Political Notes – Deal’s approval numbers look good in poll

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Gov. Nathan Deal is sparring with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for publishing articles that accuse him of intervening with the state ethics commission to quash the investigation of ethics complaints, but the newspaper has also had some good news for the governor this week.

The AJC reported Friday afternoon that a poll it commissioned shows Deal’s approval numbers look solid as he gets ready to run for a second term in office.

The telephone survey of 801 Georgians, which was conducted Sept. 12-17, showed that 49 percent of them approve of Deal’s performance while 24 disapprove.

The numbers are even stronger among Republicans, where 65 percent approve of Deal and 9 percent disapprove.

Those numbers are in line with other independent polls in the past month that showed Deal with 70 percent support or higher among likely Republican voters who would be choosing between him or one of his announced opponents in the GOP primary: state school Supt. John Barge and Dalton Mayor David Pennington.

Handel goes on the attack against an opponent she isn’t running against

Senatorial candidate Karen Handel is touting a new radio ad she launched this week that attacks Michelle Nunn.

The catch, of course, is that Handel, a Republican, isn’t running against Nunn, a Democrat, just yet. Handel would first have to win the GOP nomination against two well-funded congressmen – Reps. Jack Kingston and Phil Gingrey – and other congressman, Paul Broun, who is strong among the party’s tea party faction.

Here’s the transcript of the Handel spot:

This is Karen Handel and I’m running for U.S. Senate.

Democrat Michelle Nunn won’t tell us much about where she stands on issues.

But here’s what she has said.

Nunn says she would have voted for Barack Obama’s plan to attack Syria.

I, along with most Georgians and Americans, opposed the Administration from the start.

Nunn supports Obamacare—despite higher premiums, less choice, and new burdens on small businesses.

We can’t “fix” Obamacare. We need to defund it, repeal it and start over. With a common-sense, patient centered approach.

I support cutting spending and stopping the tide of red ink. Nunn is Democrat Leader Harry Reid’s handpicked Senate candidate. That says it all.

I’m Karen Handel and I approved this message, because Georgia voters deserve a clear choice when it comes to our future.

Handel’s campaign strategy is interesting, because she has raised much less money – about $150,000 as of the last report – than her chief rivals in the primary. Yet, she is spending some portion of those limited resources on a radio ad attacking a Democratic candidate that Handel won’t even run against unless she wins the Republican nomination first.

That same strategy was used by Maria Sheffield in the 12th Congressional District’s Republican primary in 2012.

Sheffield was also running in a GOP primary against three well-funded male opponents, but spent most of her time and energy attacking the Democratic incumbent, Rep. John Barrow, rather than taking issue with her Republican rivals.

Sheffield never got to the stage where she actually ran against Barrow in a contested election, because she ended up finishing dead last in the Republican primary with just 15 percent of the vote.

Music Industry Committee sets meetings

The Georgia House’s Music Industry Study Committee has scheduled its first meeting for Sept. 25 in Savannah. The event will start at 8:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Express Azalea Room.

The study committee was established to identify opportunities for expanding the state’s music industry. Committee members are Rep. Ben Harbin, Chairman (R-Evans), Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin), Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville), Rep. Margaret Kaiser (D-Atlanta) and Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough).

Carr approved as economic development chief

Chris Carr, the departing chief of staff for Sen. Johnny Isakson, was confirmed as commissioner of the state’s economic development department, effective Nov. 1, in a Thursday by the agency’s board.

Carr was nominated for the job by Gov. Nathan Deal as the replacement for Chris Cummiskey, who is leaving to take a top-level job with the Southern Co.

© 2013 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: AJC poll , Chris Carr , David Pennington , John Barge , karen handel , Michelle Nunn , Music industry study committee , Nathan Deal , Senate race