in his landslide victory over Lewis Massey. In the Lieutenant Governor Runoff, Mark Taylor carried all 3 counties in his successful campaign against Mary Oliver.

Republican Primary Election Runoff-In the Lieutenant Governor Runoff, Mitch Skandalaks carried all 3 counties in his narrow win over Clint Day. In the Attorney General Runoff, David Ralston swept all 3 counties in his win over Kip Klein.

General Election-In the US Senate race, Republican incumbent Paul Coverdell carried all 3 counties on his way to re-election over Democrat Michael Coles. In the Governors race, Republican Guy Millner won all 3 counties over Democrat Roy Barnes, even as he convincingly lost statewide. In the races for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State, Newton County backed Democrats Mark Taylor and Cathy Cox in their landslide wins over Republicans Mitch Skandalaks and John McCallum, respectively, who both carried Douglas and Rockdale counties. In the Attorney General race, all 3 counties backed Republican David Ralston over Democrat Thurbert Baker, who narrowly won the election. In the race for Public Service Commissioner, Republican incumbent Bobby Baker carried all 3 counties in his successful campaign against Democrat Anna Hargis. In the Special Election for Public Service Commissioner, 'Bubba' McDonald carried all 3 counties in his first place finish in round 1 against Jim Cole.

General Election Runoff-In the Public Service Commissioner Special Election Runoff, 'Bubba' McDonald swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Jim Cole.

2000

Georgia Democratic Presidential Primary-Vice President Al Gore swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley.

Georgia Republican Presidential Primary-Texas Governor George W. Bush swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Arizona Senator John McCain.

Democratic Primary Election-In race #1 for Public Service Commissioner, David Burgess carried all 3 counties in his successful Primary ouster of incumbent Mac Barber. In race #2 for Public Service Commissioner, Jim Boyd swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Michael DiPietro.

There were no contested statewide Republican primaries.

General Election-In the US Senate race(which opened up as a result of the death of Senator Paul Coverdell), Democrat Zell Miller swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Mack Mattingly. In race #1 for Public Service Commissioner, Democrat David Burgess carried Douglas and Newton counties in his successful campaign against Republican Al Bartell, who carried Rockdale County. In race #2 for Public Service Commissioner, Republican incumbent Stan Wise carried all 3 counties in his successful campaign against Democrat Jim Boyd.

2002

Republican Primary Election-In the US Senate Primary, Saxby Chambliss swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Bob Irvin. In the Gubernatorial Primary, 'Sonny' Perdue carried all 3 counties in his Primary win over Linda Schrenko and Bill Byrne. In the Lieutenant Governor Primary, Mike Beatty carried Rockdale County in his first place finish in round 1 against Steve Stancil, who carried Douglas and Newton counties. In the Secretary of State Primary, Charlie Bailey carried all 3 counties on his way to finishing first in round 1 against Vernadette Broyles.

Republican Primary Election Runoff-In the Lieutenant Governor Runoff, Steve Stancil carried Douglas County in his narrow win over Mike Beatty, who carried Newton and Rockdale counties. In the Secretary State Runoff, Charlie Bailey carried all 3 counties in his victorious campaign against Vernadette Broyles.

General Election-In the US Senate, Gubernatorial, and race #2 for Public Service Commission races, Republicans Saxby Chambliss, Sonny Perdue, and Angela Speir carried all 3 counties in their ousters of Democratic incumbents Max Cleland, Roy Barnes, and Bubba McDonald. In the Lieutenant Governor race, Republican Steve Stancil carried all 3 counties whilst losing statewide to Democratic incumbent Mark Taylor. In the Secretary of State race, Democratic incumbent Cathy Cox swept all 3 counties in her landslide win over Republican Charlie Bailey. In the Attorney General race, Democratic incumbent Thurbert Baker carried all 3 counties in his statewide victory over Republican Shannon Goessling. In race #1 for Public Service Commissioner, Republican Doug Everett carried all 3 counties in his successful campaign against Democrat Earleen Sizemore.

2004

Georgia Democratic Presidential Primary-Massachusetts Senator John Kerry carried all 3 counties in his win over North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

Democratic Primary Election-In the US Senate Primary, Denise Majette carried all 3 counties in her first place finish in round one against Cliff Oxford. In the race for Public Service Commissioner, Mac Barber swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Mike Berlon.

Republican Primary Election-In the US Senate Primary, Johnny Isakson carried all 3 counties in his win against Herman Cain. In the race for Public Service Commissioner, incumbent Bobby Baker swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Roger Dozier.

Democratic Primary Election Runoff-In the US Senate Runoff, Denise Majette carried all 3 counties in her win over Cliff Oxford.

General Election-In the US Senate and Public Service Commission races, Republicans Johnny Isakson and Bobby Baker carried all 3 counties in their wins over Democrats Denise Majette and Mac Barber. In the Court of Appeals race, all 3 counties backed Howard Mead, even as he placed second to Debra Bernes statewide in round 1.

General Election Runoff-In the Court of Appeals Runoff, Debra Bernes carried all 3 counties in her win over Howard Mead.

