On the campaign trail: Some good news for Deal in those NBC poll numbers

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In recent days, Georgia Democrats and their nominee for governor, state Sen. Jason Carter, have been trumpeting the release of polls that show incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal with narrow leads over Carter that fall within the margins of error in the surveys.

Over the weekend, for example, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution released a statewide poll that had Deal leading Carter by just 46-43 percent. Even more ominously, the AJC poll indicated that Deal and President Barack Obama both had the same approval number among Georgians: 44 percent.

The Democratic Party of Georgia fired off a news release describing the poll numbers as “a torrent of bad news for Nathan Deal. . . . It’s becoming quite clear that Nathan Deal is in big trouble with Georgia voters. And poll after poll shows that Sen. Jason Carter has what it takes to best Deal in November.”

The Carter campaign distributed an emailer with the more succinct message: “Dead Heat.”

On Monday, there were new numbers from an NBC News/Marist Poll that may throw a little cold water on the early celebrations.

The NBC News poll showed Deal at 50 percent in the governor’s race to 40 percent for Carter, with 10 percent undecided. That 10-point lead is well outside the poll’s margin of error.

The NBC poll said Deal’s approval number overall was at 55 percent while 26 percent disapprove of the job he’s been doing and 19 percent are unsure. Deal’s numbers among registered voters were a little higher: 58 percent approve, 27 percent disapprove, 15 percent are unsure.

For President Obama, the NBC poll showed that 49 percent of Georgia residents disapprove while 41 percent approve and 10 percent are unsure.

The AJC poll and the NBC poll were conducted within the same eight-day window: NBC polled from April 30 to May 5, while the AJC survey was conducted from May 5 to May 8.

Obviously, two such widely varying polls cannot both be correct. The question becomes: which poll aligns with the current reality of the Georgia electorate and which poll is the outlier?

For purposes of comparison, the AJC poll covered a sample of 1,012 registered voters and had a margin of error of 4 percent. The NBC poll had a sample nearly twice as large: 2,196 registered voters with a 2.1 percent margin of error.

The AJC said its polling sample identified itself as 32 percent Democratic, 27 percent Republican and 28 percent independents. The NBC sample broke down as 33 percent Democratic, 31 percent Republican and 34 percent independent.

Sierra Club endorses Carter

Jason Carter did get an election boost Tuesday with an endorsement from the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club.

“Where Governor Deal and his cronies have stalled or rolled back critical coastal protections, Jason Carter will move Georgia forward,” said Mark Woodall, the Georgia chapter chairman. “Governor Deal’s friends in the state legislature are also playing roulette with aquifers that supply millions of gallons of water for Georgia agriculture and industry. Jason Carter can and will do better for our coast and water resources.”

“Jason Carter has proven that he is the only candidate in the field willing to protect Georgia’s coast and environment,” Director Colleen Kiernan said.

Letters, we get letters

Bob Johnson, who’s fighting for a spot in the 1st Congressional District’s Republican primary, is obviously one of those people who likes to make sweeping, grandiose statements about the current state of liberty and freedom.

Last week, you’ll remember, a videotape clip of a February candidate forum surfaced in which Johnson said he would prefer to see another terrorist attack on the United States rather than submit to an airport search by TSA employees:

“Now this is going to sound outrageous, I’d rather see another terrorist attack, truly I would, than to give up my liberty as an American citizen . . . We’re going to have jack-booted, uniformed people in our backyards.”

We have been forwarded a copy of a letter to the editor that Johnson sent to the Savannah Morning News in September 2008, a period when the Wall Street financial meltdown had just occurred and President George W. Bush was asking Congress to approve a massive bailout of the banks to keep them from going under.

Johnson opposed that bailout in language similar to that he used in denouncing the TSA and wishing for another terrorist attack. Here’s a quote from Johnson’s letter, published in the Sept. 28, 2008 edition:

I would rather, with my family, suffer through another Great Depression and simultaneously fight an expanding war in the Middle East, rather than sacrifice our sovereignty as citizens in this fashion.

I would opine that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and Sam Adams would rather live in a candle lit cave for a decade, eating only cold porridge and the family dog, rather than offer up their hard-fought freedom as American citizens for this security sham.

Once this edict is put into effect, the sovereign worth of the individual will have been fully sacrificed on the altar of godless socialism in the name of “financial security.”

Failure is a key element in good growth, and persons, companies and institutions that are not allowed to experience failure as the result of their own imprudence, sloth or greed, will never change their behaviors.

The freedom to excel and pursue lofty goals implies the risk of dramatic failure. When the risk of serious failure is removed, the capacity for excellence is also removed. Once the American zeitgeist accepts the deletion of “liberty” from “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the other two will also become negotiable, and deletable, principles.

Johnson, a Savannah physician, is running in the GOP primary against state Sen. Buddy Carter, state Rep. Jeff Chapman and investor John McCallum.

Another interesting letter from the past has surfaced in the 11th Congressional District’s Republican primary, this one written by former congressman Bob Barr on behalf of Eric Holder, the current attorney general of the United States.

Former state senator Barry Loudermilk, who’s running against Barr, Ed Lindsey and Tricia Pridemore in that 11th District race, is reminding voters of that letter in a direct mail piece attacking Barr.

From the account in the Marietta Daily Journal:

Barr’s three-page letter was dated Jan. 8, 2009, and was addressed to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and to Sen. Arlen Specter, the committee’s ranking member.

It notes he and Holder disagreed over “policy matters,” but said, “It is with a great deal of professional pride and personal pleasure that I write you in strong support of The Honorable Eric Holder to serve as Attorney General of the United States. …

“In the best of times, Eric Holder would be an excellent choice to serve as Attorney General. However, in these times of tremendous international and domestic turmoil, in which the line between military operations and law enforcement actions has become blurred to the point our precious civil liberties are at great risk, the choice of Mr. Holder could not be timelier or more crucial. …

“America will benefit greatly if Eric Holder is permitted to serve as Attorney General. I respectfully urge swift and positive action by the Judiciary Committee and confirmation by the full Senate …”

Barr acknowledged writing the letter for Holder, but gave the Marietta paper this clarification: “He asked if I would mind writing a letter based on my knowledge of him, and said he knew we disagreed on lot of issues, and especially the Second Amendment, but said that if I would write one he’d appreciate it. I was glad to recommend (Holder) for attorney general — and I later become one of the first to publically call for him to step down.”

© 2014 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: 11th Congressional District , 1st Congressional District , AJC poll , Barry Loudermilk , Bob Barr , Bob Johnson , Eric Holder , governor\'s race , Jason Carter , Nathan Deal , NBC News poll