2006

Democratic Primary Election-In the Gubernatorial Primary, Mark Taylor carried all 3 counties in his successful campaign against Cathy Cox. In the Lieutenant Governor Primary, Jim Martin carried Newton and Rockdale Counties on his way to a first place finish against Greg Hecht, who carried Douglas County, in round 1. In the Secretary of State Primary, Darryl Hicks carried all 3 counties, even as he finished second to Gail Buckner statewide in round 1.

Republican Primary Election-In the Gubernatorial Primary, incumbent Sonny Perdue swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Ray McBerry. In the Lieutenant Governor Primary, Casey Cagle carried all 3 counties in his win over Ralph Reed. In the Secretary of State Primary, Karen Handel carried all 3 counties on her way to first place against Bill Stephens in round 1. In the Public Service Commissioner Primaries, Chuck Eaton and incumbent Stan Wise carried all 3 counties in their winning campaigns against Mark Parkman and Newt Nickell.

Democratic Primary Election Runoff-In the Lieutenant Governor Runoff, Jim Martin swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Greg Hecht. In the Secretary of State Runoff, Gail Buckner carried all 3 counties in her win over Darryl Hicks.

Republican Primary Election Runoff-In the Secretary of State Runoff, Karen Handel carried all 3 counties in her win over Bill Stephens.

General Election-In the races for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and Public Service Commissioner race #1, Republicans Sonny Perdue, Casey Cagle, Karen Handel, and Stan Wise carried all 3 counties in their wins over Democrats Mark Taylor, Jim Martin, Gail Buckner, and Dawn Randolph. Conversely, in the Attorney General race, Democratic incumbent Thurbert Baker carried all 3 counties in his win over Republican Perry McGuire. In Public Service Commission race #2, Democratic incumbent David Burgess carried Newton and Rockdale counties on his way to a first place showing over Republican Chuck Eaton in round 1. Both candidates were tied in Douglas County. In the race for Supreme Court Justice, incumbent Carol Hunstein swept all 3 counties in her landslide win over Mike Wiggins.

General Election Runoff-In the Public Service Commission Runoff, Chuck Eaton carried all 3 counties in his ouster of David Burgess.

2008

Georgia Democratic Presidential Primary-Illinois Senator Barack Obama swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Georgia Republican Presidential Primary-Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee carried all 3 counties in his narrow win over Arizona Senator John McCain.

Democratic Primary Election-In the US Senate Primary, Vernon Jones carried all 3 counties on his way to first place in round 1 against Jim Martin. In the Primary for Public Service Commission race #1, Jim Powell swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Bob Indech.

Republican Primary Election-In the Primary for Public Service Commission race #1, Bubba McDonald carried all 3 counties in his win over Pam Davidson. In the Primary for Public Service Commission race #2, incumbent Doug Everett swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Rick Collum.

Democratic Primary Election Runoff-In the US Senate Primary Runoff, Jim Martin carried all 3 counties in his win over Vernon Jones.

General Election-In the US Senate race, Democrat Jim Martin carried all 3 counties in his narrow second place finish to Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss in round 1. In race #1 for Public Service Commissioner, Democrat Jim Powell carried all 3 counties in his narrow first place finish against Republican Bubba McDonald in round 1. In race #2 for Public Service Commissioner, Republican incumbent Doug Everett swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Libertarian John Monds. In the Court of Appeals race, Tamela Adkins carried all 3 counties while finishing third to Sara Doyle and Mike Sheffield, who respectively advanced to the Runoff(round 2).

General Election Runoff-In the US Senate and Public Service Commission Runoffs, Republicans Saxby Chambliss and Bubba McDonald carried all 3 counties in their wins over Democrats Jim Martin and Jim Powell. In the Court of Appeals Runoff, Sara Doyle carried Newton County in her narrow win over Mike Sheffield, who carried Douglas and Rockdale counties.

2010

Democratic Primary Election-In the Primaries for US Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, Michael Thurmond, Roy Barnes, Carol Porter, and Ken Hodges swept all 3 counties in their landslide wins over RJ Hadley, Thurbert Baker, Tricia McCracken, and Rob Teilhet, respectively. In the Secretary of State Primary, Gail Buckner carried all 3 counties in her first place finish over Georganna Sinkfield in round 1.

Republican Primary Election-In the Primaries for Governor and Attorney General, Karen Handel and Sam Olens carried all 3 counties in their first place finishes over Nathan Deal and Preston Smith in round 1. In the Secretary of State Primary, Brian Kemp carried all 3 counties in his win over Doug MacGinnitie. In the Public Service Commission Primary, John Douglas carried all 3 counties whilst coming in second to Tim Echols in round 1.

Democratic Primary Election Runoff-In the Secretary of State Runoff, Georgeanna Sinkfoeld swept all 3 counties in her landslide win over Gail Buckner.

Republican Primary Election Runoff-In the Gubernatorial Runoff, Nathan Deal carried Newton County in his razor-thin victory over Karen Handel, who carried Douglas and Rockdale counties. In the Attorney General Runoff, Sam Olens carried all 3 counties on his way to victory over Preston Smith. In the Public Service Commission Runoff, John Douglas carried all 3 counties, even as he lost statewide to Tim Echols.

General Election-In the races for US Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Public Service Commissioner, Republicans Johnny Isakson(incumbent), Nathan Deal, Casey Cagle(incumbent), Brian Kemp, Sam Olens, and Tim Echols all carried Douglas and Newton counties in their victories over Democrats Michael Thurmond, Roy Barnes, Carol Porter, Georgeanna Sinkfield, Ken Hodges, and Keith Moffett, who all carried Rockdale County. In the race for Supreme Court Justice, incumbent David Nahmias carried all 3 counties in his first place finish over Tamela Adkins in round 1. In the Court of Appeals race, Antoinette Davis carried all 3 counties in her first place finish against Chris McFadden.

General Election Runoff-In the Supreme Court Justice Runoff, David Nahmias swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Tamela Adkins. In the Court of Appeals Runoff, Chris McFadden carried all 3 counties in his landslide win over Antoinette Davis.

2012

Georgia Republican Presidential Primary-Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives and Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich carried all 3 counties in his win over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Republican Primary Election-In the 2 races for Public Service Commissioner, incumbents Chuck Eaton and Stan Wise carried all 3 counties in their wins over Matt Reid and Pam Davidson.

General Election-In race #1 for Public Service Commissioner, Republican Chuck Eaton carried Newton County in his win over Democrat Stephen Oppenheimer, who won Douglas and Rockdale counties. In race #2 for Public Service Commissioner, Republican Stan Wise swept all 3 counties in his landslide win over Libertarian David Staples.


It will be interesting to see how these counties fall in the 2014 and 2016 elections, and whether or not any one of these counties will cast in with the winning candidate. That said, I feel I can say with certainty that Rockdale County is rapidly going in the same direction Clayton County went in the 1990s(hard left) and will soon be a Democratic stronghold a la Bibb(Macon), Clarke(Athens), Clayton, DeKalb, Dougherty, Fulton(Atlanta), and Richmond(Augusta) counties. I only mentioned Rockdale throughout this because it has historical significance as being, up until very recently, one of the swingiest counties in Georgia. I hope this has been an informative read, and it is my hope that I have, in fact, correctly identified the counties to watch for on Election night..

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

An Open Letter to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

Dear Governor Brewer,

I sincerely hope all is well with you and your family. I am writing this letter with regards to the religious freedom legislation which you are presently reviewing. Before I get to that, though, I would like to first say that I commend your previous actions regarding gun rights and gays, and also your attempts at stemming our illegal immigration problem. I would also like to give you much deserved credit for, back in 2008 when you were SoS, a smoothly and efficiently run Secretary of State's website(more than I can say for the ObamaCare website). I remember paying attention to AZ Congressional Primary elections back in 2008 and finding it to be one of the best run SoS sites I'd ever been to. But I digress.

The bill which is before you right now, as you well know, would allow businesses to deny services to gay people in accordance with their Christian faith and personal beliefs. I am imploring you to sign this bill. This is a basic matter of religious freedom. Religious freedom is the reason the Pilgrims escaped the tyranny of James I's Church of England and came to America and established the first settlements in Jamestown, VA, and Plymouth, MA, in the early 1600s. Religious freedom is also some of the reason why we broke away from the English government of King George III and formed the Thirteen Colonies, which later evolved into what we now know as the United States of America.
We as a nation are wholly founded upon the precept of religious freedom. We are not a nation founded upon the principles of a Constitution(the law of man). Rather, we are a nation founded upon the principles of the Bible(the Word of God). In recent decades, though, our nation's fabric has come under attack from the gay rights crowd and their politically correct neanderthal brothers-in-arms. Gay people so selfish that they cannot see past laying and being laid. While they’re freely taking it in the mouth, your state will almost certainly take it in the rear if this law is vetoed. In addition to being an abomination in the eyes of God, telling businesses that they cannot do in accordance with their Christian faith what they wish to do does not a friendly business environment create. Jobs will flee to a state like Texas or Alabama if this law is vetoed. I am sure that's not what you want for the future of your state.

I'd also like to tackle this from a political perspective. Your party, the Republican Party, is seen today as neither standing for something nor offering a viable solution to our nation's problems. Your party is, at present, acting like the party who nominated Bob Dole and Mitt Romney, and not the party who elected Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. It is time for the party to actually stand for something. In signing this bill into law, you are showing those disaffected Americans that there is a party who actually stands for what it purports to believe in. People hunger for honesty in politics, even people who would otherwise disagree vehemantly with the positions you're taking. How else do you think Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan won a significant share of otherwise Democratic voters? They actually stood for something. If you truly care about the electoral prospects of your party, the Republican Party, then it's future must begin in Arizona. You must sign this bill into law.

Concluding my letter, I hope you will take all of my points into consideration, weigh the pros and cons, and come to the right conclusion. I believe that what I am asking is the right thing to do, but it is you who must decide. Do you want a future rife with opportunity or do you want a future full of job losses and a stalled, stagnant statewide economy? That is the question.